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Questions Every Birth Mom Should Ask, “What will you call me?”

What are you going to call me? Are you going to call me “birth mother?”, “biological mother,” or by my first name?

If you are considering placing your child for adoption, you have a right to ask those questions and, frankly, any other questions you may have. You shouldn’t be scared about offending potential adoptive parents by asking personal questions. Ask anything. Here are a lot of questions you could ask.

Here are some questions to get you thinking about what you want to know.

Background – Demographics

First, you may want to learn about their family.

Ask questions such as:

  • What ethnic background do you identify with?
  • If you are going to adopt a child outside of the ethnicity that you align with, how are you going to expose your child to different cultures?
  • How would you describe your age range?
  • Have you experienced a divorce in the past?
  • How long ago was the divorce, and have you experienced any lingering issues, such as child custody, child support, dangerous situations, etc.?
  • Where do you live now? Do you plan to stay there long-term?
  • Would you consider yourself financially secure? Do you feel financially prepared to raise a child, including unexpected costs?

Creating a Loving Home--Parenting Philosophy:

Understand their parenting approach.

Ask questions such as:

  • Why do you want to parent a child?
  • Are you open to a medically fragile child or a child with special needs?
  • Why do you want to adopt?
  • Do you have other children, or do you plan to have more?
  • What are some things you look forward to teaching your child?
  • Describe your parenting style. How will you handle sadness, bad grades, or sibling rivalry?

Health and Wellness:

Explore their approach to healthy living

  • How important is health and wellness to your family?
  • What kind of physical activities do you enjoy?
  • How important is healthy eating in your household? Do you enjoy cooking?
  • Were sports a part of your childhood?

Open Adoption Preferences:

Discuss their openness to post-placement contact.

Ask questions such as:

  • How do you feel about open adoption?
  • What kind of relationship would you like to have with the birth?
  • How would we stay in touch?
  • Would this open adoption include the child?

Education--Your Child's Learning Journey:

Explore their thoughts on education.

Ask questions such as:

  • How do you weigh the pros and cons of different school options (public, private, homeschool)? What factors would influence your decision?
  • Describe your approach to homework and how you’ll support your child’s learning.
  • How important is college to you? Are you prepared to financially support their higher education, regardless of their chosen path?
  • Share your personal experiences with high school and college. Did your parents’ educational background influence your views on education?

Building a Strong Family--Marriage and Partnership:

Understand their family dynamics.

Ask questions such as:

  • How long have you been married? (or, why have you chosen single parenting?)
  • For single parents, who is your support system and who can help with childcare in emergencies? Who can help during stressful times? Who can you call to parent your child if you become disabled?
  • How long have you been married (or why are you choosing single parenthood)?
  • For single parents, who is your support system, and who can help with childcare in emergencies?
  • What drew you to each other?
  • What are some of your most valued qualities in your spouse/partner?
  • How do you resolve disagreements?
  • How do you share household responsibilities?
  • What are your love languages (ways of expressing and receiving love)?

Faith and Values--Spiritual Life:

Explore their faith's role in their family

Ask questions such as:

  • Describe your religious beliefs.
  • How will your faith guide your parenting?
  • Are you open to exploring your child’s potential religious interests?
  • How important is your faith to you?
  • Do you attend religious services together?
  • What faith-based values do you plan to instill in your children?

Building a Happy Life--Work and Lifestyle:

Learn about their work-life balance and hobbies

Ask questions such as:

  • What kind of work do you do, and how does it affect your work-life balance?
  • What drew you to your professions, and how important is work to your lives?
  • With both parents working, who will provide childcare?
  • Tell me about your hobbies and interests (both individually and as a couple). Would you like to share these with your child? Are there other hobbies you’d introduce them to?

Family and Friends--Their Support System

Learn about the people close to them.

Ask questions such as:

  • How close are you to your extended family?
  • How often do you see them?
  • How does your family feel about adoption?
  • What role might they play in your child’s life?
  • Do you have close friends living nearby?
  • How often do you spend time with them?
  • Are you involved in your community?
  • What traditions are important in your life?
  • What holidays are important to you and your family?

Pets--Animal Friends

Consider their pets' compatibility with a child.

  • Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and how would they adjust to a child?
  • Are you willing to give up your pet if the child is allergic?
  • Are you willing to get a pet if your child needs emotional support?
  • Does your home accomodate a pet?

Exploring the World

Learn about their travel preferences.

  • Do you enjoy traveling? Where are some of your favorite places?
  • How often do you imagine traveling as a family?
  • What is your travel style (adventurous, relaxing, etc.)?
  • Are you willing to prioritize the kind of travel your child wants?

As a birth mother—or whatever you asked to be called--you need to feel right about the family you chose to raise your child. You should feel empowered to ask the questions that are important to you. Consider the ones we’ve listed and add those important to you.