Ah, summertime and the livin’ is easy. So easy that it’s tempting to sit back, relax, and put your adoption networking efforts on hold. Why not? Everyone else seems to be enjoying themselves. Why not you?
Well, for one thing, you never know when an adoption situation will come up. Unplanned pregnancies happen anytime anywhere, and so does the need for adoptive parents. Prospective birthparents don’t take a break. Which is why you shouldn’t either.
In fact, now is this is the perfect time to ramp up your adoption networking efforts and do all the things you couldn’t do earlier in the year. Not only will it help you further differentiate yourself from other prospective adoptive parents, it will also give your adoption outreach plan a huge boost as you head into the fall.
Rewrite your adoption profile
I know: this is probably the last thing you want to hear. Writing your parent profile the first time was probably the hardest thing you ever did. So who in their right mind would ever want to go back and do it again? Before you dismiss the idea outright, though, just think about it: your adoption profile is the best networking tool you’ve got to connect with prospective birthparents. And if it hasn’t worked for you so far, there’s probably a reason.
Now nobody’s telling you to re-write it from scratch. That would be cruel. Just a few tweaks here and there may be all you need to turn things around. Who knows, the first time you wrote it you may have been in a rush to get it done. You might not have given it all the care and consideration it deserved.
Now that time has passed and you’ve had a chance to look at other profiles you’ve might have noticed that there’s something missing in yours. So why not spend the time now and do it right? Maybe there’s a section that could be beefed up, a sentence or two that could be re-written or a thought that could be expressed more succintly?
What about your photos — are you happy with them? Do they show you in a best light possible? What’s the quality like? Are they sharp and well-cropped or could they use a bit of work? Maybe you don’t need to rewrite your profile after all. Maybe all you really need to do is replace a photo or two. Changing a photo is a lot easier than changing a paragraph. And it also can have a much bigger impact if you want to get noticed by prospective birthparents, especially if it’s one of your main pictures.
Explore other adoption networking options
When it comes to networking your profile, it helps to have a plan. But when your Plan A runs out of gas what do you do? Simple. Move on to Plan B.
There are plenty of options at your disposal. Let’s say you registered with an agency but you haven’t heard anything back. Not even a peep. Now is the time to call them up and find out what happened. Are they showing your adoption profile to prospective birthparents, and if so, how often? What kind of response has it received? What have prospective birthparents said about it? What kind of impression are you making?
Whatever input you get back will be helpful when it comes time to make over your profile. You might discover that your introduction is too long. Or that prospective birthparents want more information about what your post-placement plans are. Or you might learn that there’s nothing wrong with your profile in particular. It just sounds like everyone else’s.
If your profile hasn’t been shown, find out why. Are all the elements there? If not, try to get a sense of what’s missing or what parts needs improvement. You might decide that there’s nothing wrong with your profile at all. You might decide that the problem is that not enough prospective birthparents have seen it.
Consider social networking websites
In that case, you may want to consider signing up with another agency. Some agencies have a pay-as-you-go fee structure and will charge you a nominal fee to show your profile. The real expenses don’t kick in until after you find a match. Depending on your budget and time frame, registering with an additional agency could help you adopt quicker and safer.
But if money is an issue, there are other more affordable networking options. Posting your profile online on a service like ours is an inexpensive way to get more exposure. Or you could advertise it on Google or Facebook. Another popular way to increase your visibility is to create a free profile on social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
During the dog days of summer, it’s easy to take your eye off the ball and get distracted with other things. But now is the time to re-examine your adoption outreach strategy and discover what’s working and what isn’t. After all, when it comes time to beefing up your outreach strategy, there’s no time like the present.
Are you taking advantage of the summer lull and exploring new ways of building on your adoption networking strategy? What changes have you made to your parent profile or outreach strategy? What are you doing to give yourself a leg up in your quest to connect with a prospective birthmother?