Responding to an Adoption Referral

When you get an adoption referral, you may feel pressured to act quickly. It's best to think deliberately about your future family, and ask yourself these questions before accepting a match.

A couple discussing whether accepting a match is right for their family

Reality Checklist

It can be easy to be caught up in the excitement of receiving a referral. Use this list to slow down, and evaluate if you are the right parents for this child.

Slow: Proceed With Caution

Consult with people who care. Talk to your support group and to your adoption pediatrician.

  • You are not certain you can handle the child’s medical condition.
  • You aren’t able to get more information from those who cared for the child.
  • Something about the placement doesn’t feel right.
  • Issues regarding legal situations, subsidies, or prognosis are unclear.

Stop: Turn Down the Referral

Don’t agree to any match or referral on the spot. Go back to your original decisions about what kind of child, from what kind of situation, you’re best able to parent. Does this situation match up?

  • The child is beyond the limits you set for the type of child you can parent.
  • You have little information and are under extreme pressure to decide.
  • You and your partner disagree about whether to proceed with adoption.
  • You feel overwhelmed with guilt and pity, as if you are the child’s last chance.
  • The child’s prognosis is unclear, and you know that you could not handle the worst-case scenario.

Go: Accept the Referral

  • You’ve seen all the child’s pertinent files, records, and test results.
  • You’ve talked to all significant caregivers and professionals. The child and your family seem to be a good match.
  • Everyone in your family agrees on the adoption.
  • Issues regarding travel, visitation, legalities, costs, and subsidies are clear.
  • You are happy when you think about the placement.

Commit or move on. Never, ever, feel pressured into accepting a match or referral. If something about this birth mother, or this child’s situation, just doesn’t feel right, move on and try again; there will be a time when you’ll say, “That’s my child!”



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Adoption Agencies

Adoption by Shepherd Care
Hollywood, FL
U.S. Newborn, International
Family & Children’s Agency, Inc.
Norwalk, CT
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Spence-Chapin Services to Children & Families
New York, NY
U.S. Newborn, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Building Blocks Adoption Service
Medina, OH
U.S. Newborn, Special Needs/Waiting Child
OH
Bal Jagat- Children’s World Inc.
Long Beach, CA
International
Abrazo Adoption Associates
San Antonio, TX
U.S. Newborn, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Children’s Connections, Inc.
Lubbock, TX
U.S. Newborn
TX
Children’s Home Society & Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
Saint Paul, MN
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Bethany Christian Services
Grand Rapids, MI
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Gladney Center for Adoption
Fort Worth, TX
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Family Life Services Adoption Agency
Lynchburg, VA
U.S. Newborn
ALL STATES
ALL STATES
Family & Children’s Agency, Inc.
Harrison, NY
U.S. Newborn, International
Caring for Kids, Inc.
Cuyahoga Falls, OH
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster
Page 1 of 3123

See all adoption agencies >


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