In the week since we launched our new personal adoption website service, we’ve received a handful of questions and comments from families hoping to adopt. One of the most common questions has been what’s the difference between having your own personal adoption website and being part of a parent profile registry/group website like Find A Family? Is one better than the other? What are the benefits and drawbacks? How do I know which option is right for me?
As with so many adoption networking tools, the decision about whether to get a personal adoption website or be part of a larger one comes down to personal choice. Are you a personal adoption website or a parent profile registry type of person? Are you more comfortable having your own site or sharing one with others? Do you have the time and budget to put together a stand-alone site or are you okay with being on someone else’s?
That’s not to say that you can’t be on both platforms. Many hopeful adoptive parents are, and with good reason. Having your own adoption website and being part of a parent profile registry lets you cover all the bases and maximize your presence online.
And when you consider that the web is one of the first places that prospective birthparents go to for adoption information or to find an adoptive family, whether you have your own website or are part of another is a mute point. Whatever option you choose, each platform has its own set of advantages.
Personal Adoption Website
- Customizable: Your online profile is a reflection of you, an opportunity to speak directly to prospective birthparents. Having a personal website gives you the chance to have a say in every aspect of its development, from the choice of colors and fonts to the navigational tools
- Unique web address: One of the goals of your profile is to set you apart from other hopeful parents. Having your own web address, with your own name, lets you do that. With a unique web address, you can personalize your site in a way that simply isn’t possible on a registry or group site. It’s the difference between having this address, www.AdoptionWebsite.com/CindyAndDave, and having this one, www.CindyAndDaveAdopt.com
- Focuses on you: Think of your personal adoption website as your resume. In fact, many hopeful adoptive parents do. And just like your personal resume, the focus on your personal adoption website is on you and you only — on your story, on your photos, etc. Because you don’t share the space with anyone else, you have complete control over your website’s overall look, message and everything else.
- Search engine optimization: Creating a website is easy. Finding a website is a lot harder. With a personal stand-alone website, you can optimize your site more easily and drive prospective birthparents more effectively to your profile.
- More photos: Depending on the platform you choose, you have the option of including as many photos as you wish, often in the format and size of your choosing. With a parent profile registry, there are often limits to the number of photos you can use and how you can use them.
Parent Profile Registry
- Economical: On a parent profile registry, you don’t have as much control over your profile as you do in a personal adoption website. But there’s a price to pay for that. That’s why a personal site tends to cost more than having a site on a registry. On a registry, you not only share the real estate with other hopeful adoptive parents, you also share the costs and have the ability to start or stop your registration anytime you wish.
- Easy to set up: Getting your profile posted on a registry involves nothing more than completing the registration process and sending your material. Unlike a personal adoption website, you don’t have to worry about things like registering a domain name or finding a hosting company. All the technical stuff is already done for you.
- More diverse: Some hopeful adoptive families avoid registries because they don’t want to share the space with other hopeful families. But far from forcing you compete with other couples, a registry can help you attract prospective birthparents — and a much more diverse cross-section of them — who might not have found you otherwise.
- More marketing: One of the biggest advantages of going with a parent profile registry is that you can often piggyback on the added marketing muscle at its disposal. Although a registry may not promote your website specifically, you can usually count on getting a bit of a boost from its larger advertising budget and more aggressive outreach efforts.
- Faster: If you’re in a hurry to let people know about your dream to adopt, you might not want to go through the trouble of registering a domain name, finding a web designer, building a website and finding a hosting service. With a parent profile registry service you don’t have to worry about any of that. It takes care of everything for you.
How are you spreading the message about your adoption journey on the web? Are you reaching out to prospective birthparents through a personal website or posting your profile on a parent profile registry/group website? Share your experiences in the comments section below.