Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Adoptive Parent Screening Questions

Continuing on from the previous post....

Once you've been contacted by potential birth parents and received confirmation from them that there are no "deal-breaker" issues, it's wise to ask some screening questions to be sure everything is legit and that you would be a good match for each other.  Remember to be sensitive and tactful when you ask these questions:

  • Are you involved with an agency / case worker?  What is the phone number where they can be reached?
    • If they are not involved with a case worker or agency that you can call to verify their identity, I would suggest asking for something concrete to verify a pregnancy i.e. an ultrasound picture with the birth moms name on it.  Don't freak out over this and don't be too pushy, but it is in everybody's best interest that you know there is an actual pregnancy going on.
  • What should I know about the baby?  (If you haven't already covered this in the initial e-mail.)
    • Gender, ethnicity, possible physical challenges, etc.
  • What should we know about you?
    • Degree of openness you are comfortable with
    • Level of prenatal care
    • Your physical health
    • Drug/alcohol use
  • How many other families are you e-mailing?
    • Just so you know what stage of the game they're at.  If they e-mailed 10 families, they're just getting started.  If they e-mailed 2, they're getting serious about making a decision.
  • Is there any legal risk in this adoption?  (for example, the birth father is contesting it)
    • Almost every adoption has some degree of legal risk.  On a personal note, the adoptions of both of my two older children had some legal risk.  With our daughter, it turned into a drawn out battle with the birth father that took 18 months to resolve.  (Actually, once it finally made it to court, the judge threw it out and we were able to finalize, but it took that long to actually get to court.)  With our son, the legal risk ended up NOT materializing into a problem, and there were no issues at all.
Once you all have your initial questions answered and have discovered that you could be a good match, it's time to move forward to a face to face meeting.  That will be covered in the next post....

1 comment:

Trisha said...

The birth grandmother was the nightmare as well! Can't forget that part...I cannot believe it took 18 months to was a nightmare. I cannot even begin to understand what you guys went through. I know Belle felt it...:(