In order to find a baby to adopt, you need to connect with a woman (or couple) with an adoption plan. Posting a “Dear Birth Mother” letter or an adoption profile on Canada Adopts! is one way to do this. But it’s not the only way. Here are some others.
Word of Mouth
This is by far the cheapest and, in some ways, the most effective networking tool. From here on in, think of your life as an open book. Whether you feel comfortable with it or not, you’re going to have to let the whole world know about your plans to adopt. This includes not only family members and friends, but your mailman, plumber, mechanic, hairdresser – you name it. After all, you never know who might be listening. Someone might know someone who knows someone…
A little more expensive than other outreach tools, but often just as effective. Just make sure they’re allowable. In some provinces and states, ads of this nature are illegal. As for which papers to chose, campus publications and community newspapers in small towns are your best bet. Blanket coverage can be arranged through your province’s university or community newspaper association. The best time to advertise is a few months after the holidays — Christmas or the summer — since that’s when the lion’s share of unplanned pregnancies seem to occur.
A letter campaign is another effective way to get the word out, provided you know where to send it. Some suggestions: obstetricians, gynecologists, family doctors and clinics, women’s shelters, licensees, adoption practitioners, guidance counsellors and religious institutions. In other words, any place where a pregnant woman may turn to for help. Addresses can be obtained through the Yellow Page or mailing list brokers.
Relatively inexpensive and extremely versatile, cards are a great way to get the word out. Keep the message simple. “We’re interested in adopting a baby” is all you really need to say, along with your first name and a phone number and/or e-mail address. Drop off your cards wherever you think a potential birth mother might find them: universities, clubs, record stores, fast food outlets, laundromats etc. Some people go so far as to slip one in with every piece of mail that leaves their house. If it works, why not?
Private Adoption Agencies
If you’ve got the budget, this is another route you may want to consider. Depending on where you live, you may have more than one to choose from. Just be sure that the agency you select has some kind of track record domestically. Most private agencies in Canada specialize in overseas adoptions because they’re less uncertain.
Other Web Sites
As much as we’d like to think of ourselves as a unique service, Canada Adopts! isn’t the only game in town. Other sites will be happy to post your parent profile or “Dear Birth Mother” letter online. Fees will vary, and the added exposure can’t hurt.
When it comes to attracting the attention of a prospective birth mother, just about anything goes. A lot will depend on your budget, your resourcefulness and, of course, your sense of privacy. There are couples, for instance, who don’t think twice about walking around in a T-shirt with their adoption message emblazoned across their chest. Others, working with a more limited budget, may decide that putting up posters on telephone poles is the way to go. As long as your approach doesn’t raise questions about your sanity or your fitness to become a parent, the sky’s the limit.
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