No one wants to get involved with an unethical adoption professional or end up with a hurt or resentful birth parent or worse, a child who is angry about their adoption. The vast majority of hopeful adoptive parents begin their journey with an earnest desire to do things the right way and protect everyone involved. If it’s your goal to have an ethical adoption, you first have to define what that actually means. Here are some basic principles to guide you and help ensure that your adoption is ethical:
1. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
“We don’t have to disclose that,”
“It doesn’t really violate the spirit of the law,”
“Don't worry, you can always change the contact agreement after the adoption if you want,”
“$75,000 sounds like a lot, but it’s for your child.”
Do these statements raise red flags? They should. Don’t fall into the trap of the bride-to-be with second thoughts who goes through with the wedding since she already has the ring. If something doesn’t feel right, ask questions and investigate. If you’re not satisfied with the answers, it may be best to withdraw.
2. Choose your professional carefully.
Just because an adoption professional is a licensed attorney or agency, (or even a licensed “non-profit” agency) doesn’t mean that they follow best practices in the way they handle adoptions. You need to make sure that the adoption professional you choose is experienced, has a proven track record of satisfied clients, and adheres to best practices. Check out our article,“Questions to Ask Your Adoption Professional” to find the questions that will help you determine whether or not you should hire a particular agency or attorney.
3. Make sure that the match is based on thorough, verified information.
When you hear that an expectant mother likes your profile, it can be easy to let excitement cloud your good judgment. But you should not seriously consider a potential match until your adoption professional has provided you with the expectant mother’s social/medical history, proof of pregnancy, medical records (if available), expectations regarding post-adoption contact, information about the birth father circumstances, and a clear picture of what sort of adoptive family she’s looking for.
4. Be honest.
Don’t mess around with this one. You are asking a woman to entrust you with her child. You had better be honest with her. Mutual transparency is the key to creating a solid adoption.
5. Put your agreements in writing and then keep them
Post-contact agreements, even if they’re not enforceable in your state, should be written down and signed by everyone. Doing so makes intentions clear and helps minimize the chance for misunderstandings to arise down the road.
6. Remember, that child is best served by adoptive and birth parents who honor and respect one another...
Even when circumstances and relationship dynamics get difficult. Choose to be positive about the other party.
Love covers a multitude of offenses.
Be honest, but be gracious and kind. Compassion is powerful.