When Do You Know It’s Your Baby?

Awhile back, someone on the Adoptive Families Circle discussion forum was presented with a possible match. The poster said that s/he didn’t get the feeling that this match was “the one,” and asked “How do you know this is your baby?”

I made a mental note to write about that, and was reminded when someone else asked a similar question, “How did you know your baby was ‘the one’?”

There is only one answer to this question: You don’t know that a particular baby is yours until TPR has been signed, and any revocation periods have ended.

If you go into the process thinking that you will know which match to accept based on some spiritual or magical feeling, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

  • You may turn down a match that meets all of your criteria just because you don’t get this feeling.
  • If a match made because it’s “the one” falls through, you’re going to be crushed, even more so than one is usually hurt when a match fails.
  • Thinking that a baby is yours before it is born and placed smacks of entitlement and is disrespectful to the expectant mother.
  • You may not be able to support the expectant mother and her right to make the best decision for herself and her child.
  • You may  not be able or willing to recognize the red flags of a scam. There are people who will go to great lengths to connect with PAPs, sometimes for money, sometimes just to feed their need for attention.

I don’t subscribe to the “meant to be” mentality. I don’t know that Jackson was “meant to be” ours. I’m sure there are other people who could parent him as well as or better than we do. My feelings about Cassie’s adoption are very complicated, due to the circumstances surrounding it. I don’t know that she was “meant to be” ours either. I do feel very lucky to be able to be their mom (even if I would like a brief vacation sometimes).

The idea of destiny, fate, or God making a child for an adoptive parent can be offensive to birthmothers and adoptees. I’ve seen a lot of variations on the thought, “God didn’t put a baby in another woman’s womb for you.”

My advice to prospective adoptive parents is: Don’t spend so much time worrying about “the one” or how you will know the stars are perfectly aligned. Use your head and heart together to make educated, thoughtful decisions.


12 thoughts on “When Do You Know It’s Your Baby?

    • I obviously wrote this before I knew what was going to happen. When I sat down with the computer and saw that I had scheduled/posted this, I was a little worried you’d be hurt.

  1. Pingback: How do I feel? | Weathering Storms

  2. Yup. Agreed. I love my kids and our family fits together as well as any bio family I’ve ever seen or been a part of (and even better than some!). And while I do believe God put us together, I do not even for one second believe that God gave them to another couple and then caused those people to make choices that resulted in the trauma of the children being removed from the only home they ever knew and from the only family they ever loved. It was not God’s plan. But God is good and can take the crap the devil throws and make it beautiful again. My kids each became “the one” when they became mine. No sooner.

    • Oh, and let me clarify that I fell as much in love with them as it is possible to fall with just a picture and was praying from the inquiry until finalization that they really were ours. So, while I had that feeling, it didn’t dictate the outcome. I had even stronger feelings about our foster baby (naturally, since she was our baby and not just a picture) but she went home to her mom. Again, those feelings didn’t dictate the outcome.

  3. I totally agree! In our failed match I don’t think I felt like Baby A was really ours because we were in a legal risk situation. Just because we had him at home a few days didn’t make him “my baby” and I didn’t feel like my baby was being taken away when she decided to parent. I was wrecked for sure, and depressed for a few months, but I wouldn’t want to be parenting a child of someone who thought they made a mistake.

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