Getting the Information You Need from a Prospective Birthmother
When you are considering adopting an infant, and have learned about a potential birthmother, you may have a lot of questions, the answers to which will help you determine whether the relationship is a good fit. Experts advise caution as you gather information from a potential birthmother. Stigmas remain, and many birthmothers have extreme anxiety about the ways that they are perceived by prospective adoptive parents. You want to be careful that your effort to learn as much as you can doesn’t feel like an interrogation. With that in mind, here are some of the key questions to ask (as well as some questions not to ask) a potential birthmother.
Questions You May Want to Ask
The first, and perhaps most important, question relates to the mother’s due date. You need to know, so that you can plan accordingly. You will also want to know if she’s working with an adoption agency of any kind (unless you met her through your agency). If the birthfather is not part of the conversation, you should ask how he feels about the pregnancy, as well as the idea of adoption.
It’s appropriate to ask when the birthmother first started considering putting the child up for adoption, and how she came to work with the agency or attorney in the case. You can also ask if she knows anyone who has placed a child for adoption, or was adopted.
It’s also a good idea to ask about prenatal or medical care. What type of care has she received? Apart from being pregnant, has she had any other health concerns in the last few months?
Questions You Don’t Want to Ask (Directly, at Least)
There are some questions that, though they may be necessary, should not be asked directly of a birthmother, including whether she was raped, or whether she has used drugs during the pregnancy. These questions can be asked by a third party, such as the agency or attorney. Don’t query the mother on the nature of her sexual activity—if it’s important to know how many men might be the father, the agency or attorney will gather that information. And don’t ask her if she’s considered changing her mind about the adoption—it will only likely make her feel worse.
Contact Adoption Attorneys Cofsky & Zeidman, LLC
At the law office of Cofsky & Zeidman, LLC, our lawyers bring more than 25 years of experience to every matter we handle. Attorney Donald C. Cofsky has personally handled more than 1,500 adoption proceedings since joining the bar in 1974. Attorney Bruce D. Zeidman has protected the interests of clients in state and federal courts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 1984. We understand the challenges you face, and can help you identify all your options so that you can make good decisions that are in your best long-term interests.