When a birth mother decides she wants to talk to you, you may feel both excited and terrified. Will your anxieties get the best of you as you try to create a good first impression? It may help to keep in mind that the birth mother is probably just as frightened as you are.
Here are some suggestions for establishing a meaningful first talk with a birth mom:
1. Get ready
Ask an adoption expert about the things that birth moms often want to find out from prospective adoptive families. You can also ask other adoptive parents what they experienced in their first conversation with a birth mother.
You do not need to follow a script, but you should prepare responses to common questions. If it would help you feel more secure, you could rehearse or role-play this talk with your spouse or a close friend. You can also search for webinars that will show you some tips on how to establish initial contact with a birth mom that has chosen you.
2. Use good phone etiquette
Make sure you are in a relaxing environment with a good connection on your first phone conversation with the birth mother. Hold this discussion in a private location where you are free to express yourself and in a place void of distractions. Do not use a speakerphone to avoid giving the impression that the birth mom is being interrogated.
3. Express your enthusiasm
Birth moms want to be sure that adoptive families are passionate about the adoption decision, so show your excitement. Tell the birth mother how delighted you are to talk to her and how happy you are to be a parent.
4. Ask to know more about the birth mom
The purpose of this initial chat is to get familiar with each other. Ask the birth mother a few general questions about herself, and then listen to show your interest. Many birth moms claim they choose their adoptive family based on a connection they had during the first few interactions. As you talk about your background and hobbies, you could find some common interests that would help you build a rapport.
5. Talk about intentions for future interaction
Assure the birth mom that you are looking forward to a connection after the placement. Ask about the type of connection she envisions. You can find out whether your potential birth mom is going to be needing an open adoption or not, and what sort of contact she hopes to maintain as the child grows. This inquiry will help you determine whether your ideas are compatible.
6. Follow her lead
Try to talk about subjects that would interest her. If you think you've brought up an uncomfortable topic, quickly shift the subject.
7. Choose your words carefully
Intrusive questions that cross personal boundaries should be avoided. At this stage, questions regarding the baby's paternity, finances, or drug usage are improper. Besides, your adoption professional will have asked some of these difficult questions. Before your initial discussion, find out if the adoption agency is able to share some information they already have about the birth mom or her situation
Also, keep in mind that you are dealing with a potential birth mother. Don't assume she's made a final decision. She is just a pregnant woman thinking about placing her baby for adoption. Since she hasn't made any commitments, simply refer to the child as her baby.
8. Ask the birth mother what caught her attention on your profile
The birth mother must have seen something on your profile before deciding to talk to you. This can serve as a starting point for your chat, and it could even be the spark that ignites your particular connection. Additionally, in case you don’t match with the birth mom, her opinion on your profile might help you find a match in the future.
9. Be true to yourself
Be honest and open about yourself, your values, and the reason you want to raise a child. Nobody expects perfection from an adoptive parent. She will appreciate your honesty and sincerity.
10. Conclude with an open heart
If the birth mom indicates a willingness to speak with you again or meet you in person, make it as easy as possible for her.