What advice would you give to a birth parent about the first contact they have with potential adoptive parents?

AMY SCHUMAKER

I think the first advice would be to just act calm and be yourself even though you might be a bit nervous. Two, really ask every question that you could think of even if you think it might be off the table. Go ahead and still ask it because you never know. Picking out an adoptive family to parent your child is kind of like getting into a marriage so right now you’re currently in the dating stage. You’re trying to get to know the family as much as you can so you can really decide if you can marry into this family.

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It’s important to know your own values and your own must-have and must-not-have when working with a family because if you don’t express these or ask the questions to gain a good area of knowledge, then if you go into an adoption plan with them and you don’t know some of the answer then you’re kind of stuck in a way. And I think a lot of birthparents who have done a lot of research, have advocated for themselves and ask as much as they could then they have a little better understanding of where they stick as a role in the new adoptive family and for the child.

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