Birth parents can search through hundreds of parent profiles in a matter of hours. Each profile contains photos, videos, text, and a wide range of information to assist a birth parent in picking a couple confidently. When I placed my daughter for adoption,18 years ago, I was given ten profiles; a double-sided page of text and a handful of pictures. Each profile was printed in black and white, stapled together, inside a scrapbook-like plastic sleeve with loose photos. At first glance, they all looked the same— first names, age, weight, height, hobbies, and profession. Followed by a few paragraphs about why they were adopting, how they met, and what they enjoyed doing together. I can’t imagine having the ability to look at hundreds of profiles! Here are three things you should most definitely avoid if you want your profile to stand out from the rest.
DO NOT CREATE YOUR PROFILE ALONE
You would be surprised how often I see one parent creating and writing the entire profile without their spouse. It is apparent in the words that they use, the tone of the profile, and the disengagement of the other spouse. You are adopting together, wanting to raise a child together, so write your profile together! Do not put this task on the other spouse and expect them to carry the weight. You are a team. Discuss your “About Us” section and how you met. Talk about what you love about your home for your “Our Home” section. Take the time to write each other’s sections “About Tom by Sarah” and “About Sarah by Tom.” How often do we get to hear our spouse gloat about us? Take this time to connect and in return match with a birth parent. I understand spouses work, one may work more than the other, but you’re reaching out to someone who is trying to decide who to place their baby with—their flesh and blood. This choice is difficult. I believe carving out a day or so to write a profile together is a simple task, considering.
If you are a single parent, this does not pertain to you. My suggestions would be to include text from a friend, a parent, a co-worker, anyone who knows you well. Have them create one or two sentences about the amazing person you are and how you will make a wonderful parent. If this is not possible, stay positive, sincere, and honest about your desire to adopt.
DO NOT BE WHO YOU ARE NOT
I can spot unoriginality in the first three sentences. If birth parents are looking through hundreds of profiles, don’t you think they too can feel how “fake” you are being? Trust me, they can. Do not be who you are not! We are all unique and beautiful in our own way. That is what makes our world beautiful. Embrace the fact that you’re a nerd, a foodie, a sports fan, whatever it may be—let it show in your words and your photos. Being who you are, sets you apart from the masses because nobody is exactly like you. Be you!
DO NOT LIE
If you do not want any further communication with birth parents after placement, be clear and honest about it. Do not over promise! Every time I am indecisive about something, and I vent to my best friend by saying, “I don’t know what to do.” She will reply with, “Every time I find myself saying that (I don’t know what to do), I actually know what I should do.” This conversation has happened a handful of times, and she is always right. I am either being fearful, doubting my ability, or worried what others will think—but I know what I want to do. If you feel indecisive about what you want to say in your profile it is either stemming from trying to be something you are not or trying to be dishonest while looking honest. Your parent profile should be the most natural thing you do in the adoption process. It is simple—tell the birth parent who you are and what you want, and let the birth parent decide. I promise you will be matched much quicker if you stay away from these three things—creating alone, faking who you are, and being dishonest.