One of the major steps in the adoption process is matching a baby with an adoptive family. As the birth parents, you initiate this process by sharing your preferences for the child’s upbringing. We gather a list of potential families based upon those preferences, and you are able to read their profiles, look at their pictures, watch their videos, and decide which family is right for the baby.

It’s a big decision, and certain aspects of it are bigger than others.

For example, if you want your child to live in a city, it might not matter to you if that city is Denver, New York, or Las Vegas. What’s important to you is that the child has educational and cultural opportunities, and many different cities can provide that. Maybe you want the baby to have siblings, so you would consider families with one, two, or even six other children.

However, there are other criteria that may be enough for you to decline a potential match. These are the issues that make a big difference in how the child is raised, and there is little chance that the adoptive family will change their minds about them. If you want one of these four things for the child, you will most likely want to decline an adoptive family that doesn’t agree.


It may be important to you that your child is raised with your religion. Therefore, it’s essential to find a family who also practices that religion. It’s unlikely that an agnostic adoptive family will raise your child as a Lutheran because that’s what you would prefer. Even if that family matches every other one of your criteria, you will probably want to decline the match and look for a family whose religious beliefs match your own.

Parenting Style

Parenting styles vary greatly. You might believe that children grow best when they are surrounded by strongly-enforced household rules; you might be reading a profile of a family that prefers a more permissive environment where children do more of what they want. Perhaps you have very specific ideas about how children should be disciplined, and you want to find a family that shares those values. No matter how many other things you love about that family, you won’t rest easy if you know they’re not raising the child with the structure you would like. A vastly different parenting style is another good reason to decline a match.


As we mentioned above, you might be happy knowing the child is in any number of large cities. However, if you want a rural upbringing for the baby, no city will work. You can’t match the child with a city-dwelling family and hope they’ll move to the country after they have children. If you want the child to grow up in the country, you need to find a family who lives there. You may need to decline an otherwise wonderful family that doesn’t live in the environment you’d like to see the child raised in.

Number of Parents

While we have matched many children with loving single parent and two-parent families, you might have a strong preference for a two-parent family. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a team to raise the child. If this is important to you, it is a waste of time to read single-parent profiles. Your preferences are your own, and they are respected.


Just because an adoptive family has a different outlook, it doesn’t mean they’re a bad family—it just means they’re not the right match for you. There’s no reason to feel bad or guilty about your preferences. This is a big decision, and you want to find the right adoptive family for the baby. That family is out there, and we’ll help match you with them. If you have any questions about other big issues that may make you decline a match, please contact us to learn more about the matching process.

Place Your Child for Adoption

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