How can a birth mother make sure adoptive parents are qualified to adopt? A reference letter in support of my adoption application 34 years ago gives birth mothers a sense of the in-depth and deeply personal evaluation process adoptive parents undergo.
As I packed up the contents of my desk for a move this week, I found an envelope with a note: “I meant every word of this. With love.” I opened the flap and pulled out a reference letter in support of my application to an adoption agency. Written by a cherished friend, the letter answered detailed questions about my husband’s and my fitness to become parents.
“A reference letter in support of my adoption application 34 years ago gives birth mothers a sense of the in-depth and deeply personal evaluation process adoptive parents undergo.”
Our friend wrote of “the mutually supportive relationship that sustained” the two of us through the stress of the adoption process and spoke of our “devotion to each other.” I was moved by my friend’s description of my relationship with his 11-month-old daughter: “She is the only person other than my wife who is able to comfort the child when she is in distress…Robin does this in her own way by singing a lullaby. This is remarkably soothing.”
Reference letters, medical certificates, criminal and child abuse clearances, and in-home visits culminate in an evaluation called a pre-adoptive homestudy. A birth mother has the right to be represented by an adoption attorney at no cost to her, who will obtain a copy of the adoptive parents’ homestudy to ascertain that the family is qualified to adopt. Details about how an adoptive parent will sing soothing lullabies, share a passion for sports, or invent games for nieces and nephews can help a birth mother confidently choose a family for her baby.