adopting blog

Inspiration, Resources, Opinions & Advice From Our Adoption Community

Effective Adoption Profiles: A Birthmother's Perspective

Effective Adoption Profiles

I think there are hopeful adoptive parents out there that might believe that we birth parents had specific things we desired or didn’t when we were expectant parents considering adoption. I know that I, along with other birth moms that I know, have been asked in the past or even recently what we looked for in the families that we ultimately selected as if there’s a magical combination that will make the hopeful adoptive parents more selectable. Unfortunately there isn’t a magical combination of attributes, or lack thereof, to which I can point you that will help your profile get selected faster. What attracts different expectant parents to your profile are as different as the people themselves.

However, here are a few things to keep in mind:

An expectant parent looks for connection and commonalities.

In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re living in a one-bedroom apartment in the city or a huge farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere. This is the most important of anything I will say to you. We want to be able to relate to you.

Don’t worry about perfection.

When we see your profile, we know you’re real people that aren’t perfect. Unless you make it obvious in other ways that you have artistic talent, a fancy profile book isn’t going to make one bit of a difference. In fact if it’s obvious to us that you don’t have artistic talent and you have a professional-looking profile, it will seem to us that you didn’t care enough to do the profile yourself. It may be the opposite, but to us when we’re strangers, we don’t know any better.

Be real.

That seems to go along with perfection or lack thereof, but it’s not quite the same thing. We don’t want “Barbie and Ken” in an adoptive family. Pictures of a perfect house with a perfectly manicured yard are not realistic for most people.

Show us your passions.

If you’re passionate about fitness, show pictures of you hiking, biking, or running marathons. If you like watching movies, take pictures of ticket stubs from your first movie date. If family is important to you, we want to see it. That was one of the things that struck me over and over when looking at my daughter’s parents’ profile – the fact that their families were obviously really important to them. It was ultimately one of the main reasons I selected them.

Stability is important.

I realize that this is difficult to show, but we will figure that out from the little that you say about yourselves and each other in your profile. Stability doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing to all of us, and we’re aware that even the most stable relationships can break down. However, most of us that wind up in this position are in unstable situations of one type or another. It doesn’t matter if you’re a single parent looking to adopt or if you’ve been married for twenty years. When I selected my daughter’s parents, it was fantastic to me to see that they’d been in nearly the same neighborhood since they’d been married and that they’d been together since their first year of college. Keep in mind that these were things that were important to me. It might not hold the same importance to anyone else.

Final Thoughts

You may do everything opposite of the things I’ve suggested and have your profile picked, or you may have a wonderful profile and not get selected. Again, there’s really no magic formula for a profile. It may seem unfair if you’ve waited a long time, but every parent I’ve talked to has said with no qualifications that they would do it all again including their long wait to get the child and family with whom they’ve been matched.