The Power of Storytelling in Your Adoption Profile

This may be the most important story you ever tell.

Shelley Skuster January 05, 2016

As a former television news reporter, selecting images and partnering them with appropriate words was my forte for many years. But when it came time for my husband and I to put together our adoption profile, I couldn’t put my red pen away. I knew the power of good storytelling firsthand, and this would be the most important story we told.

I remember feeling overwhelmed thinking about how to best tell our family’s story and our journey to adoption. As someone who told stories for a living, I knew the power of good storytelling firsthand, and this would be the most important story we told.

Here are six tips to consider when putting together your adoption profile:

If you’re considering adoption, click here to connect with an adoption professional who can help you understand your adoption options.

Remember your reader.
1. Remember your reader.

Your reader is an expectant parent considering an adoption plan for a baby. If you know the expectant parent(s) by name, you may consider using the name(s) in a brief letter introducing yourself. It may be a good idea to send more than one copy in case the expectant parent(s) want to share a copy with another family member or trusted friend.

Be concise.
2. Be concise.

Cut out unnecessary words and details. Remember, your reader (an expectant parent) is likely looking through dozens of adoption profile books. She won’t know what details and photos you choose to leave out. That being said, if there’s a quirk or fun tradition you have as a family, it may be useful to include that information in your profile. You never know what detail an expectant parent will connect with.

Use a creative layout.
3. Use a creative layout.

Use an easy-to-read font, a complementary color scheme, and space out your profile with appropriate headings and topics by page. Use a creative layout (like this one our adoption consultant chose to incorporate with our profile) to showcase your personality and help make your adoption profile flow. Enhance your storytelling with photo captions that offer more than a basic description.

Be honest.
4. Be honest.

Expectant parents are looking for a genuine glimpse into your family. Be honest about your family and traditions and beliefs.

Stay current.
5. Stay current.

It’s probably not a good idea to use photos of yourselves from the 80s. Your hair may have looked cooler (er, higher) back then, but most expectant parents want to get a glimpse of who you are now. A few professional photos are nice (we had some taken by Kerri Photography), but it’s also important to include photos of yourselves in everyday life, too.

Do your best to convey YOU.
6. Do your best to convey YOU.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to put together your adoption profile; each family is unique, just like each adoption profile that comes across an expectant parent’s lap. Do your best to convey your family in the most honest way possible, and have faith that the right match will come along.

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Shelley Skuster

Shelley is a former award-winning television journalist who traded in suit coats and red lipstick for a messy bun and yoga pants. She's a freelance writer who stays at home with her three daughters who are all ((gasp)) under the age of three and came to her via adoption and birth. She's the woman behind the blog Shelley Writes and she can also be found on facebook and twitter as ShelleySkuster.

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