What do Birthmoms look for in an Adoptive Family’s Profile?

This week I asked one of our past birth moms to think back to that very moving time when she was first handed a stack of profiles and began the process of finding her child’s forever family. Birthmom Mariselle is from Flagstaff, AZ and found her family in the fifth month of pregnancy. Jordan and Michael were not the first profile she looked at nor the last. She offers advice to both birthmoms and adoptive families wanting to find each other on this wonderful journey of adoption. Thank you, Mari, for opening up and sharing your experience with us.


“For some birth moms this is an exciting time. Up until this moment, you might have imagined all the possibilities of what your adoptive family will look like and sound like. Maybe you know that finding the perfect family is what this whole process is about. And you delight in the time spent eagerly reading their words and searching pictures for each and every detail that will bring the family alive to you. However, for some moms this is a very emotional experience. While the purpose is to place your child with one of these families, the thought of someone else sharing a lifetime with them is difficult. No one seems right for the job. To these moms, I would want to say that your family is out there. Ask questions and for more information before you set aside each profile, because how can anyone fully express their heart’s wishes and give you the grand picture of their life in twenty or so pages? Be open to connect with someone, to learn and to share, because at the end of the day, feeling a bond with the adoptive family will give you security and confidence in your decision.

When I did my first pass-through with a stack of four profiles, I was looking for each family’s story. How did they meet and what did they connect over in the beginning of their relationship? What interests do they share and what do they do together? What is their home life like, their family life, work life? For me, it was important that my child have a mother and a father, because a father was something I could not give him. I wanted to know that they loved each other and were even fascinated by each other. One of the things that drew me to Jordan and Michael was they each took turns describing the other person, what they liked and what their strengths were. Knowing that their relationship was built on admiration and trust made me feel like my son would be safe and always part of a stable family. That really was another important factor. Were they secure with an established path and a clear direction for their future? I wanted to know that my son would know what stability felt like.

After reading through the profiles, there were two that stood out to me. I had a few questions about things that weren’t included in their profiles, like religious beliefs and where their extended family lived. I have to say that in the end, I chose Jordan and Michael because they just seemed real. I don’t know what it was exactly but their lives seemed normal, with family pets and nieces and nephews. They weren’t trying to come off as the perfect family but just came through to me perfectly as themselves. I know that every birthmom will go through this experience differently. And, really, there is no magic recipe for the perfect profile. Someone might find some random commonality and that’s all it takes to connect. So to adoptive parents worrying over putting together the perfect profile, I would say just show up as you really are. At the end of the day, I’m glad I know the real Michael and Jordan, because they are more wonderful than anything I could have imagined before.”

XO – Mariselle