So you’re ready to put yourself out there to be found by a mother seeking adoptive parents for her baby! How will women thinking about adoption find you?
With adoption in the US, the adoption profile is one of the most powerful tools in any hopeful adoptive parent’s process to adopt. A profile may look different from agency to agency, depending on how that adoption professional meets the needs of the potential birth mothers they assist. Yet every profile includes photos and text that help introduce the hopeful adoptive parents to the mother considering adoption.
Your adoption profile will be your first impression to the woman who could be your child’s birth mother!
Before you panic about having a magazine-perfect home or trying to lose last year’s 15-pound weight gain (thanks fertility meds!), know that most potential birth mothers only see the best in you. She’s not reading profiles thinking any of the critical thoughts you may already have begun to obsess over in your own mind. These women are looking to get to know YOU, not a future, better, perfect, totally-have-it-together you. She wants to know who you are, and what her child’s life will be like in your family.
Here are 5 adoption profile tips for overcoming jitters so that you can put yourself out there and be discovered for the right adoption match:
1. What you see is not likely what anyone else will see
If you’re worried about an “off” hair day or how one of your eyes tends to close more than the other when you smile that genuine smile, stop. The photos in your profile should showcase the real you, not a forced impression of who you think birth mothers are looking for. Choose photos that show off a variety of aspects of your life.
2. Birth mothers care more about the present and the future than they do about the past.
Who you were in high school, college, or even 5 years ago when you started trying to have a baby is not as interesting or important to women who are thinking about adoption as how her child will fit into your life now, and what her child’s life will be like with you moving forward. This is not a vision board or a treasured-memories scrapbook. Your profile is a snapshot of your life so she can decide if she can see her baby as part of your family’s bigger picture.
3. Grammar and communication skills DO matter
You don’t have to be a well-versed author, clever poet, or even a savvy blogger to write a heartfelt, interesting adoption profile. Yet, spelling, punctuation, and basic grammar will make your profile so much easier to read—which means she’ll have an easier time getting to know YOU.
4. First impressions DO count!
Yes, your profile should highlight the “real” you, but the “real” you should be appropriate and respectful. When in doubt, leave it out of your profile.
5. Have courage and let your finished profile work for you
It takes guts to put yourself out there as hopeful adoptive parents. Once you’ve done the hard work with your adoption home study, choosing the right adoption program, and creating an amazing profile, let the process work for you. Know that once you let your profile out into the world you may feel a little vulnerable, but on the other side of the process is a woman in possibly the most vulnerable season of her life—as a woman choosing adoption she will truly appreciate your efforts to introduce yourself to her as a future family for her baby.
At Lifetime, we constantly hear from women about how impressed they were with the adoptive parent profiles. Your words and photos will speak volumes to the potential birth mothers who pick up your profile, EVEN IF she remains undecided about adoption or decides to raise her baby. However, with the right profile, your future child’s birth mother will connect with you in a way she may never have words to explain—she’ll know it’s right, and you’ll probably feel the same way about her. And someday soon, you’ll find that your profile has become a treasured keepsake that began your child’s adoption story.
If you have questions about adopting through Lifetime or how we help hopeful adoptive parents build a strong adoption profile, contact us!
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.