1. How can America Adopts! services help me?
We can help you two ways: our Adoption Profiles can help you reach out to prospective birthparents more easily and directly. And our adoption writing, video and networking services can help you create an effective adoption profile and spread the word about it.
2. What’s the difference between America Adopts! and an agency?
We’re a web-based information and resource that brings together birth parents and adoptive parents. Our focus is specifically on making your adoption profile the best it can be and then leveraging it online so you can adopt faster and easier. An agency, on the other hand, is a state-licensed organization that can help you with a wide range of adoption services from your home study to the legal work.
3. Are you a facilitator?
No, a facilitator usually acts as a third party to help bring birth parents and adoptive parents together. At America Adopts! there are no mediators. Prospective birth parents and adoptive parents interact directly, without filters.
4. We’re already working with an adoption agency. What do you offer that they don’t?
Our services are focused specifically on your parent profile — writing it, packaging it, and networking it.
5. How does your service differ from others?
With 10 years of experience of adoption networking under our belt, we’ve helped dozens of adoptive parents connect with birth families. In addition to being adoptive parents ourselves, we’re professional writers and designers with a background in marketing. As adoptive parents, we have a sense of what you’re going through mainly because we’ve been through it ourselves.
6. Do I still need an agency if I sign up for your service?
Yes. We’re not here to replace the work your professionals are doing, but rather to build on it. Not everyone specializes in adoption profile writing and outreach. We do.
7. What’s your philosophy about finding a match?
A match can happen any time to any couple. Luck plays a huge role. But often you make your own luck. We believe the more you put into your profile, the more you get out of it.
8. How long will it take me to find a match?
Each case is different. That said, we can’t guarantee you a match. No service can. However, we can say with confidence that you’ll have a better chance of finding an adoption match by joining our service than by not joining it.
Adoption Profiles FAQs
1. What are the benefits of posting our adoption profile on America Adopts!?
Placing your profile online gives you a chance to reach out to and interact with prospective birthparents from all over the country instantly and directly and for a fraction of the cost of other networking tools.
2. Can anyone get their profile posted?
As long as you’re home study ready and your state allows advertising by hopeful adoptive parents, you’re more than welcome to join our Adoption Profiles.
3. Why would a prospective birth mother look online for a adoptive family?
When it comes to finding parents for their child, prospective birth mothers consider a variety of options. Because it’s fast, convenient and offers anonymity, the internet is one of the first places expectant parents visit for information and for parents for their child.
4. But wouldn’t an expectant mother who’s considering adoption contact an adoption agency or an attorney first?
Possibly. Each situation is different so it all depends on the expectant mother and her circumstances. However, some expectant mothers may choose not to contact an agency agency or an attorney right away because either they’re not ready or they’re intimidated.
5. What’s the advantage of posting our profile on your service as opposed to other online services?
We offer some extras that other services don’t. For instance, as far as we know, we’re the only site that has turned its entire home page over to its waiting parents, thus ensuring you maximum exposure. Plus, unlike some services, we welcome waiting parents from all walks of life, regardless of their sexual orientation, marital status or religion.
6. What’s the difference between creating our own personal website and posting our profile on America Adopts!?
Creating your website will give you a presence online, but it doesn’t necessarily mean people will find you. Thanks to our expertise in search engine optimization and social networking, we can increase your visibility and help you find a match with an expectant mother in ways that a personal website can’t.
7. How many birth parents would see our profile?
Potentially thousands of people could have access to your profile. However, it’s impossible to say what percentage of that is made up of potential birthmothers. Keep in mind that it takes only one person to find a match.
8. What happens after a prospective birthparent contacts us?
We recommend you notify your adoption professional right away. They have experience in these matters, you don’t. With their help, you’ll need to determine two things: whether the person who’s contacted you really is a prospective birthparent and whether she’s committed to an adoption plan.
9.What should we do if we’re contacted by a prospective birthparent from outside the U.S.?
Adoptions that originate overseas are considered international adoptions, and as a result have their own rules and regulations. Also, be aware that most of the adoption scams originate overseas so it’s wise to notify your adoption professionals as soon as possible.
10. Is the internet a safe place to connect with prospective birth parents?
The internet is a tool that’s only as good as the people who use it. Hundreds of people adopt each year after finding a match on the Net. But as with anything, you’ll need to use common sense and do your due diligence to ensure that the person contacting you really is who she says she is.
11. How do we know we won’t get scammed?
It’s important to go into any situation with your eyes open. Don’t let your emotions take over. Speak to your professionals. And remember, if a situation sounds too good to be true it probably is.
12. How much personal information should we include in our profile?
The more detailed your profile is the better chance you have of getting chosen. That said, there are limits to how much information you should share about yourself online. The decision about what to put in or leave out of your profile is totally up to you. Bottom line: don’t include anything that you’re not comfortable with sharing with a stranger.
Adoption Profile Writing Service
1. What can the the America Adopts! Writing Service do for me?
If you’re just starting out and don’t know how to begin your letter or need help polishing what you have, we can give you a hand. We will help you identify your strengths and the traits that differentiate you from others and create a narrative around them that will resonate with prospective birth parents.
2. What’s different about your service?
Some profile writing services are run by adoptive parents who have no professional writing experience. Others are run by professionals who have no experience in adoption. Our writing service is run by an adoptive parent who just happens to be a professional writer. (Or should we say a professional writer who just happens to be an adoptive parent?).
3. What’s the advantage of using your service?
Everyone has a story to tell, but not everyone knows how to tell it. Our goal is to help you tell your story in a meaningful and memorable way.
4. We’ve tried to write our letter but every time we seem to hit a wall. Can you help us get started?
Sure, if you’re just starting out we can give you ideas and inspiration on how to put your best foot forward.
5. Can you write our letter for us?
No. While we’re happy to help you create a letter from scratch or fine-tune your existing one, unfortunately we can’t write one for you. Because your letter needs to be heartfelt, it needs to come from you.
6. How does the service work?
Each writing session is tailored to your needs. We’ll find out what you want to focus on beforehand and then we’ll work with you one-on-one to help you bring your stories to life.
7. What do you need from us?
Nothing really. But if you have a first draft of your profile to share with us, a copy of your home study, a photo album or any thing else that offers a window into your life, that would be useful.
8. How many sessions will we need to write our letter?
Typically, one session should be enough to cover everything we need. However, additional sessions are available if necessary.
9. Can’t a book or a website just tell us what to do?
A writing guide can tell you what to do right. But it won’t tell you what you’re doing wrong. Similarly, what you say in your letter sometimes isn’t as important as how you say it. A book can’t help you with the tone or the voice of your letter. We can.
10, Most of the adoptive couples we’re read about sound like they’re perfect. Is that how we’ll come across if we use your service?
No, our goal is to help you sound real rather that perfect. Perfect people come across as bland and boring. But real people with real stories draw readers in. Our goal is to make your letter sound as real and as individual as you are.
11. What if we already have a letter?
Depending on your needs, we can go over it with you and point out what works and what doesn’t. And we can give you specific tips and suggestions on how to build on your strengths.
12. You make it sound like there’s a formula for writing an adoption profile letter. Is there?
No, no two letters are alike. What works for one couple may not work for you. One of the things we do is show you how to zero in on the traits and characteristics that are unique to you in order to create a honest and effective portrait.
13. How well can you really know us, if the session is over the phone?
Meeting you would be a plus, but it’s not necessary. After all, the prospective birth parents’ first impressions of you will come from your letter, not a face-to-face meeting.
14. How do we know you won’t put into our mouths and make us out to be something we’re not?
We’ll work with you to make sure your letter is a sincere and accurate reflection of who you are. And while we’re happy to offer suggestions, final approval over what goes in — and stays out — of your letter rests with you.
15. How long does it take to write a letter?
Each case is different. As a rule, count on spending a few hours over a few days to write yours.
16. What else can you help us with?
We can also help you choose photos for your profile as well as show you how to package and promote it.
17. But isn’t a photo just a photo?
No, effective photos can make the difference between a profile that’s unsuccessful and one that’s not. Many waiting parents underestimate the importance of photos, even though it’s the first thing that prospective birthparents look at in a profile.
18. How can I make my profile stand out without it looking like it’s part of a slick marketing machine?
Connecting with prospective birthparents is all about finding your competitive edge and making the most of it. It is a form of marketing, but that doesn’t mean that your profile can’t come across as authentic and real.
Adoption Video Service
1. What can the America Adopts! video service do for me?
Our video service is aimed at creating a dynamic, interactive and multi-media portrait of you using your words, photos and music.
2. What are the benefits?
Weaving together words, photos and music to tell your story can make it come alive, enabling you to create a much bigger, more immediate emotional impact.
3. How does it work?
Once we get a copy of your profile and your photos, we’ll put together a storyline based on highlights from your letter, set it to music, and eventually upload it on our site.
4. What do you need from us?
Your profile and your photos. We’ll take care of the rest.
5. Why are your videos under three minutes?
We find that’s the perfect length to do your story justice without losing your viewer’s attention.
6. Can we choose the music?
You can, but due to copyright restrictions your choices are limited. As a result, we usually end up choosing something for you, subject to your approval.
7. Can we see our video before it goes up?
Sure, we’ll be happy to send you a preview beforehand.
8. What if we want to change something?
You can make up to five changes to your video before it goes live at no additional cost. After it’s up and running, any changes will be subject to a fee of $75/hour.
9. What’s the turnaround time?
It usually takes us about a week from the time we get all of your material.
10. Can we send you clips from our home videos?
For now, our video is focused on your photos. But we’re working on incorporating home videos.
11. Where can we post our video one it’s done?
We’ll post it on our site as well as on our YouTube channel, Twitter feed and Facebook page. You also have the option of posting it wherever you like: on your own site or blog, on your Facebook page, or anywhere else.
Adoption Networking Service
1. What is the America Adopts! networking service?
Our networking service gives you more targeted ways to reach out to the prospective birthparents who are looking for you.
2. What are the benefits?
We can help you create an outreach strategy so that you can maximize your chances of finding a match. Everything is customized to your needs, budget and timeline.
3. What’s different about your service?
Our specialty is adoption. so unlike other marketing companies, we’re super specialized. Plus we’ve been doing it for more than 10 years.
4. How does it work?
It all depends on you. We’ll start by explaining your social media options and best practises. Then we’ll create a plan that’s tailored to your needs. We also can help you monitor the results, identify potential opportunities and adapt your strategy, if necessary.
5. What other networking services do you offer?
We can help you put together a networking strategy that includes print materials as well. Having an integrated strategy saves you time and money and let’s you conduct your search more effectively and efficiently.
[Image: Flickr user photosteve101]