It may sound a little strange to talk about “marketing” in conjunction with building your family, but the truth is that there are a lot more parents hoping to adopt than there are babies who are being placed for adoption. Because of that, it’s important to know a few tips and tricks for spreading the word about your adoption and making sure that your adoption profile gets noticed.
Photos on your profile and blog are the first thing expectant parents see when looking through profiles. You want expectant parents to easily imagine what life would be like for their child in your family. The easiest way to do that is not through words but through photos that tell the stories of your life. Having a strategy to tell those stories makes the difference between a successful profile that gets lots of views and one that just blends in with all the rest.
An adoption video might be the single best tool you can use to make a match with your future child’s birth parent. Whether it’s an expectant parent, friend, family member, or distant acquaintance watching, your video can help them become emotionally invested in your family, which can lead to a successful placement. The purpose of an adoption video is to make the person who clicks on the video link become emotionally invested in your future adoption. If it is an expectant parent watching the video, you want them to feel connected to your family so they will want to place with you. If it is a friend, family member, or distant acquaintance who is watching the video, you want them to feel connected with your family so they will step out of their comfort zone to recommend you to someone who is thinking of placing.
An adoption profile with your agency’s online gallery and other online listing services (like Parent Profiles!) can be a great way to connect with an expectant parent. I like to joke that looking through the gallery of expectant parents is much like online dating. Agencies and professional listing services usually have a template profile to which adoptive hopefuls add photos, their Dear Expectant Parent Letter, and any other information they would like to share.
Share photos that tell about you and what you like to do. Most expectant parents look through dozens of profiles. They aren’t going to be reading every single word. They are going to be looking for something that jumps out at them. Photos stand out, words do not. Sarcasm, humor, and inside jokes do not read well. Say it with me: photo-heavy, word-light. Make your connection with amazing photos!“Picking a couple for my child was not easy at first. I went through less than 60 adoptive couple profiles before I found my adoptive couple. I didn’t pick my couple just because they looked wealthy, attractive, or because of their life stories. When I saw my adoptive couple’s profile, a feeling came over me of peace and assurance. I knew they were the adoptive couple for me; watching the video of their past adoption experience and seeing who they were, was something that I wanted for myself and my child.”
An adoption blog allows expectant parents to envision what their child’s life would be like with you as his or her parents. It allows you to share a wealth of information and photos in a way that is uniquely “you.” Expectant parents can gain a greater understanding of who you are through your adoption blog.
Create a space in which expectant parents can really gain a sense of who you are as a family and what life would be like for their child in your home. Help expectant parents feel the love you have for their child and for them."Browsing through adoptive family profiles was so daunting! So many families and only one baby. I knew I wanted an open adoption, so I looked for the most open and honest couple I could find. Kevin and Jessie's blog was not only personal, but it was compassionate. To top it off they had their Facebook profile linked on the sidebar of their blog. You can't get more open than inviting someone to view your past and present lifestyle. It was all laid out and transparent."
Social media allows you to make your life as transparent as you want to. Sharing your adoption journey online is a sure way to get people emotionally invested in helping you grow your family. Think of how many Facebook friends you have. How many Instagram followers. Could you possibly talk intimately about your adoption journey with each of them? No way. Sharing your journey publically will force you to open up and share your heartaches, but it could also help you find your children.
Number one rule: Keep adoption positive. Sound excited, not desperate."We realized we needed help from our family and friends when the waiting had taken its toll on us. We knew we needed to throw our privacy aside in order to find our baby. It was difficult for us to "advertise" ourselves on Facebook, but we are so glad we did. We posted our adoption blog on Facebook with a short message and one of my husband's friends saw our profile and knew of an expectant mom considering adoption for her child. Because of him, we met an expectant mom and were able to become parents of the most adorable little boy."
Pass-along Cards that have a family photo, contact information, and your “hope to adopt” message are another great way to remind your friends and family that they can help you grow your family.
Cards are great but only if people know what to do with them. When you hand them out, be sure to tell people how to use them, who to give them to, and when to share your information."Our first adoption came because we took the only action we knew how. We told everyone we could think of that we were ready to adopt and to please remember us. We sent Christmas cards with adoption pass along cards inside that shared our information. It was a tiny thing that we felt we had 'control' over. Only weeks later, we were contacted by our adoption agency. A family friend knew of a woman who had given birth and was looking for an adoptive family for her baby girl. Our friend remembered our pass-along card on their refrigerator and began to make the connections for us. Forty-eight hours later we were getting on a plane to meet our baby girl and her heroic birth mom."
Is there any greater way to get people invested in your cause than by sharing your story? Talk to people. Share your thoughts about what adoption looks like to you. Tell them about the relationship you hope to have with birth parents and their families.
By sharing your adoption journey, you are not only networking but also educating others about adoption and what it really looks like.“Sharing our son's adoption story with a friend lead him to share our story with his daughter, a midwife. A few months later she contacted us, asking if we were interested in adopting a baby boy. Now we have two adorable little boys, who are the best of friends, just 6 months apart."