Some first meetings are naturally fraught with emotions: when you meet your significant other’s parents for the first time, when you meet your new boss, or when you meet a famous person you admire, you might feel nervous, excited, or even a bit overwhelmed. When you meet the expectant mom of the child you hope to adopt, it can be even more overwhelming.

In Arkansas adoptions, a birth mother can remain anonymous. A closed adoption process can mean that you will never meet or know much about the parents of your adopted child. But in some open adoptions, the birth mother and the adoptive parents can become very close.

Here are some tips for adoptive parents meeting the expectant mother:

Before the meeting

  • Manage your emotions: This is a big moment, and it’s okay to feel nervous, excited, or hopeful. Acknowledge these feelings, but try to approach the meeting with a sense of calm and respect. It can be helpful to talk with a trusted friend or family member to get your feelings clear in your mind.
  • Prepare questions: Think about what you want to learn about the birth mother and the child. Focus on open-ended questions that encourage conversation, such as “What are your hopes for the child’s future?” or “Can you tell me about the pregnancy?”
  • Be prepared to answer questions: The birth mother might be curious about you and your family. Be prepared to share about your lifestyle, values, and why you want to adopt. You might want to share photos.
  • Respect her boundaries: The birth mother is making a brave choice. Follow her lead in terms of the conversation and the level of openness she feels comfortable with.

During the meeting

  • Be present: Put away distractions and focus on getting to know the birth mother. Listen actively and make eye contact.
  • Express gratitude: Thank her for considering adoption and for giving your family the opportunity to grow.
  • Be positive and hopeful: Focus on the future and the wonderful life you can provide for the child.
  • Avoid sensitive topics: This is not the time to pry into personal details or discuss difficult aspects of the birth mother’s situation unless she brings them up.

Additional tips

  • Choose a neutral location: A public place like a park or restaurant can be less intimidating than your home. Let the birth mother have a say in the location.
  • Bring a small gift: This is a thoughtful gesture, but keep it simple. Photos or a framed quote about adoption could be nice options.
  • Be yourself: If you know the expectant mom is trying to choose a family for her baby, it can feel as though you’re auditioning. The more you can relax and develop a connection from one person to another, the better the meeting will go.
  • Be patient: Building a connection takes time. Don’t expect everything to be resolved in one meeting.
  • Follow up with a thank-you note: Express your appreciation for her time and openness.

The goal when you meet the expectant mom is to build a positive relationship and create a sense of trust. By being respectful, compassionate, and open, you can lay the foundation for a successful adoption journey.

Heimer Law is here to help you through the entire joyful, challenging process of adoption. Set up a free consultation with us today.

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