What are the different types of Adoptive Families?

Types of Adoptive Families You can Choose for Your Child

When you go through the adoption process and select a potential adoptive family for your child, it can be a big choice. After all, families can come from a variety of different backgrounds that stand apart from your own. You may encounter younger, older, same sex, single, partnered, or transracial adoptive parents. While that is not an all-inclusive list, it may help you start to think about the world you will find out there on your adoption journey with Adoption Choices of Colorado.

Let’s take a look at some different family identities and characteristics, remembering that who someone is isn’t nearly as important as how they will love and take care of your child.  Difference is okay, so don’t let it scare you off. Focus more on finding an adoptive family who shares your best values.

Younger Adoptive Families

A younger couple wanting to adopt, either starting a family for the first time or with young children already, may be more appealing to a birth mother. States do set age requirements for an adoptive parent. States have different age restrictions, with some allowing adoption to parents as young as 18 years old. There are many states that require adoptive parents to be at least 21. Younger couples wanting to adopt have pros and cons worth considering for birth parents. Your adoption professional can discuss those with your while searching for available adoptive parents. Here are a few things to consider when searching for younger adoptive couples. Younger couples may be more physically capable to manage a baby; Younger couples might have another young child or two, giving an adopted child sibling close in age to bond with; Younger couples likely have more years of their lives to spend with a child.

Older Adoptive Families

The preference for a middle aged or older couple likely comes from wanting an adoptive couple with more life experience than a younger couple. Here are some pros of choosing an older adoptive couple: Older couples may have more experience with raising children that are now out on their own; An older couple may have established careers or even be winding down their professional lives, allowing for more time to focus on a child; The emotional stability of an older couple having gone through more in their personal lives might make them more prepared to take on an adoption. Finding the right adoptive family that meets all of your requirements, such as financial security, emotional readiness and being physically able to keep up with a child, may land you on adoptive parents in the 35+ years-old range. A middle-aged or older adoptive couple could potentially present you with the best of both worlds.

LGBTQ+ Adoptive Parents

If you’ve seen Modern Family, you probably do not need an explanation about how LGBTQ+ parents can be great everyday caretakers and guardians. There is, unfortunately, a lot of stigma around the same sex community in general, but having an LGBTQ+ identity does not make anyone a bad parent. If anything, for the large majority of adoptive families, it can make them more accepting. Having your child grow up in a home that is accepting of a variety of identities could be hugely beneficial for their mental health.

There has been encouraging research recently into parenting by lesbian and gay adopters. This has helped to dispel myths that exist. For example:

  • The quality of parent-child relationships is just the same when children are adopted by lesbian or gay couples compared to heterosexual couples.
  • Children’s psychological development and well-being is just the same when children are adopted by lesbian or gay couples compared to heterosexual couples.
  • Lesbian and gay adopters are more likely than heterosexual adopters to have come to adoption as their first choice.
  • Lesbian and gay adopters felt well equipped to help children deal with difference and that children would have advantages growing up of being tolerant of difference in others.
  • Adopted children of lesbian and gay parents don’t experience greater problems at school and in peer relationships compared to children of heterosexual parents, and bullying and teasing is rare.

Straight Adoptive Parents

A heterosexual marriage is between two individuals of the opposite sex. This type of adoptive family is straight. There are reasons why a person might choose this type of family. They probably wish to have their child raised by both a man and a woman. There are many types of families in the modern world, and none is better than another. It comes down to personal preference.

The most important thing is finding an adoptive family that gives you peace, especially if you decide on open adoption. As a birth mother, you will have a relationship with the adoptive parents. Having a connection between all of you is essential if you are choosing an open adoption. You want to feel happy about the family you are selecting. All relationships can be messy at times, whether it involves adoption or not. Problems are easier to deal with when a relationship is healthy. You may feel more comfortable with a family consisting of a man and a woman. If so, straight adoptive parents will be the best choice.


Single, Partnered, or Married Adoptive Parents

While there are certainly single parents out there in the world who struggle, keep in mind that there are married parents who also struggle. Being single, married or in a domestic relationship does not necessarily mean that you are better off. In that same strain of thought, having a single parent or married parents can also both be great outcomes for your child. As a single parent, bonding and undivided attention might benefit your child. Although, “It takes a village to raise a child,” single parents may need to rely on others to help in caring for their children. However, even two-parent families have difficulties balancing parenthood, work, hobbies, and relationships. 

Transracial Adoptive Families

People with different racial and cultural backgrounds can certainly have different experiences, but nothing about those qualities inherently makes them bad parents. If an adoptive family adores your child and happens to be Jewish, but you’re not Jewish, is that really going to be what impedes your adoption process? If an adoptive family is white and you are black, is that really more important than that white family being the best fit for your child’s needs?

types of adoptive families

Military Adoptive Families

Like many other couples and individuals, those serving in the United States military have the desire to expand their families through adoption. Fortunately, the United States does not prohibit active members of the military from adopting a child. A military family might be able to offer your child a life unique to that of a life with a civilian family. Travel, financial stability, and a nationwide network to services and support – just to name a few advantages. Military families are often met with gratitude, care, and respect. The military offers child care services, healthcare, education, and more.

What am I Supposed to do with This Information about Adoptive Families?

At this moment, you might be thinking that none of your questions have really been answered.  You may have wanted to know what to expect specifically from different types of adoptive families. However, the point is that who they are matters much less than how they will treat your child. There is no guidebook that describes a standard LGBTQ+ adoptive family and how they may act, because there is no standard LGBTQ+ adoptive family. Many of these categories (which, again, are not all inclusive) are also not completely isolated — you could encounter young, LGBTQ+, transracial adoptive families, for example. An adoptive family is often more than a label, just as you are.

As a birth mother, it really comes down to who works for you and who doesn’t. As mentioned in the beginning, shared values are the strongest base for your decisions regarding an adoptive family. Those values may lead you down a road where your child’s adoptive family ends up being a transracial family or perhaps older family, but base your selection on heart, not features.

As always, Adoption Choices of Colorado is an excellent resource if you feel like you are struggling or just need a bit of extra help. In the end, probably the wisest thing you can do is treat the selection of a potential adoptive family less like the United States census and more like a search for kindred souls. Seeing eye to eye is more important than matching labels and identities.

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to learn more about your adoption options, contact Adoption Choices of Colorado by email, phone, or text: Email Us, Text us: 720-371-1099, Call us: 303-670-4673 (HOPE). If you are hoping to adopt, please contact us here.

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