An unplanned pregnancy can make everything in your life feel out of control, but finding an adoptive family you’re excited about may calm your nerves and give you hope. Hopeful adoptive families get the word out about their hopes to adopt in many ways, so knowing where to find them is your first step in locating a family who gives you hope and confidence that your child will be loved and taken care of forever.

Here are some places you can look to find a family whose dreams for the future match your own.

Agency

Adoption agencies can show you profiles of the families who currently use their services. These profiles are typically 3 to 10 pages and give you a quick glimpse into their lives. You’ll see photos and hear a little about their story, and you’ll probably find out what kind of adoption they’re looking for. After you show interest in a hopeful adoptive family, the agency will typically put you on the phone with them. They may even arrange an in-person meeting if that family lives close to you.

Parent Profiles

Services like Parent Profiles are online, searchable databases of waiting families. On these sites, you get to see a few photos and a quick synopsis of their lives and adoption dreams. You can use the service to contact the couple directly, and you and the couple can work together to set up a time for a phone call or meeting. If they are currently signed on with an agency, you may choose to use that agency for the placement, or you may discuss other options with the family if you are uncomfortable with their agency.

Social Media

Because of social media, bypassing an agency and finding a couple online is becoming more common. Many waiting families choose to cover all their bases in the hope you’ll find them, so they create Facebook pages and websites. Many will advertise on Facebook or Google, so if you search for hopeful adoptive families in your area, there’s a good chance you’ll find many right away. On Facebook, searching for these families is simple. You can type in “Hoping to Adopt” and find dozens of pages, which often include numerous photos and regular updates from the family (and their family/friends) about their beliefs and how their adoption journey is going. Instagram and other forms of social media are also becoming more popular, so don’t discount your ability to find the family of your dreams through these methods.

Facilitators

Beware of facilitators who may over-promise and under-deliver. Some hopeful adoptive couples pay a lot of money for facilitators to advertise and find you. If you choose not to use an agency or to find the couple yourself and instead choose to reach out to a facilitator (which are not legal in many states), do as much research as you can.

Word of Mouth

I’ve heard dozens of stories about hopeful adoptive families who were connected to their child’s birth mom through word of mouth. When a hopeful adoptive family opens up and tells their family and friends about their hope to adopt, and those people tell more people, amazing things can happen. If you are equally forthcoming about your plans for adoption, a connection could happen.