Whether you’re thinking of making an adoption plan or if you’re considering adoption yourself, you’ll likely hear the words adoptive parent profiles numerous times. These profiles are a way to get to know prospective adoptive parents for expectant parents. If you’re seeking to adopt, these profiles will help you to share more about yourself with expectant parents.
If you’re considering adopting, you’ll create your adoptive parent profile after your home study has been approved. (Want more information about the home study process?)
If you’re an expectant parent, reviewing adoptive parent profiles is your initial journey into choosing a family that you are considering to parent your child. Reviewing adoptive parent profiles and even meeting with prospective parents doesn’t mean you’re choosing to make a definite adoption plan, but it does allow you to have more information as you make that decision.
Whether you’ll be reviewing or creating an adoptive parent profile, continue reading for more details about what an adoptive parent profile is, what you can learn from one, and how to create one.
What is an Adoptive Parent Profile?
An adoptive parent profile is either a tangible book or an online profile that includes photos and text so that expectant parents can learn more about families seeking to adopt. Profiles include information about everyone in the family from ages to jobs and everything in between. Many prospective adoptive families will also include info about their parents and siblings to help expectant parents get a better idea about who else will be in their child’s life. When creating adoptive parent profiles, families, couples, or individuals are hoping to parent a child. This is why they will share a lot about their lives including their hobbies, vacations they’ve taken, their work in their local communities, more info about how they plan to raise a child, etc. These can be lengthy depending on local or agency requirements, but it is also a good idea to help birth families know a good deal about who these people are before setting up a meeting.
Typically, agencies will give prospective adoptive parents details that they would like to have included in the profiles based on information they’ve learned over the years. Some of these things are legal requirements that are a part of the home study process and other things are information that the agency knows that expectant parents will need to know before making their decision on who they want to raise their child.
An adoptive parent profile is an initial contact between prospective parents and expectant parents. This allows expectant parents to find those who they think might be a good fit for them and their child. Only an expectant parent knows what he or she is looking for when it comes to parents for his or her child. Expectant parents need to remember that liking a profile and even setting up further contact with those who created it is just a conversation and doesn’t mean you are definitely placing your child with them. This is an opportunity to get all of the information that you need to make a decision and to have all your questions answered before you move further in the process.
Once birth parents have identified a profile that they like, they may move forward in scheduling a face-to-face meeting or phone call depending on location to get a better idea of who those individuals are and to ask follow up questions based on the information given to them in the profile.
You’ll need to speak with adoption professionals from the adoption agency or adoption attorney’s office that you are working with to find out the exact next steps in this process.
Having support can help you during this time!
What can You Learn from Adoptive Parent Profiles?
Though adoptive parent profiles don’t tell you everything about the parents who are seeking to adopt, it does tell you a lot. You’ll learn about their family and if they have children already. In some cases, you will also learn more about their pets. You’ll understand aspects of their lifestyle: if they travel, if they live in the city or the country, what kinds of things they do in their spare time, the friends and family that are important to them, etc. With adoptive parent profile prompts from agencies and adoption counselors, you’ll get an idea about how they plan to parent and you’ll know if they’ve done any training prior to creating the profile. You’ll also learn more about their hopes for building a family.
This is a great point to start having a conversation with prospective adoptive parents who have interests similar to yours or who have created a plan that fits the life you were hoping to give to your child. There is no wrong reason for choosing a family to speak to after viewing their adoptive parent profile. You may just like that they travel frequently, have a soft spot for their pets, or really agree with the plan they’ve outlined for parenting.
It may benefit you to take notes while you’re viewing the profile and write down questions to ask in follow up interviews. This will help you when you have your first meeting or phone call to get a better idea of who these people are.
Again you likely aren’t going to get all of the information that you want right away, but this is a great way to get a glimpse into the lives of these individuals from their careers, goals, family, and recreation to their daily life and their parenting hopes and goals.
How Do you Search Adoptive Parent Profiles?
You can search adoption parent profiles on Adoption.com, or if you’re working with an agency, they will likely have profiles in their offices or share them with you virtually when you meet with your social worker, counselor, or adoption professional. Likely, the individual or agency you’re working with has already spoken with you about what you’re looking for and will narrow down profiles for you. This helps so you won’t be overwhelmed with a huge amount of profiles to look through. During your pregnancy, you’ll have time to look at photos, read the information, and ask questions to find out more about the prospective adoptive parents.
In some instances, adoption professionals may have already met with those who created some of the adoptive parent profiles and they will be able to answer some questions. You’ll also be able to at that point narrow down the individuals that you’re considering speaking to or setting up a meeting with. They will likely have questions for you and you’ll have questions for them.
This is a good time to think carefully about any questions you want to ask. It is also recommended that you review the profile once more prior to meeting to ensure that you get all of the questions answered that you might have. Though you’ll have time to continue to communicate, it’s good to have as many questions as possible answered before you start making plans on the type of adoption you want for your child. This will help you know if the prospective adoptive parents are willing to do an open adoption and help you know if you want to continue to allow them to adopt your child.
Unsure about the process of reviewing adoptive parent profiles? Now is the time to reach out to adoption professionals and any counselors that you might have been working with for help. If you have friends or family members helping you make this decision, you might even want to share the profile with them and the questions you’re considering asking to get their feedback and to even practice having conversations with. This can be an apprehensive time. Remember, if you’re nervous, the people whose adoptive parent profiles you’ve reviewed are likely just as anxious. Having support can help.
If you don’t have an adoption center or agency that you’re working with yet and are interested in doing so, look into these resources.
Need more information on finding a good support system?
Read more about choosing a family through adoptive parent profiles.
How Do you Create an Adoptive Parent Profile?
Reviewing adoption profiles takes time and can be very difficult. Creating them is also time-consuming.
Before you begin, reach out to your adoption agency or other adoption professionals that you’ve been working with. When it was time for my husband and me to create our profile, we not only received a guide from our agency, but we had the opportunity to view sample adoptive parent profiles.
Remember that some things are suggestions but some things are not. Make sure to learn what has to be in the book. In my own experience, we were told the more pictures the better and to make sure that we captioned those photos so that those reviewing the profile would know who and what they were looking at.
You’ll want to start with an expectant mother/parent letter. This is something that your agency will most likely work with you on. This is an intro to your profile and helps expectant parents know more about you. When you’re creating an expectant parent letter, you’ll want to make sure that you explain fully what you’re sharing so that the profile makes sense on its own. This letter is typically one or two pages in length.
In your profile, you’ll want to include information about your jobs, hobbies, lifestyle, travel, and vacations, parenting goals, local community, other children, pets, and other people who may reside in your home or be in your child’s life regularly. When I talk to prospective adoptive parents who are making these adoptive parent profiles, one of the things that they often say to me is that they are concerned that this seems like bragging. Though it may seem that way, expectant parents want you to highlight these things. They want to see what their child may have the opportunity to experience. It’s important that you share as much as possible so that expectant parents can get a clear glimpse into your life and who you are.
Though you may feel compelled to hire a photographer and do staged photos with your family and friends to fill up your adoptive parent profile, look through your albums and your phone instead. Candid photos are better to help showcase a day in your life and to share more about your friends and family. To be honest, this is one of my favorite photo compilations that my husband and I created before we were parents. It’s such a nice book that highlights who we were and are. If you don’t have photos of friends or family members you want to include? Encourage them to grab their cell phones and snap some quick photos. Though they still should be of good quality so that they can be included, candid and home done is always more authentic.
When you’re all done, make an extra copy. I can’t tell you how important this has been for us to have. My daughter loves to look at it. It’s part of her story about how she came to our family. She liked to look at the pictures when she was much younger and now she likes us to read it to her (she’s starting to read now so I’m sure she’ll be reading it to herself in no time). Additionally, we loan this out a lot to our friends who are in the process of adopting and who might need help. In fact, I actually made an additional copy that we could pass out so that our daughter would always have “her” copy when she wanted to know more about how her birth mother chose us to be her parents.
Learn more about creating your profile.
Here are some steps to creating your profile.
Whether you’re reviewing or creating an adoptive parent profile, you have a lot to consider. Make sure that you are working with individuals that can help you to work through any questions that you might have and to share how you can better navigate the adoption process. You’ll need this help before you make the adoption decision and even after the adoption is complete to deal with all of the emotional, physical, and legal issues that come with the adoption journey.
Remember that the exchange of information between prospective adoptive parents and expectant parents is best done with the assistance of adoption professionals that help expectant parents make educated decisions based on relevant and tangible information while providing support.
Though this can be a trying and difficult time, know that there are people ready to support you and help you navigate the adoption process.
Have more questions about creating an adoptive parent profile or about searching for them? Click here to ask!
Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Do you want more choices with your adoption plan? Do you want to regain more control in your life? Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98. We can help you put together an adoption plan that best meets your needs.