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Domestic Adoption - Finding Prospective Birth Mothers/Expectant Parent

There is something inherently dehumanizing about using the word "advertising" when trying to find an expectant woman who might be considering adoption. As an adoption education organization, we walk the line in trying to provide practical resources for prospective adoptive parents and undercutting the basic humanity of a woman in crisis. And make no mistake, a pregnant woman who is considering placing her child for adoption is a woman in crisis. We have tried to walk that line, even though the edge is razor thin at points. We have utilized words trying to carefully balance what people will be using when they search the internet for information with the understanding that no one owes anyone else a child. I suggest reading this blog that addresses how "advertising" for prospective birth mothers can turn them into a commodity.

Where to start for information on prospective birth mothers:

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Adoptive Parent Profile:

An adoptive parent profile, also known as a Dear Expectant Parent Letter, is prepared by prospective adoptive parents to be shown to expectant women or couples that are considering making an adoption plan for their child. Basically, you want to showcase who you are as a couple or single and what type of parent you would be. You want to portray yourselves as happy and in a stable loving relationship.

Many prospective adoptive parents hate the idea of having to market themselves and fear that they will not somehow “measure up” to other families. This process is something akin to blind dating—with all the promise and all the pain. Remember, birth mothers are looking for a connection with a couple or single, and you can not predict ahead of time what will appeal to each woman. You can’t be all things to all people; you can only be yourself. If you hate dogs, don’t fake that you like them because you have heard of a First Mother choosing an adoption profile because the couple had dogs. Simply omit any reference to dogs or pets in your profile.

Let your personality shine through. Include a humorous story or picture. The prospective birth mother will likely be looking at a number of Dear Birthmother Letters, so make yours stand out by not following a standard script.

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What Should Be Included in a Dear Birth Mother Letter/Dear Expectant Parent Letter:

Adoption Profiles should paint a picture with words. Show, don’t tell. For example, most profiles are going to say the prospective parents come from a close family. Rather than say that, describe what your family does together. “We rent a beach house for the first week in August, and it is the highlight of the year for absolutely everyone.” “We gather at Tom’s grandmother’s house every Christmas Eve, and the youngest grandchild is lifted in Uncle Ron’s arm to place the star on the Christmas tree.” Your agency or attorney may specify what they want to be included, but consider the following:

  • Information about the prospective adoptive mom and dad, any other children in the family, and pets.
  • How did you meet and fall in love?
  • A nice technique is having the husband describe the wife and the wife describe the husband. What qualities do you admire most? Why did you fall in love? Why will he/she be a good parent?
  • How will your extended family be involved in this child’s life?
  • Your neighborhood and community.
  • How do you spend your non work time? What are your interests? How do you celebrate birthdays, holidays, and vacations?
  • ;What experience have you had with children? Babysit for family or friends, teach Sunday School, play the role of favorite uncle or aunt.
  • Statement of Faith or Religion. How much to stress your religious beliefs is a bit tricky. You want to honestly reflect your beliefs while at the same time being respectful to someone who might not share them. If you are not involved with a religious faith or are not a religious person, you might include a paragraph on the values that you live by and hope to instill in your child.
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    Pictures to Include in the Adoption Profile:

    Pictures are a MUST for the Dear Birth Mother Letter. One of the first things you will want to do when you begin thinking about adopting a baby is to start taking pictures of each of you in your every day life. Most of us do not have a lot of pictures of ourselves outside of the Big Moments of our lives (Weddings, Christmas, vacations, etc.) You need to start taking lots of pictures right now so you will have many to choose from when compiling your Dear Birth Mother Letter. Action shots are better than passive shots. Each picture should have a caption. Make the pictures large enough to be easily seen. If you have to choose, go with fewer larger pictures.

  • Pay particular attention to the picture that will be on the cover. Usually it is of the couple/family.
  • Most pictures should be “candid” shots.
  • Include a mix of individual pictures and pictures as a couple. Each of you individually and as a couple.
  • You and your pet playing or hugging. Try to capture your relationship is a candid shot. For example, if your dog is a licker, get a picture of him licking your face. Cats, bless their hearts, are often less than photogenic. In photos, cats often look like they are being tortured or look demonic with glaring red eyes. You’ll have to use your creativity to get a good picture that reflects the personality of your kitty.
  • Extended family if they are important in your life.
  • Picture of you with a child (niece, nephew, godchild, etc.).
  • Vacation pictures, travel pictures.
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    Format for Adoptive Parent Profiles:

    Your Dear Expectant Parent can be in a number of different formats: paper, video, online at your adoption agency or other profiling website, or your own newly created adoption website. Your paper adoption profile can be in a folder, spiral bound, hardcover, or in any other paper format you can think of. Most professionals encourage you to limit your paper adoption profile to 4 to 10 pages. Your imagination is your limit, but listen to the advice of your adoption agency or adoption professional as to what works. I recommend using all the formats and telling everyone you know about your quest for creating your family through adoption.

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    Articles, Information, and Resources on Prospective Birth Mothers:

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