As a prospective adoptive parent, your first meeting with a potential expectant birth mother can be a heady mix of excitement and anxiety. Knowing what questions to ask will help you stay focused, obtain the information you are looking for, and gain some insight into what she's thinking, as well.
WHAT'S ON HER MIND?
Expectant mothers have their own set of anxieties when sitting down to meet with you for the first time. Because you want a child so much, it may be difficult to wrap your mind around why someone would ever consider placing her child for adoption, and expectant mothers are acutely aware of that.
You can put her at ease by showing her that you admire her ability to make such a loving decision.
SHOW HER THE LOVE IN YOUR HEART
When you first begin the conversation, ask questions that will demonstrate that you value her as a person. Placing a child for adoption is one of the greatest acts of unselfish, pure love. It is a great privilege for you to be able to carry on that love. Structure your conversation so that she will hear that from you.
A natural way to begin is to simply ask how she is feeling. Other appropriate first-time questions may include:
- When is your baby due?
- How does the biological father feel about your pregnancy and your interest in adoption?
- What made you choose this attorney to help you?
- What are you looking for in prospective parents?
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK
Since your first encounter may be intimidating for the expectant mother, it is important that you do not ask questions that may sound judgmental. Remember, this is going to be one of the most important decisions she will ever make in her life, so the last thing you want to do is to create a situation where she feels you are putting her on the spot or judging her.
Some inappropriate questions would be:
- Are you sure this is what you really want to do?
- Is there more than one potential father?
- Have you used drugs during your pregnancy?
- Do you smoke?
- How many times have you been pregnant?
While a few of these questions may become relevant later on, none of them are where you want to start. Your goal is to establish a rapport, not make her feel uneasy with you. If there are delicate questions you would like answers to, you can always pose them to your attorney later on.
SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEW TIPS
No preconceived notions! If you automatically assume the expectant mother is uneducated, poverty-stricken, etc., she is going to sense that, and your interview will get off to a bad start.
Think about how you word your questions. Don't ask questions in a way that implies you are looking for a specific answer.
Get her input! Ask her what she would like to talk about.
Being prepared will allow you to truly enjoy every part of your parenting journey, now and in the future. Attorneys Jennifer Fairfax and Catelyn Slattery are experienced and ready to help.