Preparing your adoption profile seems daunting, but it shouldn’t be. The possibilities are almost limitless, and you can really have fun doing it. Here are a few pointers that will help you get started:
1. Get inspiration by looking at other families’ profiles. When you find profiles that grab and hold your interest, try to figure out what it is that you like about them and incorporate those elements into yours. But don’t copy them directly! Inspiration is OK, plagiarism is not.
2. Good pictures are essential. Good pictures tell a story about you, what you like to do, and what kind of life a child living with your family will have. A few rules though: Avoid pictures where you are wearing sunglasses or a bathing suit. Also, many group photos are from family celebrations like weddings, where there might be alcohol on the table or someone holding a drink. Do your best to edit these pictures, because many birth parents won’t react positively to that.
3. Good pictures need good captions. All pictures need to have captions – and a good caption tells you something about the picture that you can’t tell just by looking at it. “Us on vacation” is not good enough. “We love to go hiking on vacation” conveys the bigger picture that you are active people who like the outdoors. Other families might say “Our favorite vacations are our yearly beach trips.”
4. Don’t forget the text. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself, talk about your background, and tell the potential birth parent what you want them to know about your family. Use lots of examples in your writing – describe, don’t tell. And try to be succinct – too much text can be overwhelming.
5. Watch your word choice. Avoid the opening line “Dear birth parent,” because the person reading the profile may not be the birth parent – and even if it is the pregnant woman, she may not have decided yet whether to make an adoption plan for her child. Also be careful about how you describe the child. Don’t say “my child” or “our child” – she hasn’t chosen you yet, so the baby isn’t your child.
6. Video can add life to your profile. Video allows you to talk directly to the viewer and can convey a lot about you and your relationship with your spouse or partner. A two to three minute video clip that you make at home is all you need to add another dimension to your profile.
7. Get help if you need it. There are hosts of graphic designers, marketing consultants and web programmers you can lean on if you aren’t adept at doing those things yourself.