You have completed the background checks, education classes, and homestudy process not to mention tons of paperwork and now you are ready for the next step…your profile. This is one of the more important parts of the process as it’s a way to give an expecting parent a glimpse into your life and what it would be like for their child to live in your home. The weight of the importance of the profile along with the fear that comes with staring at a blank canvas can sometimes cause families to freeze up.
Whether or not you have a creative bone in your body, you can create the perfect profile because you are an expert on the subject of, well, you!
What IS a Perfect Profile?
The perfect profile is one that really showcases the personality and uniqueness of your family in a real way. It isn’t about presenting what you think an expecting parent is looking for in a perfect family, because perfect families don’t exist. It’s about an expectant parent choosing the family that is perfect for her. Each prospective adoptive family has unique qualities that will draw the right match.
Many birthmothers have said they just “had a feeling” and “knew they were the one” when they found the family to raise their child.
It’s important to remember that while your mind may be focused on a child-to-be as an infant, expecting parents who will see your profile are trying to find a family they can picture their child with, not
Avoid Common Mistakes
Remember that the men and women who are looking at your profile are not yet birth parents. They are either expecting or if the baby is already born, they are parents. Starting off the profile with “Dear Birthmother” is not only incorrect but can be offensive.
Address But Don’t Dwell on Hardships
If a long road of infertility led you to adoption, it’s ok to include it briefly as a reason that you are pursuing adoption however it would be inappropriate to include an entire page solely focused on your struggle.
Be Sensitive To Cultural Differences
Our social workers have heard it time and time again. An expecting mother is looking through profiles of families open to transracial adoption yet nowhere in their profile do they address the topic. It then becomes the elephant in the room and the expecting mother will often ask the social worker, “Do they know my baby will be black?” Love is not all that is needed for transracial adoption and so it’s important to include the topic of transracial adoption in your profile if you are open to those situations. Expecting parents often want to see how you plan on incorporating cultural differences in your everyday life. Show the diversity in your family, neighborhood, school or church and discuss the support system you have in place so your child will have racial mirrors in their lives.
Pictures ARE Worth 1,000 Words
This by far is the most important part of your profile…your pictures! Pictures are what draw an expecting parent into your profile to read more about your family. They show your family’s personality. Here are some tips specific to your use of pictures in your profile:
- Pictures should be clear and not distorted.
- Wedding photos aren’t really of much interest to expecting parents so it’s ok to have one included when you are telling your story but not to have them take up significant space in your profile.
- Crop photos to eliminate unimportant backgrounds.
- Use bold titles and captions for your photos and be sure to mention anyone who is in the photo with you, by name or just by relation to you. For example, if you have a photo of you holding your niece and don’t have a caption, it may be confusing. The person viewing the profile may believe that it’s your daughter, and find it strange that there’s no mention that you have a child in your profile.
- Use photos that also show your community. Do you have a pool that you go to every summer? Is there a playground at the end of your block?
Backgrounds & Fonts
Backgrounds and fonts can pull each page of the profile together to make it cohesive. Be sure to pick a background that isn’t too busy. You don’t want it to take away from your photos. The font you choose should be easy to read. Families may choose a font because it resembles handwriting however it’s important to also consider the easy of reading the words too. If it doesn’t flow easily, fonts can be cumbersome to your reader.
It can sometimes be difficult to find a balance in the wording –too much or not enough. The best advice we can give you is to do a combination of paragraphs and bullets while bolding any words or phrases you find important to draw the reader’s eyes to. You want to make the most important information stand out to someone who may be quickly flipping through pages.
Get An Outside Opinion
Finally, when you are finished with your profile, send it to friends or family to review. They can help make sure that your personality shines through and catch any thing that you might overlook, like a missing caption, typo or difficult to understand phrasing.
Most Importantly, Be Yourself
Our number one advice for people creating adoption profiles is be honest! The best matches are made when personalities of families shine through profiles. Your profile will be picked by expecting parents who connect with the real you, not a perfectly polished image of you.
The person who chooses your profile is your perfect match and if your profile is passed over, it doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with your family, it just means it wasn’t meant to be. Keep in mind when they do pick your family that means they passed by other families and yours is the one that personally stood out to them. Don’t lose hope, when you have your child in your arms, you will look back and realize what is meant to be will be.