9 Adoptive Family Questions You Should Ask
When you are entering into the adoption triad by choosing adoptive parents to raise your child, you will have the opportunity to look through prospective parents and choose who you envision is the best fit for your child and the life you wish to give them. With this choice comes a responsibility to ask the prospective adoptive parents questions. These adoptive family questions will help you narrow down the pool and choose the best parents for your child. But, deciding what to ask can be an overwhelming task especially considering the monumental decisions you are facing on a daily basis. So, here are some leading adoptive family questions that will not only get you going on the right foot, but they will help spark your mind and think of any additional questions that may be more focused on your family specifically.
1. Are you supportive of open adoption?
Even if you are not necessarily looking for an open adoption at the moment, learning whether prospective adoptive parents are willing to work on an open adoption could be a key deciding factor for you, and may impact your hopeful relationship within your adoption triad in the future. Learning how the prospective adoptive parents envision the relationship between biological families and themselves may become a real eye-opener to how you may mesh with them relationally and what road they see their future heading down. Making sure you see eye-to-eye can be a crucial aspect of how your child is raised. Checking in to see if there are any reasons they may want to reconsider an open adoption may be an important aspect in your choice as well. Do they like to share pictures? How would they prefer to share those photos? Are they open to phone calls, letters, and/or text messages? Some of these details may be decided on later, but having a general discussion about how communication would work is a great way to figure out if the prospective adoptive parents are a good match for you and your plans for your child. If you, as your child’s biological family, want to keep a healthy line of communication open, finding prospective adoptive parents who share that same value may be of extreme importance to you.
2. Why have you chosen to adopt?
This question can be a great ice breaker and open up to a slew of other adoptive family questions that may be important to you as you navigate the task of choosing parents to raise your child. Why have they chosen to adopt? Was adoption always part of the plan of building their family or did it become an option due to other circumstances? Do they have any other children and are any of them adopted? These types of questions will really give insight into the heart of the prospective adoptive parents you’re considering and will quickly help you narrow down your choices.
3. What is their plan to include the biological family in the child’s adoption story? When do they plan to tell the child they are adopted?
Studies have shown that telling a child they are adopted from day one is critical to how they grow and process this information in a healthy way. Making sure your child knows where they come from and that they are loved is so important to how they will thrive as a child and into adulthood. Normalizing adoption is so important to how adopted children become healthy adoptee adults who value their family (both biological and adoptive) and how they introspectively view themselves. Having a positive self-view is critical to growth and telling them their life story is the first step.
4. Get-To-Know-You Questions
Although you may read about the prospective couple before you meet, you may want to consider asking some of those personal history questions in person as well.
- “How and when did you two meet?”
- “How long have you been married?”
- “What is your education background?”
- “What is your current job?”
- “Do you attend any religious institution?”
- “How do you view politics?”
- “Do you have any family traditions?”
- “What is your neighborhood like?”
- “What is the town like in which you live?”
- “What are your parents like?”
- “How do you handle marital conflict?”
- “How many children do you plan to have?”
Open conversation to learn more about who they are as people, who they are as a couple, and who they plan to be as parents. Sometimes, reading these answers just won’t get you the same degree of insight as hearing it in person. These types of leading adoptive family questions will help you decide if those particular prospective adoptive parents are a good fit for you and who you envision raising your child.
5. How involved and supportive is your extended family of adoption?
Learning how involved prospective adoptive parents’ families are and how supportive they think their family will be of adoption and an adopted child in their family may affect the child. You may want to know who will be involved in that child’s life on a regular basis. If active grandparents are important to you (maybe your grandparents were such a positive influence in your own life and it is of extreme importance to you), then knowing ahead of time if grandparents, aunts, and uncles plan to be positively involved may make or break a decision for you. Making sure that your child grows up in a family where his or her history is valued, cherished, and normalized is very important to the health and development of your child as they grow. An unsupportive family can do a lot of damage to a little ones’ ability to process, accept, and treasure their history. Finding prospective adoptive parents that have an overwhelmingly supportive family may be super important to you and how you see your child being raised. Or, if the extended family isn’t supportive, if the parents are willing to pull away to protect your child, would that help ease your mind that they would still be raised in an adoption-supported environment?
6. Where do you see your family in 5 years?
Learning where they see their family in future years may be really insightful to how you see your child being raised. Maybe the prospective adoptive parents see themselves traveling the world in 5 years with a child in tow. Maybe not being in the same state as your child as they start kindergarten isn’t ideal for your open adoption plans. Maybe the prospective adoptive parents envision themselves moving to a farm in the same town and seeing your child running around with goats and chickens makes you beam with joy. This specific question may really help hone in on the type of parents you want to raise your child and will help you narrow down who you see is the best fit. These will put a spotlight on if your values match the prospective parents’ and if you can see your child fitting into their lifestyle.
7. How will parenting look for you? Do you have maternity or paternity leave? Do you both plan to work out of the home?
Adoptive family questions can sometimes be super general, but one that seems to stand out amongst the others is how the prospective adoptive parents plan to parent. Do they have maternity or paternity leave from work that they will be able to take shortly after birth to help with bonding? What are their plans for work once the baby has arrived? Do they both plan to go back to work outside of the home? If so, who will be caring for the child during work times? Or, does one plan to become a stay-at-home parent? These kinds of adoptive family questions can really give you a good sense of what home life would like with those particular parents. Then you can judge if you think that that home life is ideal for your child. Would you prefer your child to be with a stay-at-home parent? Would you prefer your child to have the financial security that looks like both parents having solid, stable jobs? What if one or both parents had work-from-home jobs and planned to hire a nanny during the day? These are questions geared towards the prospective adoptive parents, but they will also help you look intrinsically at how you want your child to be raised and in what environment you want them to grow in.
8. What are your hobbies?
Some may consider this a fun question or one that holds little weight in the decision of whether these particular prospective adoptive parents will be the ones you choose to parent your child. But, the flip coin of that is that maybe this question should be given more weight. A hobby of a parent can really determine a lifestyle: one that you may or may not agree with. Maybe one of the parents has a hobby of hunting. That can lead to a lot of additional questions like “How do you safely keep firearms in your home?” or “How do you safely prepare the food that will be given to the child?” Or, maybe one of the prospective adoptive parents has a hobby of working out. That may be indicative of a healthy lifestyle where good food and exercise are valued, but it may also indicate some other aspects of life that you may disagree with. Follow-up questions will come with conversation, but they can help determine if you feel a connection with these hopeful adoptive parents.
9. What are some things that are important to you as a parent?
This will help provide the prospective adoptive parents the opportunity to share with you some of the most honored pieces of their lives. Is their religion important to them? If so, this may be a big factor in all of their parenting decisions. Do they plan to homeschool? If so, that will mean one parent plans to stay home permanently throughout the day. Do they value nature? If so, maybe that means their future children have a lot of hikes, camping, and observational learning in their future. There are so many aspects of each person that may be high on the list of importance, so figuring those out will definitely help paint a picture of how they plan to parent your child while incorporating the things they deem valuable. Adoptive family questions could inspire you to find comfort knowing you chose the right parents to raise your child if some of their important values lined up with yours.
Beginning your adoption story can be flooded with all kinds of emotions that may be difficult to process. You deserve to have resources and individuals around to help you navigate the processes a little easier. That includes having information to help you interview, assess, and decide on which prospective adoptive parents you choose to raise your beautiful child. You have made the ultimate sacrifice for your child. Hopefully, resources like this one will help take a small burden off of your shoulders. We understand that this list is in no way exhaustive, but these can be a launching pad for other questions that will either naturally come in conversation or will pop into your mind as you process all the information given to you. Choosing which adoptive parents will raise your child is one of the biggest challenges you may encounter, but in choosing ones that align with your values, you are creating an even stronger relational tie between your child, their adoptive family, and their biological family.