If you’re wondering whether an adoption profile video is better than an adoption profile book, you’ve come to the right place. The short answer is either one can serve the purpose of connecting you with a birth parent. To decide which one’s right for you, let’s outline the purpose of an adoption profile and look at how both can serve the purpose of connecting you with a birth parent.
What Is an Adoption Profile?
An adoption profile is used for the purpose of connecting you with birth parents so they can get an introduction of who you are and why you want to adopt. This is like a brief intro to your lives and your family but is not the full picture. You want this to be engaging and uniquely you. There are several ways you can communicate this profile with others: through a physical picture/photo book, through an online profile like the ones we feature on Adoption.com, and through a video. Whether a video or a book is better is really a question for what you are most comfortable with and how you want to reach birth parents. No matter what you choose, here are some things you should do and not do with your adoption profile.
What Your Adoption Profile Video or Book Should Include
Adoption profiles show your unique family.
You will want to present what makes your family unique. Think in terms of what your unique traits, personality, style, and interests are. Be sure to include how the people in your family all bring their unique self and personality to the family. You will want to include your interests, jobs, hobbies, and goals. You never know what might attract birth parents to your unique family, but sometimes it’s a small detail that catches their attention.
They tell your story.
Profiles should tell your story in a unique way and answer the question of what led you to consider adoption. If there’s a specific event that helped lead you to adoption or some event that made you consider it, include that. Try to make this as personal as possible (without making you or your family uncomfortable). You want birth parents to connect with your personal story. If you are too impersonal, they won’t be able to relate and could pass over your profile.
They should be visual.
We live in an extremely visual world where pictures and videos are king. This might give a profile video more of an advantage since many people love to stream videos on their phone. Whatever you choose, be sure to include lots of pictures and keep your text concise. Some people won’t read long texts, but they will look at your pictures. In your profile, you should use both professional photos (from your last family photo shoot) as well as candid shots. The professional shots show your best side, but the candid shots show your personality and you being you. Birth parents need to see both kinds of shots so they can connect with you as a human being, not just a persona.
They show your personality.
Whether you choose a profile book or video, both should show your personality. Be sure to let your personal quirks shine through the pages. Don’t be afraid to highlight your funny moments, your craziness, and your fun side. In some ways, a video can highlight your personality better if you are comfortable on camera. If you are not, then a book might be the better choice.
They should give insights into how you want to raise your family.
A profile should give some unique insights into how you want to raise your family, your parenting style, and the types of activities and traditions you want to incorporate into your family life. These are important discussions to have with your birth parent so they know what kind of parent you will strive to be.
They share your values.
In addition, a profile should share your values, morals, and beliefs—all the traits that you hope to pass along to your child. Even though your child’s birth parent may not share all of these, it will help establish the why behind much of your parenting philosophy.
They should be easily shared.
Profiles, whether in book form or video form, should be shared as much as possible. This is one advantage of a video since it can easily be shared through social media. A physical book is difficult to share, unless your agency is sharing it with birth parents. Online profiles are also easy to share on social media. Even if you decide not to go the video route, you should have an online profile that is easily shareable with others.
They include your best shots.
Your profile should share your best shots, which is why a professional photo shoot is recommended for some of your pictures that you include in your profile. Even though it’s important to show your family honestly, you need a few professional quality shots to grab attention and draw a reader in.
They share the why behind your adoption.
Your story is your greatest tool for capturing a reader’s attention because people want to know the why behind your adoption. The reason behind your adoption journey is both emotionally touching and memorable.
To do this, it’s good to go back to the beginning of your story. Share your background and why you’re willing to go through this process. Connect with people on an emotional level. This is very compelling, no matter if you choose to do a profile book or video.
What Adoption Profiles Should NOT Be
1. They don’t have to be perfect.
We’ve all seen adoption profiles that look too perfect, and in some ways, less relatable. You want to look like human beings in your profile. You want to connect with birth parents at a relational level. Find a balance between the professional shots and the candid ones. If you are doing a video, be sure to have some parts that feature your family as relatable and human.
2. They shouldn’t be generic.
It’s tempting to feature you and your spouse as the all-American family. But instead, ask yourself, what makes your family unique? What things do you do together? How do you have fun? These things will define your family and keep you from appearing too generic. Videos do have an advantage of showing your personality if you can relax and be yourself on camera.
3. They shouldn’t be too long.
You might be tempted to write a novel about your life, but keep in mind that a birth parent might be easily overwhelmed by a long narrative and skip over it. Instead, do a highlights reel of your life. Emphasize the big things and the important turning points. Keep it short and to the point. Use pictures and videos to tell your story, which are more captivating anyway.
4. They shouldn’t be someone else’s personality or style.
Don’t try to be someone else on video or in your book. Don’t try to sound like anyone else or present yourself differently than you are. You want a birth parent to be attracted to your profile because of who you are, not who you wish you were. Whether you are doing a video or book, try to look and sound like you always do, not a different version of who you are.
5. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
Profiles should show your family honestly but be careful not to make promises you can’t keep. For example, if you aren’t sure how you feel about open adoption, don’t say you want an open adoption. It might be better to say you’re thinking about it, but don’t present expectations that you know you can’t keep. Always consider your audience as you put together your adoption profile. Although you want to present your family honestly, you also don’t want to offend or alienate your audience.
6. They shouldn’t be print only.
Physical books are great when meeting a birth parent in person. Otherwise, they are extremely limiting in their reach. If you have a print copy, be sure you also have an online presence by duplicating the same content in an online platform. Our online profiles on Adoption.com are one way to present your profile and reach birth parents all across the country.
Is an Adoption Profile Video Better than Adoption Profile Book?
Why a Profile Video Might Be Better for You
If you’re comfortable on camera and have use of editing software (or are willing to pay someone to edit), then a video might be a better route for a profile. Why? Videos are more relatable. You can hear someone’s voice, see their mannerisms, and it feels more personal. Plus, online videos are very shareable and people love to watch them. If you are on the fence about doing a video versus a book, I would say go for the video. They are hugely popular and fun to watch.
Why a Book Might Be Better for You
If you aren’t comfortable on video or think you come across stiff, impersonal, or not yourself, then a profile book might be a better fit for your family. Although videos are a bit more personal, it won’t come across as personal if you aren’t comfortable on camera. Additionally, if you don’t know how to edit a video (or don’t want to learn) and can’t afford to pay for a videographer, then a profile book may be a better choice. You may already have pictures you can use for an online profile or book, and you only need to put together the pictures with your personal story. Oftentimes, you can do this yourself without the need to hire anyone to help.
Tips for Telling Your Story on Video
If you decide to go the video route, here are a few key things you will want to do to create an engaging video:
First, be sure you have some outline or script prepared ahead of time so you know what you want to cover. It’s all too easy to ramble on video and bore your viewers, causing them to click away from your video. You want to cover all the important stuff in a brief amount of time. Also, most people aren’t as engaging when they ramble, which distracts from what you want viewers to hear. Outline your video or write it out and try to stay on topic for the shoot.
Keep your video short. Often, short videos, two minutes or less, do best on social media. However, if you can’t keep it to two minutes, then be sure that it’s as short as possible to keep viewers engaged.
Edit your video. Don’t try to do the video in one take and expect that it will turn out perfectly. Try to shoot it several times and pick out the best parts of each so you can tie these parts together through editing.
Use B-roll. B-roll is the term for all those extra shots we see while someone is talking. If you see a couple walking through a field, or hanging out on their patio, all while a narrator talks over top, then you are watching B-roll. These are usually action shots that are more interesting than just seeing a talking head. Be sure to include B-roll in your video, along with shots of you talking.
Use professional sound and lighting. Nothing can take away from your video more than a video being poorly lit or hard to hear. This is usually where you can tell the difference between a professional video versus an amateur one. You will need additional lighting if shooting indoors, but if you don’t have this, then shoot outdoors instead. Outdoor lighting can give you incredible results, especially if it’s a cloudy day with indirect lighting. You will also need an external mic that can connect to your camera or phone in some way. These are available online and vary greatly in price, although there are some relatively inexpensive ones that can work. Don’t rely on your phone’s mic or your computer mic. It will turn out with poor quality and will not sound good.
If you use these tips, then your profile video has an even greater potential to attract attention and (fingers crossed!) will lead to your birth parent match. For more help finding a birth parent, check out this article.