When a woman is faced with the option of adoption, she may consider who she would like to raise her child if she moves forward with that option. I placed my daughter for adoption in 2010, so things were a little bit different as far as the delivery method of adoption parent profiles back then. However, the important things that stuck out to me have not changed. These days, you can find adoption parent profiles online, on social media accounts, and through the old-school version. I received photo books. The beauty about the modernized adoption parent profile moving to the internet is that you can add things in real-time. So, if you are putting together a nursery, you can add that to your profile’s newsfeed. If you went to a fun place this weekend that you’d love to take your child to someday, you could also share that. Also, another thing that I love about the new bells and whistles for profiles is that you can add videos. I think this is an awesome feature to be a bit more personable. I sit on panels often where I get the opportunity to share my story and answer questions for hopeful adoptive parents through an agency. One of the most common questions I get as a birth mother is “What can we put in our adoption parent profile to stand out?” Well, while I cannot promise to help you stand out, as all birth mothers are unique and drawn to different things, I can give you some tips to things that might stand out in a profile to a birth mother as well as examples of profiles that I found showing these things.
Family and Friends
Our family and friends are always a huge part of our lives. As a birth mother, I love that people share pictures of their friends and family because I know that means the couple has a good support network. Adoption is challenging and has a lot of ups and downs. I think that it is vital to have people available to rally together and support and encourage you. Some things that stood out in the profiles I looked through in this category were pictures of celebrations and individual pictures with blurbs about the people closest to you. So, this would be a great category to put in the information about the grandparents, uncles, aunts, siblings, or best friends who will be super involved in our child’s life. Women considering adoption will want to see what kind of people will be in their child’s life and to see what kind of support you’ll have.
I love to travel the world and experience new cultures and foods. I think that it is extremely important to share other cultures, practices, and religions with our children, so seeing anyone exploring the world, celebrating different holidays, and immersing themselves in culture stands out to me. I think that this is also an important tidbit for those of us who have the possibility of transracial adoption. My daughter is Latina and I wanted her to have the opportunity to learn about her culture, to learn Spanish if she chose to, and to be surrounded by people who could share the importance of that part of her heritage with her. So, when I see people who are out discovering the world and the people in it, I hope for good opportunities for my daughter in self-discovery and discovery in general. Some good ways to share this in your profile are pictures of your latest adventures, sharing some of your bucket-list adventure ideas, things you take away from certain trips, and videos of you seeing the world.
Do you have a farm full of furry and feathered friends? I’m here for it and want to see every friend on the farm. Your unique home life is fabulous material for your profile. Often, when families live a farm life, this means that your kids will help take care of all of the animals. It’s fun for expectant mothers considering adoption to be able to envision their child gathering eggs from the chickens, spreading hay and feed to the horses, and chasing after the pigs and rabbits. Don’t have a farm, but have adorable fur-children? Me, too. (Although, I wish I had a farm full of all kinds of animals.) My dog, Chloe, is my life. She is the most spoiled Smooth Collie out there, I am sure of it. So when I see adoptive parent profiles doting on their dogs and cats, I gush. An awesome idea to stand out here would be to give some of your animals a page. Tell us what quirks and personalities they have, how they are around kiddos, and if they have any cool talents.
We love to see where our child could be growing up. From nursery pictures to back yards ready for swing-sets and playhouses, expectant mothers love seeing the environment you have created to raise children in. I am a huge fan of interior design, so I am low-key judging the interior of your home while sifting through pictures, but the biggest questions going through my mind are: “Can I see my child walking through these halls?” and “Does this place scream welcome home and this house is full of love?” I don’t think that you can go wrong here in how you share your home, but a few fun ideas would be to show people gathering in your home, how it dazzles during the holidays, you guys working on DIY projects or in the garden, and even some fun cooking highlights in the kitchen. I can imagine if I were to do anything in this category, it might be fun to show a picture of me baking one of my grandmother’s famous recipes and sharing the recipe on the side of the picture with a caption. I think that it’s also fun to share if your town has any fun landmarks or traditions like Christmas markets or festivals.
Children in Your Life
Are you already parenting? Awesome! Have the kiddos share through an art project or short little letter to future siblings how excited they’d be to have a sibling. (Side note: Please protect their little hearts. So if you think an activity like that would upset them if they were waiting a long time for a sibling, or confuse them, find another way to share something like that.) The couple that I chose did not have any children yet, but they did share about their nieces and nephews or friend’s kids. Pictures of either of you hanging out with the nieces and nephews during the holidays is a great way to touch our hearts. Photos and videos of you on a mission trip hanging out with the local children is also a great choice. Even showing your favorite children’s books or toys is a cool way to touch on this topic. If you have struggled with infertility or have had an incomplete adoption match that the expectant mother decided to parent instead of placing for adoption, you can share these things here too, if you decide to be vulnerable with that information. If that is a part of your story, know that I am so sorry things have not gone as planned, but I am cheering you on in your search for creating a family. I wish all of the hopeful adoptive parents the best in this endeavor.
How did you meet your spouse? What do you love the most about them? What qualities are really special about them? How will they or do they shine as a parent? These things are important to us expectant mothers because your love for one another will speak tremendously on how you will love our child and how you will parent. One of the things that I really loved about my daughter’s parents’ profile, was a pair of love letters they wrote about each other. It really warmed my heart that their love for one another was so deep and that they admired so many things about one another. I knew that they would be remarkable parents who loved her with their whole being. At the end of the day, that was the most important thing to me. Share pictures of your wedding, dating days, honeymoon, first house, etc. Take us down memory lane.
Interests and Hobbies
What do you do on the weekends? Are you a hiker that loves visiting state parks during your free time? Do you enjoy annual cruises? Are you a runner that competes in the annual turkey trot on Thanksgiving each year? Do you have a small business of handcrafted items? Share these fun things in your profile so that your personality shines. If I were creating a profile, I would share that I enjoy buying funky flavored craft beers, I sing on the worship team at church and crush it at some karaoke with friends, I love repurposing antiques and creating things with my hands or anything artsy and creative, and that I always make sure to go on walks with my pup. Anything that shares more about who you are and what you enjoy is always great. You never know what will stand out to someone.
What did your childhood look like? Did you grow up in a small town? Did you move a lot due to your parent’s career? Did you have any traditions during the holidays? Did you have a lot of friends growing up or were you shy? Did you have siblings? What kind of activities were you involved in? Did you always know you wanted to have kids someday? This category is super important in my opinion because our childhood speaks a lot about what we want or don’t want for our kids someday. This is a great opportunity to share baby pictures or memories with expectant mothers. Expectant mothers, this is an awesome way to know more about the couple on a deeper level. Make sure to include some stories and some hopes for what your child’s childhood could look like. I would share about growing up as an adoptee who always knew she was adopted but did not have a relationship with my birth family, grew up singing and dancing on stages most of my adolescence, had an unhealthy addiction to N*SYNC (die hard fan, y’all), and that I got to live in England for a year at the age of 7.
Adoption Plan Wishes
Talk about your wishes for your child’s life here. This will touch expectant mother’s souls. They are considering adoption because they want the best for their child and I know you do too, so share your hopes with her. I even suggest writing a letter to an expectant mama. Make sure to acknowledge the sacrifice she is considering and that you wish to honor her in your child’s life. If you wish to have a close relationship with her, if she is open to that, share that as well. As I was getting to know my daughter’s parents, I went to lunch or other activities with them often during my pregnancy. It was special to me because it showed that I was important to them too, not just my baby. And that they wanted to know me and be a part of my life, which really helped our bond naturally grow over the years to them now being family to me. If you already have a connection to adoption, share that here, too. If you are educating yourself on adoption trauma, avoidant attachment styles, or birth mother grief through resources, share that too.
Adoption Parent Profile
I hope that my insight to what is good to include on your adoptive parent profile was helpful and to the expectant mothers considering adoption for their child, I hope that this gave you some perspective of the things I noticed in profiles when it came time to pick parents for my girl. This is a challenging journey, but if there has been anything I have learned about adoptive parent profiles, it’s that it always works out and our hearts lead us to what’s right for our children. So just be yourself and trust the process.
Katie Reisor is an adoptee and birth mom who is passionate about adoption advocacy and breaking stigmas around birth parents. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and hanging out with her dog, Chloe.