DON’T PANIC! Learn how to attract birth parents to your unique qualities as a family in ways that are as warm and genuine as you are.
Long ago, adoption agencies used a list. When a couple was approved as a waiting family, they went to the bottom of the list. Once at the top of the list, they were matched with the next baby surrendered to that agency.
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Not anymore. Once we got approved, we had to market ourselves to attract a birth family to select us. We were asked to create a booklet containing a letter to prospective birth families, background information about ourselves, our family, and our home.
Every agency has a different way of handling marketing. Some ask for just a letter and a few photos, ours asked for a booklet. But either way, it can be intimidating.
Adoption Marketing? I didn’t know how to start!
We were given a sample and visited the agency site online to get an idea of what other families had done. Mentally, I put myself into a birth parents place and wondered what I would want to know about a family before placing my baby with them.
Write for your audience-
Imagining the circumstances that lead someone to choose adoption for an unplanned pregnancy, reminded me that often birth families do so because of what they cannot provide for a child: a stable marriage, a safe and happy home, possibly extended family or a certain lifestyle.
I had to think about how we answered those needs for them.
Take some time to answer these questions about you and your family.
- How would you describe your family, marriage, home?
- What are your hobbies, individually and as a family?
- How do your careers affect who you are and your family?
- What is your plan for childcare following the adoption?
- How will your values or faith inform your life and parenting choices?
- What other relationships do you have: extended family, close friendships?
A genuine letter or booklet should carefully create an image of the life their child will have with your family.
The real trick is to keep it genuine while getting attention. Adopting a baby is a miracle – not salesmanship, but you can make your profile stand out in simple ways that don’t sell your soul.Adoption is a miracle not marketing. Make your profile stand out without selling your soul. Click To Tweet
So I began choosing colorful pictures that clearly showed our unique story: our engagement, marriage, my stepsons, our extended family, activities and holidays.
Photography Tips –
- Chose a mixture of posed & candid shots, formal & casual clothing.
- Select flattering, colorful photographs of joyful moments.
- Use a photo editor to touch up dull pictures or crop images. Picasa is a great FREE photo editor.
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Our marriage began with a unique fairy tale proposal, so I created a fairy tale theme for our booklet. Once upon a time, there was a boy, and miles away on the other side of the kingdom was this girl, then they met, and the rest is history, but they are still writing their happily ever after.
Our profile began with a letter sharing our heart about our family and about the courageous choice of adoption.
Dear Birth Family, “We are humbled by your gracious,
loving decision to choose adoption for your baby, and we want to thank you for considering our family for your child . . .”
Then we continued briefly describing our marriage and family. Having a booklet allowed us to add depth and personality to our profile. Add personal details without being too specific.
A brief background on both my husband and myself – our childhoods, education, activities, extended family.
- Our family – home, pets, other children, and extended family
- Fun and Faith and Philosophy – we shared about our interests and hobbies, our faith, and our values.
- Closing statement thanking the birth parent for making a selfless decision for their child.
Use wording that demonstrates the ongoing nature of the birth parent’s relationship to the child. This is especially important if you’re choosing an open adoption. The birth parents will be a part of your child’s life and that needs to be respected.
Keep specifics limited.
The birth parent needs to know enough to trust you and to know you, but the more details you offer, the larger opportunity for rejection.#AdoptionMarketing Think 1st date, not autobiography. Personal & genuine, not too specific. Click To Tweet
Think first date for your letter. If you have to write a more formal booklet, think second date.
Keep your information focused on generalities but with personality. We live in a cozy home on a cul-de-sac with lots of children. Interests – We enjoy being outdoors and learning about nature.
Don’t get too specific about hot topics – like politics or vaccines, guns, etc.
Will a child be safe in your home? Will you love that child and provide a stable home? Those are the topics that really matter to birth family. People have strong opinions and you want to be open to an infant from as many different backgrounds as possible.
But also be honest. Choosing what to share is important, but the things that make you unique as a couple and as potential parents are important too. Our birthmother told us she chose us, in part, because we were just everyday people who would be hands on parents, active and present in her baby’s life.
Whatever drew her attention, we only waited a couple of weeks before being matched. Conversely, a couple can wait for years because they are not chosen by birth families. I hope my suggestions can help someone make their profile unique and special.
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While the adoption marketing process can seem shallow, all about appearances, you can make it about your heart and home with what you decide to share.
Make it about the warmth of your love, the strength of your family, the unique culture or community in which you live.
Most of all, I know that God will bring the right child to your family. I know God plan was for this timing, for this child, for us. We couldn’t be more blessed.
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