It’s time to write your adoption profile and you have no idea where to start.
Your head is spinning from all of the different bits of advice you’ve heard from your agency, family, friends, or found online.
Nothing will test your sanity more than writing an adoption profile. After all, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Who would ever have thought that your opportunity to become a parent would come down to a few thousand words and a bunch of photos?
But that’s where you are now, and you want to make sure that you do the best job you can.
And yet if you think creating your profile is difficult, put yourself in the shoes of the woman—or the couple—who will be viewing it.
She’s about to make one of the most important decisions of her life, and she knows nothing about you apart from what’s in your profile.
When most people think of birthmothers or women who consider adoption for their baby, they have a skewed view of them based on stereotypes from the media or movies.
The truth is that while every expectant parent with an adoption plan is different and looks for different things, they do share some similarities.
Here are three things that expectant parents with an adoption plan look for when considering an adoptive parent profile.
1. They want to know what you’re like as individuals and a couple.
And when we say this, we mean what you’re really like as a person and a couple.
Some couples and individuals go out of their way to embellish their profile, falsely believing that if they don’t come across as perfect nobody will choose them.
But expectant parents aren’t looking for perfection. So don’t feel pressured to convey that in your profile. It will only come back to haunt you.
Think of your adoption profile as your calling card — your introduction for expectant parents. The reason they’re reading it is because they want to know what you’re like.
So don’t disappoint them. What do you like to do individually and/or as a couple? What are your interests, passions, and hobbies? What’s your family and home like?
Without addressing it head on, what sets you apart from other couples? In other words, why should she choose you?
Your choice of details, your wording and your tone will all help create an impression of you.
But don’t worry if you’re not the best writer in the world. Your photographs will also help you tell your story.
So choose them judiciously and make sure they convey the message you want to send.
2. They try to envision what you would be like as a parent.
Describing your life now is one thing. But once you become a parent everything will change.
So how do you see your life unfolding when that time comes? What kind of parent do you see yourself becoming? How would you raise your child?
If you’re already a parent, that’s easy. You can talk about some of the things you already do with your child, whether it be having play dates in the park, visiting a farm, or dressing up for Halloween.
But even if you aren’t a parent there are lots of opportunities to share your plans for the future. What’s important to you? What do you value? If education is important, say so — and how you would encourage it and other passions in your child.
If, for example, you’re an outdoorsy type, talk about the activities or traditions you do now or hope to carry on with your child, whether it be instilling a love for nature or hiking in the woods.
It’s important for an expectant mother to picture you as her child’s parent. So anything you can do to help her get a detailed glimpse of you in that role will go a long way toward helping her make a decision.
3. They want to know your thoughts on openness and where they would fit into your life.
No matter how they end up finding you, most woman who place a baby for adoption today want some level of openness with their child’s adoptive parents.
What’s your threshold when it comes to contact? Are you okay with visits? Or would you prefer to keep in touch by phone, Facebook or texting? It’s up to you.
Just make sure that whatever promises you make that you follow through with them after the placement. Don’t say anything unless you’re prepared to carry it out.
The last thing an expectant mother wants to feel is that she’s been tricked into a relationship she didn’t sign up for.
And by the way, just because the trend today is toward open adoption doesn’t mean you have to go down that path. Although there are many benefits to having an open relationship, it’s not for everyone.
And it may not be right for you. Which is totally ok. There are many expectant mothers who don’t want one either and are looking for a semi-open or closed relationship.
Because every expectant parent is different, it’s impossible to say definitively what she’s looking for when she reads your parent profile.
That’s one more reason why it’s important to just be yourself, to be honest, and paint an accurate and authentic picture of what you’re like and have to offer as a potential parent.