So, what exactly does that mean?
Back in January, Don and I filled out what is referred to as the APQ – the Adoption Planning Questionnaire. That document is the one that contained the 24 long form essay questions we had to answer, but it also contained all the specifics we’re looking for in our adoption – race, substance use, medical conditions of the birth family, etc.
When potential birth mothers enroll with American Adoptions, they fill out a similar form. Their answers are entered into a system that matches her answers against all the waiting couples. A random 20 matches that fall within the APQ are generated for her. She looks through those profiles to see if any hopeful adoptive parents stand out to her. If not, she can ask for 20 more until she finds just the right family.
In cases that fall within our APQ, we won’t know that our profile has been sent out. It just happens too often to alert 20 couples every time. Remember that these are situations we’ve already told the agency would make us happy so there’s really no point in contacting us since all it would do is make us wonder and worry.
However, sometimes there are no perfect matches because each birth mother’s situation is so unique and individual. In that case an adoption specialist looks for APQs that are close to being matches and reaches out to the waiting families to ask for permission to show their profiles outside the APQ. A close match might be a maternal or paternal disease that you didn’t indicate any level of comfort with or more alcohol consumption in the first trimester than you initially wanted. At that time, you have a day or so to give permission. Because those outside APQ matches are done by hand, the birth mother may only receive a handful of profiles. Therefore, they represent a good chance to result in a match so it’s really important you’re comfortable with your decision.
Back in the
70s stoneages when I was adopted, there was nothing like this. There was, basically, one list of adoptive families for a county or state. Each family was checked off in turn as babies became available for placement. There was generally no contact between birth families and adoptive families, and the children would usually not be located very far away. I was born about 70 miles from my parents’ home and eight months old when I was placed.
These days, there is a very good chance we’ll be in a match 2 or 3 months before the baby is born. Or not. Sometimes you have day’s notice. Sometimes the baby is already born.
Either way, the match call is exciting and I can’t wait!
What was your match call like?