We are continuing our Adoption Talk series this week by highlighting how the matching process works. This is a topic that both birthparents and adoptive families often have many questions and concerns about. How long does the matching process take? How does the matching process work? Can I choose the family my baby will be matched with? What if I don’t find a match for my baby? We will cover all of these questions and more in this article, and welcome you to reach out to us with any additional concerns you may have.
For Adoptive Families
Once you have all of your clearances, documents and home study in order, the process of actually finding a baby for adoption begins.
Carefully developed by ABSA Director, Barbara Casey, our Agency Match Program will link you immediately with all available adoption situations from the day you join. This means there are no long wait lists! Due to our extensive outreach and numerous referral sources from adoption attorneys, agencies and other adoption professionals, we are able to match our families with the right expectant mother who is facing an unplanned pregnancy or child quicker than other agencies. Once you join our agency match program, you will be informed of all current and new leads that come into the agency, and have the opportunity to have your adoption profile shared with birth mothers around the country who are hoping to give their baby up for adoption.
To start the matching process, you and your family will create an adoption profile. Our caseworker will assist you with this project. The profile is basically a brochure describing you and your spouse, and children if you have them, your journey to adoption and the kind of family you hope to raise. We encourage you to make this a fun process. The more detail and personality you include, the better! Women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and have decided to give their baby up for adoption will review the profiles to find a good fit for their baby. We will make sure any woman who is seeking adoption for her baby through our agency sees your profile.
When a birthmother chooses your profile as a match, you will be provided with additional information about her, and will receive complete social and medical history background information so that your decision to proceed with the match is a well informed one. Once you have had an opportunity to review all of the available information, and are satisfied that the match is a good fit, the adoption process can continue. As information becomes available during the pregnancy, we will pass it on to you so that you feel well informed and connected. In some situations, if both parties agree, you may even have an opportunity to talk to or meet with the birthmother throughout the pregnancy.
Our average match at A Baby Step occurs in less than 6 months of you signing the agency's pre-match contract. However, it can take more or less time depending on your personal preferences. The more open you are to choices, the faster you will match! Last year 62% of our families matched in less than 6 months, and 92% matched in less than 9 months.
For many women facing an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy, the adoptive process can seem overwhelming and intimidating. Many women fear that once they chose adoption for their baby, they will lose control of their choices. When a birthmother calls saying, “I want to give my baby up for adoption,” our first step is to explain you’re not just giving up a baby or putting up a baby, you are choosing a future. It’s the beginning of a process that can be as open as you choose. Rest assured that when working with A Baby Step, the choice as to where your baby will go after his or her birth remains in your hands! This is especially true during the matching process, where you get the opportunity to “match” your baby with the family of your choice.
Once you decide to work with A Baby Step, you will be assigned a caseworker who will be available to provide you with ongoing support and guidance. This is particularly true during the matching process. Your caseworker will ask what you are looking for in an adoptive family. You may consider ethnicity, religion, marital status and length of marriage, any previous marriages, age of parents, any other children in home, employment status of parents, financial stability, compatible personalities and openness to ongoing contact with the birth family before and after the child’s birth. When you choose to give your baby up for adoption you have the ultimate say in who your baby is matched with, which will help ease the emotional feelings you may feel as you go through the adoption process.
Based on your criteria, your caseworker will provide you with profiles of waiting families and, if needed, will help you to sort through them and find the match that is right for you. We encourage you to design your own adoption plan, which will help you find the right match and a family that shares your values, goals and plans for the future. We will also work with you to decide on whether you would prefer an open or closed adoption and the type of contact you desire. Once you have taken some time to look over the profiles, you will have the opportunity to meet or speak with the family or families you are interested in before you make your final choice for your baby's adoption.
You do not have to face unplanned pregnancy alone. We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support you through the matching process and beyond.
Once the birthmother and the adoptive family have “chosen” each other, an official match will be made and the adoption process will continue. This is often a very exciting time filled with planning and anticipation! Once this decision has been made, both birthmothers and the adoptive families can focus on what comes next – i.e. the birth of the baby! - which will be addressed in our next Adoption Talk series.