There are currently 196.5 million Facebook users in the US. Facebook is a wonderful way for people to connect with old friends, family members, and colleagues. It is also a wonderful resource for prospective adoptive parents who are trying to adopt.

Social Media is an Option

Many couples begin their journey to building their family through adoption by posting a video online or creating a profile of their family. These profiles are a wonderful way to draw the attention of mothers who are seeking a family in which to place their child who are active on an adoption site. Sometimes, women or their supportive family members who are helping them through the adoption process may not be active on a website or profile page and may look to where they are most familiar in order to find a family–social media.

No Need to Recreate the Wheel

Prospective adoptive parents do not need to recreate the wheel when deciding to utilize Facebook for their adoption. If you created a profile or video for your profile reuse the content you already have and simply post to your personal Facebook timeline. If you have a blog, repurpose some of the content you created for that site and create a shareable PDF or Jpeg photo you can post to Facebook.

Network Effects

Some prospective adoptive parents are very active on Facebook and have Facebook Friends that number in the thousands. Others just create a Facebook profile for the specific purpose of adopting and may have few connections. If you are new to Facebook, like and follow as many people as possible. Expanding your network will help in gaining more impressions. If you post a video of your desire to adopt or information from your blog, any friend who likes, comments or shares your post will have those in their network see it as well. This is how you can gain exponential impressions and put your desire to adopt in front of many more people than your original base of Facebook Friends. Make sure that you do not just post, but specifically state a call to action to share on their timeline. Asking others to help get your story out makes them more willing to share your original post. Friends may believe you are keeping this information among Friends and not share out of privacy. Please let them know you hope this reaches as many folks as possible.

Create a Facebook Page and Promote It

If you wish to gain even more traction and impressions, you may want to consider creating a Facebook page with a creative title focused on your adoption journey or desire to adopt. You can invite every one of your Friends to like and follow your page and promote it on your profile. This is a great way to make your story centralized and link to it on your personal page. Oftentimes posts can get looked over and not seen as they move lower on your timeline. If you have a page, you can regularly post to it with updates or new videos and ask your Friends to share.

Facebook pages also give you the option to promote it further with buying ads. These ads are simple to activate publicity, and you are fully in control of the money spent. You can set a limit or budget for each day, week, or for the entirety of the campaign. You can target various demographics (18- to 30-year-old women) to ensure that your ads reach mothers planning an adoption. These ads allow you to promote your page or a post much further than your own network of Friends and Friends of Friends.

Check your Privacy Settings

How do you ensure that your page or profile reach the maximum number of people? Facebook privacy settings and terms of service regularly are updated, so be sure you are privy to the intricacies of how privacy settings work.

Even if you wish to keep your personal Facebook profile private, be sure that your adoption posts or videos are made public so they can be viewed and shared outside your network of Friends. Change your privacy settings so that anyone can Friend you (not just Friends of Friends).

Facebook Messenger is an app and feature on Facebook’s site that allows you to send and receive private direct messages. If you see someone post, “I will PM (or DM) you,” it means they will be sending you a message via Messenger. Be sure that you regularly check your Messenger app and site and also be sure to visit the “Message Requests” portion of Messenger. This is where you will receive any messages from individuals not in your network of Friends.

Stay Safe

The adoption journey can be fraught with emotions and at times feel like a roller coaster. The stress of ensuring that you and your family are safe should not add anxiety. Taking simple precautions can ensure that you are protected and also can help mitigate risk of adoption fraud.

It’s simple: Do not put confidential information on your public profile or Facebook page. Do not share your last name, your phone number, address, email address or any other information with which you would not want the general public to have access. If you are contacted via Messenger or in the post, privately share contact information via Messenger so that you can communicate offline. Utilizing the services of a private investigator can also ensure that the person with whom you are communicating is who they say they are to protect yourself from fraud.