Choosing photos for your adoption profile is a daunting task. If you’re like most hopeful adoptive parents, you probably have a ton to choose from—from vacation selfies to Aunt Sophie’s 50th birthday bash.
So where do you begin, and how do you decide which ones to include and which ones to leave out?
A good place to start is to put yourself in the shoes of an expectant mother. If you were looking for an adoptive family for your baby, what would you be looking for?
Too many times hopeful adoptive parent approach this issue the opposite way — by choosing photos that appeal to them, either because the pictures make them look good or have sentimental value.
But expectant parents don’t care what you look like or how much fun your wedding was.
They want to know what you’re really like and whether you’ll make good parents for their child.
Keep in mind that prior to checking out your profile, they know nothing about you. That’s why your photos are so important.
They’re the first things they’ll see and very often photos have an immediate emotional impact that goes beyond words.
Looking back, many expectant mothers will tell you that the reason they chose a particular couple was because of their photos.
Sometimes it was a specific shot that grabbed their attention and created a spark; other times it was just a feeling they had that they can’t put into words. There was something about the couple that just felt right.
Either way, when it comes to getting chosen by an expectant mother considering adoption, your photos could be the game-changer.
From your body language to the backgrounds, every photo you choose contains clues about you, your personality, your interests, and your parenting potential that can help an expectant mother with her decision.
As a result, each photo you put in your profile needs to serve a purpose and send a message—that you’re a loving, happy couple ready to take on the responsibilities of parenthood.
Here are 7 photos that will help you do that, and why they’re important.
1. Together as a couple
This one is a no-brainer but you’d be surprised at how badly it’s executed. And I’m not talking about the quality of the photos. I’m referring to the expressions on the waiting parents’ faces and their body language.
Sometimes couples look like they’d rather be somewhere else. Instead of smiling and looking at the camera, they look bored and pre-occupied.
This is the most important picture in your profile — an expectant mother’s first glimpse of you. So be sure to make a strong first impression by conveying the closeness of your relationship and how excited you are to adopt.
There are lots of ways you can do this: with a hug, holding hands, or having your faces touching. Or you can have some fun and pose together on a swing, on a bike, in a canoe, or just sitting on the front steps of your house.
2. As individuals
You’ll want to show you’re a team. But one of the best ways to create a connection with an expectant mother is to showcase your individual personalities.
What’s unique about you? Do you have a favourite hobby or past-time? If so, show it in your photos. Find something about you that will help you stand out and grab an expectant mother’s attention.
Make it active. Use props. Have fun. For example, one of our waiting parents showed a picture of her at the finish line of a recent marathon. Another featured herself with a painting she made. And yet another showed her baking cookies in her kitchen. Each one told a story about them and helped bring the words in their profile to life.
3. With children
Expectant parents need to picture the type of parent you would be. And nothing helps them to do that more than seeing you with children. For instance, a picture of you holding your newest nephew or niece in your arms or playing with a friend’s child will speak volumes about you.
Saying you’ll make a good mother isn’t enough, especially if you’re childless. You need to show it. And the age of the child isn’t important. How you interact with them and how comfortable and natural you look is.
4. With family
Adopted children don’t just join a couple. They become part of a family. And many expectant parents want to know that your family supports your decision to adopt and will treat their child just like any other member in the family.
Including shots of you with your family can put expectant mothers fears to rest. And it will let them know that their child will grow up with other siblings or children. Group shots are always good.
One couple recently sent us a family picture of their grandmother’s 80th birthday. Standing around her were three generations of smiling faces. In one photo, the couple said everything an expectant mother needed to know about the joy and closeness of their family.
5. With friends
Pictures of you with your partner and on your own are a great way to introduce yourself to expectant parents. But if they’re the only pictures you include, it could make you look cut off from the rest of the world.
Wherever possible, include pictures of you interacting with other people, including your friends. If it takes a village to raise a child, be sure to show your village. This is especially important if you’re single. Through your photos, you can show that you have a large support network behind you that’s ready to help you with parenting.
5. At home
The child will eventually live in your home. So why not show an expectant mother what it looks like?
You don’t need pictures of each room. But having a photo or two of you relaxing in one of the more comfortable settings, whether it’s sipping a tea at the kitchen table or lounging on the living room couch, can add a nice touch to your profile.
If you have a large yard where children can play, make sure you show it off. Or if you’ve prepared the baby’s nursery, include a photo of it too. Exterior shots don’t say much, so I wouldn’t overdo them, especially in wintertime. You want to make your home look comfy and cozy so stick to warm interiors that show you relaxing within your setting.
6. Having fun
Many couples describe themselves as “goofy” but when it comes to their photos they often don’t follow through. Instead of pictures showing them doing fun or offbeat things, they’ll have a series of staged pictures that are virtually indistinguishable from anyone else’s.
But this a chance for you to let loose and set yourself apart from everyone else. For instance, one waiting couple recently sent us pictures of them riding a elephant. Another showed them lifting their daughter up in a pool. And another showed them in a water fight. And another showed them in their Halloween customs, dressed up as Snow White and Frankenstein.
Travel shots are always fun because they tend to take you out of your element and show you looking relaxed and happy. But there are lots of other opportunities to show this, and you don’t have to go far to do it. Whether it’s apple picking, tobogganing or getting your nails done together, there are all kinds of fun activities you can showcase without much effort.
7. With pets
Pets are family members, so if you’re going to include pics your family, why not include your family pet too? Keep in mind that many expectant mothers grew up with pets or want their child to have one.
If you’re worried that expectant mothers may be allergic to animals or have concerns about how they interact with children, be sure to address that in your pictures and text. For example, one couple had a picture of their daughter kissing their dog while another had her snuggling up with their family pet. Yet another dressed up their dog in a costume. As with so much of choosing photos for your profile, just about anything goes.
Photos are a great way to show expectant mothers a side of you that you can’t convey in other parts of your profile and can ultimately help you create an immediate emotional connection. Just make sure that every photo you choose serves a purpose and tells a specific story about you and why you would make a great parent.
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