Young pregnant woman chatting on the cellphone while sitting in the carDear Mardie,
We spoke with a birth mother tonight who was, well, let’s just say not our cup of tea.  She seemed rude and disrespectful to us. The conversation seemed to go south after she said she needed help financially to get a place to live – she is living in her car now. We wanted to know specifically why it was so much and she got upset.  We need to be careful with our budget and told her that, but she said we were judging her.  Help!

It can be a fine line between doing your due diligence and crossing the line into making someone else feel like you are suspicious of them.  You definitely need to protect your pocketbook and your heart, but doing that can be a difficult walk.
Here are some tips on how to do this:

  1. Take everything slow.

Sometime birth parents want to match real quick because they need to receive funds quickly.  Remember you want to get a proof of pregnancy and a detailed list of what the anticipated expenses are. Blame it on your attorney if you need to.  These are typical parts of adoption so if someone says they don’t want to do it, then maybe it isn’t a potential match for you.

  1. Don’t view this as your only adoption opportunity.

When we are in a desperate state of mind, we often do things we may not normally do and ignore warning signs.  Don’t be so eager to adopt that you are working from a desperation mindset. You want to pursue the best match for you, not simply the one that is right now.

  1. Leave your baggage at home.

If you had a failed situation or encountered a scam, try to start fresh, not bringing the hurt and disappointment to this new person. Remember, they aren’t the ones who hurt you.  You need to stay open and honest in your hopes and your communication.

  1. Remember that birth parents are usually not in a good place.

If every birth mother was living a life that was easy, she wouldn’t be considering adoption. Birth mothers usually have little support, are living hand to mouth, and have been through a lot.  Part of what we can do for them is show them simple human kindness and compassion.  Often, just listening is a great gift. Don’t be afraid to listen to her whole story; she probably needs a friend right now more than you know.

  1. Leave the tough talk for future conversations or others.

If you have difficult questions you need to know the answers to, put it off until you have built rapport or delegate it to your attorney to ask.  That is part of his role in your adoption – getting to those sometimes sticky issues like finances, birth father, and more.
Try to keep your heart soft toward any birth mother, even if you know she isn’t a good match for you.  And keep them in prayer. It is such a difficult thing to contemplate adoption to the point that you reach out.  Remember that although her choices may have been different than yours, she is a child of God.