If you’ve clicked onto this blog post, there’s a good chance that you’re already aware of the power of your adoption profile. It’s a crucial part of how potential birth mothers will learn about you. Your adoption profile becomes the first impression she gets of your lives and what you’d offer as her child’s adoptive parents.
It’s possible to avoid a lot of extra work (and even shorten your adoption wait!) by dodging the most significant profile mistakes. So that you don’t jeopardize your chances of moving forward with an adoption match, here are 10 things to avoid including in your profile:
1. Personal Information
First off, you’ll want to avoid providing your personal contact information in your profile. Including personal details may actually set you up for an adoption scam. So we encourage you to leave off your last name, address, city, employer, alma mater, or any other identifying info when you create your profile.
It’s a good idea to give birth families a feel for your community. But what you want to avoid is listing stuff like your address or the name of your city. When a birth mother wishes to connect with you, she can do so through your adoption professional.
2. Assuming Language
It’s necessary to avoid including any language in your profile which implies you know what a birth mother is going through right now. Remember, a pregnant woman may not know for sure if she’s choosing adoption when she looks at profiles. So if you praise her for her decision or talk about your excitement to raise her baby, you could put unwanted pressure on her.
While you might mean well, using assuming language like this could cause a birth mother to remove you from her selection of adoptive families:
“You’re so courageous in making this selfless decision.”
“We know you’re going through such a hard time right now.”
3. Inappropriate Photos
It’s fine to show your silly side or candid moments with kids in your profile. However, sharing a photo of you in a skimpy bikini at the beach or your spouse drunk at a party in college? Not so much. The photos in your profile certainly don’t have to be perfect, but you’ll want to choose the images you include with caution.
Birth parents don’t need to see you with your shirt off or in a bikini, so choose photos where you’re appropriately covered up. Ensure that you look at the background of your photos, too, to make sure no alcoholic beverages are showing.
4. Accentuating Fertility Issues
Infertility is a very common reason for turning to adoption. Birth parents will want to know why you’re adopting, so it’s fine to share this part of your story. However, it’s best to mention it briefly and then go on to talk about the future you’ll provide for a child. There’s no need to go into detail about your diagnosis and treatment.
5. Living in the Past
Avoid giving elaborate stories about what you used to do, where you used to live, and other details about your past. Some hopeful adoptive couples like to tell long, romantic stories about how they met. However, the focus of an adoption profile should be your family right now and the future. After all, birth mothers want to see the kind of life you have right now and what sort of life her child could have with you!
6. Putting a Birth Parent’s Experience Into Words
Don’t provide birth parents with emotions that they might not be feeling. Avoid using expressions that put words in expectant mothers’ mouths, like, “We will love your baby more than you can even imagine.”
Sure, people mean well when they say this sort of thing. But it can come across as offensive. Instead, concentrate on sharing about yourselves in your profile. Let birth parents process their thoughts and emotions without bias.
7. Posed Photos Only
It’s just fine to show posed photos in your adoption profile. They can be a great way to display your family on vacation, in a favorite location at home or a family celebration. But having solely posed photos in your profile can be limiting (and boring!) Include a mixture of active and posed photos so that birth parents get a complete picture of your family.
8. Empty Promises
Your profile is the perfect spot to share your commitment and promise to your child’s birth parents. But don’t give the birth parents promises you have no idea if you’ll be able to keep, in order to appear more enticing to them. Examples might include having visits every month or inviting them over to your house on holidays.
Several factors will define the nature and scope of an open adoption arrangement with your child’s birth family. Plus, and these factors may change over time. So you’ll definitely want to avoid setting up the birth family for disappointment before you’ve even begun your relationship.
9. Too Many Words
Please don’t share your entire life story in your adoption profile! For instance, birth parents don’t want to read long stories about your relationship. Instead, your profile should give a bit of info about each area of your life, including your faith, family, occupation, and home. If you spark a birth mother’s curiosity, she can ask you follow-up questions when you speak over the phone. At that point, you could go into more detail.
10. Anything That Isn’t the REAL You
Your adoption profile should show you and your family accurately. Please avoid trying to portray perfection or a fake version of yourself. After all, birth parents don’t require you to be perfect. On the other hand, they also don’t want to see a generic adoptive couple that’s like every other. Ensure that your individuality shines through by talking about your family life, hobbies, and vacation experiences.