Potential Risks for Non-Placement

 

Non-placement for adoptionFor a potential adoptive couple, it is natural to wonder if a birthmother will change her mind about putting her child up for adoption. Consequently, you and your spouse could be struggling with doubts about getting emotionally connected to a baby or the degree of excitement about a potential adoption.  Such concerns are a normal part of the adoption process.

Adopting is an emotional journey.  One that is filled with an array of emotions such as hope, fear, excitement, worry, joy, and sadness.  It is possible that a birthmother choose you and then later change her mind and opt to parent.  This is a loss you need to be prepared for as best you can.

There are characteristics that have been identified in birthmothers who are more likely to change their minds about placing their child up for adoption.  It is important to understand that if a birthmother has one or more of these characteristics, it does not mean that she will change her mind.  She can have all of these characteristics and opt to place her baby for adoption.

And if you are a potential birthmother considering adoption, it is wise to examine the risk factors in the checklist to see how they might relate to you. It can be beneficial to follow up by discussing any risks with an adoption counselor.

For potential adoptive families, it is important to note that nearly every birthmother will have one or more of these characteristics. Some birthmothers might have all of these characteristics and still place her child for adoption.  The checklist is a guide that can serve to identify the number of characteristics that exist and how extensive they are in order to discuss them with an adoption counselor.

Here is the checklist:

Birthmother is young (11-17 years old) Lack of life experience / immaturity First time parent

Lack of family support or family not informed

Dysfunctional family background

Denial of emotions

Unwilling / uncooperative in seeking counseling

Inadequate time for counseling prior to delivery

Finances of utmost concern

Unknown/unsupportive/uninvolved birthfather

Substance abuse (current or history of)

Strong Native American heritage

Birthparent has had negative experience with adoption

History of mental illness or emotional problems

No future goals

Significant recent loss

Negative or poor relationship with adopting couple

Lack of consistency in facts related to different parties involved

Lack of self awareness and ability to communicate ideas and feelings well

Differences between adopting couple and birthparents on meaning of “open” adoption


Adapted from Lutheran Social Services adoptive parent handout

Last Updated: 06/2014