When you’re a prospective adoptive family, waiting to be matched with a prospective birth mother can seem like the longest wait of your life. Beyond opening up your adoption preferences, you may think there’s nothing you can do to influence your wait time.
But that’s not entirely true. In fact, there is one monumental thing you can do to speed up your wait time and make yourself attractive to prospective birth mothers: create an adoptive family profile.
Nelson Law Firm, PLLC, can keep this profile on file in case an adoption opportunity arises or refer you to another professional to find a prospective birth mother — and it’s likely this professional will request you create an adoptive family profile to aid in the matching process.
To help you understand what you should expect, we’ve answered some of the questions you may have about how to make an adoption profile book:
1. What is an adoptive family profile?
Typically created as a book or other kind of paper pamphlet, an adoptive family profile is a way for you to introduce your family and life to a prospective birth mother. It includes photos of your family and home, as well as content you write to the birth mother, like letters and descriptions of your life.
In general, good adoption profile book examples include descriptions and photos of:
- Your family and why you chose adoption
- Your home and community
- Your extended family and family traditions
- Anything else that makes your family unique
2. How do I make an adoptive family profile?
Your adoption profile design will largely depend on what kind of professional you choose to work with for your matching process. Some adoption agencies have in-house media specialists who will design your profile for you, while others will require you to create your profile on your own.
Many prospective adoptive families choose to make their profiles through services like Shutterfly, where they can easily upload photos and written content to design online. You can also reach out to a local graphic design company to create a professional adoption profile book.
It’s important to remember that there’s no “perfect” way to create an adoptive family profile. Because each adoptive family is unique, their profile will be tailored to best represent what makes them stand out. So, when you’re creating your own adoptive family profile, focus on what you want to communicate to a prospective birth mother — not just what you think she wants to see in a family.
3. Where can I see adoption profile book examples?
If you work with an adoption agency, they will likely be able to show you adoption profile book ideas and examples from current and past families. You can also search online for other adoption agencies’ profiles; My Adoption Advisor offers adoption profile samples to view here.
4. What should I know about creating an adoption profile book?
Beyond the basics of what to include, there are some things to keep in mind when working on your adoptive family profile. You might be confused about how to write an adoption profile in an appropriate manner, so when writing to a prospective birth mother:
- Be honest. This applies to both photos included in your profile and letters you write to the prospective birth mother. She will want to see an authentic family who is excited about adoption; avoid dressy, staged photos and use ones that portray your family’s natural lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to address your feelings about adoption; talk about how you came to the decision and what her consideration means to you. Above all, she will want to see how committed a family is to adoption.
- Don’t assume she’s made a choice. Prospective birth mothers have until they sign adoption consent forms to choose to parent their child, so don’t use any language that implies she’s already made her final choice. Thank her for “considering” adoption, and always refer to her unborn baby as hers, not yours.
- Be descriptive, but don’t write a novel. An adoptive family profile is the first chance a birth mother has at getting to know your family, so make sure she can imagine what her child’s life would be like growing up with you. Describe your everyday activities in an honest and pleasing way; the more she knows about your lifestyle, the more she will be able to visualize her child’s life with you.
When you’re thinking about what photos to use, make sure you include a variety that show your family having fun in their natural state. Don’t use photos older than five years— prospective birth mothers want to see what your family is like now. Make sure you use high-quality pictures that truly represent who you would be as parents. Check out examples of adoption profile books for more ideas.
5. What else can we do to make an attractive adoptive family profile?
While traditional adoptive family profiles are printed in physical form (and will likely be required from your adoption professional), you might be able to create a digital version of your profile as well. Many families today choose to make a website with videos and social media posts to update family and friends on their adoption journey, but you can also use this digital medium to attract prospective birth mothers.
A prospective birth mother can tell a lot more about a family from a video than a paper profile; she can actually see the way they interact, their personalities and what they would be like as parents. It’s a good idea to ask your adoption professional if they can help you create a digital profile and, if not, consider reaching out to a company like My Adoption Advisor for help creating a profile website or Show Pro Media for help creating an adoptive family video profile.
Considering how to make an adoption profile book can be overwhelming, but it’s important that you don’t overthink the process. Focus on what makes you special and what you want to communicate to a prospective birth mother, and your profile will come together perfectly. The right prospective birth mother is out there for you, and an adoptive family profile is just another step to finding the right match for you.
The Nelson Law Firm can refer you to adoption professionals who can help you find a prospective birth mother and create an adoptive family profile. For our recommendations, or to learn more about how we can help with your adoption process in Iowa, please call us today at 319-291-6161 or contact us online here.