Waiting for a match can be one of the most difficult and uncertain phases in the adoption process. No matter how long the wait is – it can feel like an eternity. In infant adoptions, the child’s biological mother has the unique experience of selecting the family that will parent her child, so one of the simplest ways to decrease your wait time is by creating a thoughtful, informative, and authentic family profile book.
Adoption profiles are the first opportunity a pregnant mother will have to get to know you and your family, before she ever speaks to you, she will view your family profile. A well-designed profile will include lots of pictures and day to day information about you. The things you choose to include should give her a clear picture of what your lives look like and in turn what her child’s life would look like in your family.
As often as you can through your profile book, address the mother directly. When you are first notified of a potential match, you may want to take time to write a personal letter to the person who will be viewing your profile. Knowing that you see her and care for her will make your profile more memorable and show her how loving you are.
1. Your Family & Community
A great place to start in your profile is right where you started! Share the story of how you met, how you grew together, and how you feel about each other. Being sincere is important, you don’t have to write a memoir, but being open about yourselves increases the likelihood that the person reading your profile will feel comfortable being open with you. Try to add specific details, if you and your partner met in college and spent the first two weeks of your relationship eating ramen and studying for finals on a dorm room floor, write that! The more someone can visualize from your profile the better.
If you have other children, a large extended family, beloved pets, or a tight knit friend group include this information. Having strong family values and relationships shows that you can rise to the challenge of maintaining a healthy adoption triad. It also shows her that you have a village ready to raise her child!
2. Your Lifestyle
These pieces of information will help build the framework for what a day in your life looks like. This will likely include information about your job and work schedule. When talking about work the most important thing is how your job will relate to parenting. For instance, if you work in real estate, it is probably not important to talk about the type of properties you sell, but it would be important to mention that you have a flexible schedule.
You’ll also want to talk about your hobbies, interests, and traditions. What do you do when you come home at night? Do you have family dinner on weeknights? Do you try a new restaurant every Thursday? How do you spend weekends? This is the time to talk travel, sports, painting, and however else you have fun! Sharing your family traditions is also a great way to help a mother visualize her child’s life with you: tell stories about the chili cook-off your family for Thanksgiving, or how you always spend the 4th of July boating.
These are the elements that are most likely to attract a mother to your family, and you will likely find that whoever you match with shares some (or many) of your interests.
3. Your Relationship to Adoption
People are led to the decision to adopt for a wide variety of reasons and approach the issue of adoption in a variety of ways. Sharing your reasons for choosing adoption as well as your journey so far will help her to understand your feelings and motivations. Address how you plan to explain adoption to your child(ren) in the future. Most mothers want to feel reassured that their child will know they made a loving choice in their child’s best interest.
Remember that at this point she may still feel unsure or insecure about making an adoption plan, and when you speak about the child, it should be clear that you perceive the child as hers, and her as the child’s mother. No one comes to the decision to make an adoption plan flippantly and being loving towards her & sensitive towards her relationship with her child is of the upmost importance in building a healthy adoption triad.
- The ratio of photos to words should be about 50/50 and should be clustered with other related information
- Use positive adoption language and make supportive statements towards the mother and her selfless choice to make an adoption plan
- Many people feel they should include statistics about local schools and neighborhoods, and though this information may be useful, it is not nearly as important as conveying who you are at the core
- Be as open & authentic as possible! The healthiest adoption triads are made up of people who sincerely like each other, to find the best match for you the person viewing your profile must see who you are
- Check the background of your photos for unsightly or controversial elements such as alcohol & tobacco products or clutter
- Have a supportive third party look over your profile and make suggestions