9 Ways to Build Strong Matches Online

How can you make a genuine adoption match online?

Sarah M. Baker March 13, 2016

Making an adoption match online through social media or adoption profile sites can be intimidating. But with it not being face-to-face, you can choose your words carefully and only put out into the world what you actually want out there. Some knowledge about how to proceed with building a strong relationship will go a long way. How can you put your best foot forward and establish a strong relationship with clear boundaries?

Be tactful.
1. Be tactful.

When you meet an expecting mother considering adoption placement online, you may be flooded with emotions and “what ifs.” But this is a huge decision for her, and if she is only looking for support in her journey, you should never offer to adopt her child, just give her the support she is looking for.

Be honest.
2. Be honest.

When you are creating a profile or sharing your hope to adopt online, be honest with the reader. Don’t inflate yourself to who you wish you were or who you think an expectant mother with an adoption plan would like you to be. Be yourself. Be honest. Be real.

Include expectations.
3. Include expectations.

Be clear right from the beginning if a possible match is on the horizon. You will want to understand what they are looking for in an adoption match and future relationship as well as for them to have a firm understanding of what you are looking for. While adoption relationships often evolve over time, having up-front expectations sets a firm foundation.

Follow through.
4. Follow through.

Don’t under-deliver on your promises. If you say you will send pictures monthly and visit 4 times a year, don’t suddenly drop off the face of the earth. This should go for both parties. Adoption relationships are lifelong commitments, much like a marriage. Everyone has to participate and follow through in order for it to work.

Understand the laws.
5. Understand the laws.

Some states have clear laws on who can arrange a match, how a match can be found, and marketing for your adoption match. Be clear on what the laws are in your state and in the state of the expectant mother so you don’t run into any legal problems.

Remain ethical.
6. Remain ethical.

Laws and ethics often overlap, but there are many things that are gray areas or have loopholes in the law. Don’t look for these loopholes, as that can be considered unethical. You want your child to be proud of his or her adoption story and never question the ethics of the adults involved.

Use modern adoption language.
7. Use modern adoption language.

Modern adoption language in online settings shows you are knowledgeable and respectful to adoption and expecting parents. It doesn’t mean you should make a big fuss over language if you see someone else using words considered not to be positive, but maybe you can gently guide others by sharing your insight.

Remain realistic.
9. Remain realistic.

You may meet many expectant mothers considering adoption placement. You may get your hopes up for some situations to result in a child's being placed with you. But keep in mind that things happen, life changes, and sometimes the match never happens, dissolves, or the mother decides to parent. It’s okay.

Be Supportive
10. Be Supportive

First and foremost, be friends. Allow yourself to support this woman as she makes the difficult decision of whether or not to place. If she is considering you for adoption placement, making sure she is aware of her options and that you will be okay if she parents is the most supportive and ethical thing you can do in any pre-birth match.

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Sarah M. Baker

Sarah is a Staff Storyteller for Adoption.com and passionate about teaching others the power of open adoption. She is very active in the adoption community, where she spends a lot of time advocating as the founder of Heart For Open Adoption. She is the mom of two boys in addition to parenting her niece. She is a mother biologically and through domestic infant open adoption. Sarah promotes adoption education and ethical adoptions. She and her husband were featured on Season 2 of Oxygen’s “I’m Having Their Baby,” which tells the story of their first adoption match failing. Sarah hopes to bring her personal experience to you and help anyone who wants more information about adoption to find it with ease. Though it was once a taboo subject, Sarah hopes to make adoption something people are no longer afraid to talk about. You can learn more about Sarah and her family on her blog.


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