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Tips for Interviewing Potential Birth Mothers

If you're pursuing an open adoption, you will probably meet at least one prospective birth mother. Your first meeting may be full of excitement and anticipation, as well as anxiety and apprehension. If the meeting is being facilitated by an adoption arranger, he or she will lead the interview and ask the birth mother specific questions; however, you may request ahead of time that the arranger include certain questions you would like to ask. If you are meeting the birth mother independently, you may want to come prepared to ask the following questions:

  • When are you due?
  • How are you feeling?
  • What are you looking for in adoptive parents?
  • What are your expectations of the adoption - how open do you want to be?
  • What are your reasons for choosing adoption?
  • Have you spoken with an attorney or adoption professional? (if you are meeting her independently).
  • Confirm the state in which she lives (and verify adoption laws in your state and hers).
  • Does the baby's father know about the pregnancy? How does he feel about the baby and adoption?
  • What are your hobbies and interests?

Other Tips

At the first meeting, keep it casual and concentrate on developing a rapport. Don't dive right in to the tough questions, especially those dealing with the baby's father or her parents' reaction to the pregnancy. In addition, refrain from asking if she's taken any drugs during her pregnancy, how many times she's been pregnant, if she is sure she wants to surrender the baby and if she'll change her mind. These questions can and should be asked; just wait until a later conversation. This first meeting is just an opportunity for both parties to put a face to the name and learn a little about one another.

Show her that you're interested in her and invite her to ask questions of you. She may be intimidated and hesitant to ask questions.

Don't assume anything about the birth mother - studies have proven that birth mothers come from all walks of life, educational backgrounds, financial situations, and are pregnant under all sorts of circumstances. Don't assume you know how she feels about giving her baby up for adoption, either. The birth mother may perceive this as patronizing.

Some states have strict rules about how much money you can give the birth mother for her personal expenses and what you can and cannot purchase for her. Excessive money can be seen as an attempt to bribe or curry favor with the birth mother. Be sure you understand the law and what you can and cannot do or offer the birth mother.

Some birth mothers know after the first meeting that they want their baby to go to certain adoptive parents; however, it may take several meetings for her to make such a momentous decision. Be patient and flexible.

 


 

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