What to Expect at a Match Meeting

Match meetings are very big step in the adoption process. For expectant parents, you’ve likely looked at many family profiles to find a family that you hope to place your child with, and now you get to meet them in person! For the prospective adoptive parents, you may have been waiting to match and now you get to meet the expectant parent who thinks you’re the right fit! For everyone involved, it can be an incredibly exciting step, but it may feel nerve-wracking, too. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
  1. The match meeting is a time to get to know each other! Although the expectant mother may have read about the family and seen photos, and the prospective adoptive parents may have received some general information on the expectant parent, this is the first time you’ll be meeting each other. It’s a great time to learn about each other’s hobbies, interests, families, and more.
  2. Adoption is a sensitive topic, and not everyone likes to focus on that during the first meeting. Sometimes the topic of adoption comes up during the match meeting and other times you’re more focused on simply getting to know each other. Both situations are absolutely ok! Let the conversation flow organically. The expectant parent may want to share details about their adoption plan and the adoptive parents might end up talking about why they’re hoping to grow their family through adoption, but that should not be the only goal of the match meeting.
  3. Bringing something to share can be helpful! Sometimes it can be difficult to share everything you’d like about yourself through words alone. Photos, trinkets, and other physical items can be a great way to talk about what is important to you. Maybe you have annual family gatherings with fun traditions that you can bring photos of. Or maybe you have a knack for baking and can bring a batch of your award-winning cookies. Little details like this can help create a natural way of sharing more about your life. This can also be a great icebreaker and can take the stress off what to talk about next.
  4. Having the support of an adoption professional can be helpful. Meeting for the first time can feel a little awkward! You may have questions you want to ask or personal details you want to share, but you’re not sure how to start. That’s why ACFB always has the expectant parent’s counselor join the match meeting. The counselor can always jump in and help navigate if things get quiet and they take a back seat and let you get to know each other if the conversation is flowing.
Whether you’re an expectant parent or a prospective adoptive parent, it’s normal to be nervous for a match meeting. Our hope is that with these tips, and the support of your counselor, you’ll be more at ease and able enjoy your time getting to know each other.