Perhaps one of the most nerve-wracking steps in the adoption process is meeting an expectant mother for the first time. Both parties are likely very nervous, and this can sometimes hinder conversation. However, with a bit of preparation and by keeping a few things in mind, you can speak freely, have a great conversation, and maybe even bond with an expectant mother.
Here are a few suggested topics to get the ball rolling:
This is a great starting topic when getting to know an expectant mom. You can learn about her childhood and current family situation, which can tell you a lot about who she is as a person and her ideas about the kind of family she wants her child to grow up in. Family is also a great topic to lead to adoption-specific questions.
Her careers and hobbies
Get to really know an expectant mother by asking her about her occupation, hobbies, and what she does in her free time. Show that you are not simply interested in her expectations about adoption, but genuinely interested in who she is as a person. But also remember that you are just meeting for the first time, so don’t ask about all the specifics of her personal life.
Her family’s feelings about adoption
At some point, you have to bring up the adoption elephant in the room, and this is a good way to move into that conversation. Unfortunately, not every family is going to be supportive of adoption, and an expectant mom’s family’s views on the subject may influence her opinion and the decisions she makes. Once she has established her family’s views, she will more than likely share her own. This may also be the right time to ask about the birth father and his involvement in the adoption decision.
What do you expect of/look for in your child’s potential adoptive parents?
This question isn’t about parenting advice or a laundry list of what she does or doesn’t want her baby’s potential adoptive parents to be. Rather, it is her chance to let you know what she sees when she pictures her baby being raised by someone else. And it is your chance to find out what she wants her child to have out of life- she may put an emphasis on education, or having lots of brothers and sisters, or simply that her baby lives a happy life full of love and familial support. You may share some of the same dreams for the child.
Of course there are many other things to talk about when first meeting with an expectant mothers, but these questions will help guide your conversation and cover many important topics. No doubt an expectant mother will have questions for you as well, so always remember to be open and honest with her when answering them- that is the only way a healthy relationship can form. Conversations should be honest and judgement-free, and your questions should be asked with only the best interests of the baby in mind.