Like waiting adoptive parents, prospective birth mothers in Canada come in all shapes, sizes and colours. (And so do potential birth fathers. Since they don’t play a hands-on role in the placement of a child, the information on Canada Adopts! is mainly about and directed toward prospective birth mothers. But don’t fool yourself. A birth father’s consent to an adoption is just as important).
When it comes to potential birth mothers, then, one size doesn’t fit all. One of the most persistent myths is that they’re unwed teenagers. Not so. In fact, studies show that the younger the woman, the more likely she is to keep her child. Truth is, a potential birth mother (or “first mother”, as they’re also known) could be anyone: the girl next door, the woman in the next cubicle at work, your child’s teacher, or a favorite aunt or cousin. In other words, women from all walks of life.
At the risk of stereotyping, about the only thing you can say for certain about a prospective birth mother is that she’s not in a position to parent. There are as many reasons for this as there are potential birth mothers. For instance, she may:
Contrary to another popular myth, a prospective birth mothers doesn’t place her child for adoption because she doesn’t care for him/her. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. A birth mother loves her child dearly and only wants what’s best for him/her. If she didn’t, she would have terminated her pregnancy long ago and you would have never heard from her.
As for other common characteristics, most prospective birth mothers you’ll find:
Because her pregnancy may be unplanned and she’s unprepared to parent, a potential birth mother may:
What She’s Looking For
Like you, a prospective birth mother will be looking for people she can trust and feel comfortable with — parents (or a parent) who will help her recreate the more positive aspects of her own family and provide her child with all the things she can’t.
Although the details will vary from one person to the next, it usually means finding prospective parents that have or can provide:
Your career and financial situation will both be important considerations, but so will your emotional well-being. Bottom line, don’t worry if the couple next to you on our Adoption Profiles has a swimming pool or a cottage and you don’t. There are other factors that will encourage a potential birth mother to consider you. For instance, you stand a better chance of attracting her attention if:
These are some of the more tangible attributes. As for the intangibles, they’re a little more difficult to pin down. Above all, a prospective birth mother will need to have a “good feeling” about you. After all, once you’ve won her trust, anything is possible. It also helps if you’re:
What She’s Not Looking For
Most potential birth mothers haven’t had the easiest of lives and their pregnancy hasn’t made things any easier on them. The last thing a woman in that situation needs is for someone to make her life even more complicated than it is. As a result, most prospective birth mothers will walk away from waiting parents who:
Keep in mind that all of the above is only a guideline — suggestions designed to help you visualize the type of person who may be contacting you. In fact, there’s nothing that says a prospective birth mother will be any of these things. Then again, there’s nothing that says she won’t. The only way to know for sure is to speak to one yourself. And with any luck, that day should come soon enough.
In the meantime, here’s some more food from thought. It’s an open letter from a Canadian birth mother about some of the things she wishes adoptive parents knew.
Questions To Ask Her
Chances are you’ll have lots of questions to ask a prospective birth mother.. Here are some of ours you may want to add to your list.
Want to get a leg up on your relationship with a prospective birth mother? Check out our Adoption Profile Writing Service.
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