As a potential adoptive couple, it is natural for you to have fears about a birth mother changing her mind from adoption to parenting. You and your spouse may be wrestling with how emotionally connected to get to the baby or how excited to be about the potential adoption. This is a normal part of the adoption process.

There are characteristics related to birth mothers who are more likely to change their mind and decide to parent instead of placing for adoption. It is important to realize that although your birthmother possesses one or more of these characteristics, it does not mean that she will not place her baby with you for adoption.

This is just a tool to help you evaluate the emotional investment you make.  However, don’t let your fear keep you from developing a relationship with the birth mother.  No matter what choice she makes, she needs love, compassion, and support.

If you are a potential birthmother considering adoption, it is a good thing for you to examine these risk factors and see how they might relate to you. It would be beneficial for you to talk with your adoption counselor regarding these characteristics.

Remember, almost every birthmother will have one or more of these characteristics. Some birth mothers may have all these characteristics and still place for adoption. This is just a guide. The important thing is to identify how many characteristics exist, and how extensive they are, and then discuss them with your adoption counselor.

Here is the checklist:

Top of Form

Birthmother is young (11-17 years old)

Lack of life experience/immaturity

First-time parent

Lack of family support or family not informed

Dysfunctional family background

Denial of emotions

Unwilling/uncooperative in seeking counseling

Inadequate time for counseling prior to delivery

Finances of utmost concern

Unknown/unsupportive/uninvolved birthfather

Substance abuse (current or history of)

Strong American Indian heritage

Birthparent has had a negative experience with adoption

History of mental illness or emotional problems

No future goals

Significant recent loss

Negative or poor relationship with adopting couple

Lack of consistency in facts related to different parties involved

Lack of self-awareness and ability to communicate ideas and feelings well

Differences between adopting couple and birthparents on the meaning of “open” adoption