Starting your parent profile? Good luck! And I mean that in the nicest way possible.
Next to word of mouth, a parent profile is the best networking tool you have as a hopeful adoptive parent to connect with prospective birth parents.
And that’s a good thing and a bad one.
Good because your profile could be a game-changer in your efforts to become an adoptive parent through open adoption. Bad because…well, if you know anything about writing a profile, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Putting together a profile isn’t for the faint of heart. But then, neither is open adoption. It requires a lot of drive and perseverance.
Unlike other letters you may have written over the years, a profile isn’t something you can dash off when you have some free time on your hands. And believe me, many people have tried, often with disastrous results.
Writing a parent profile requires careful planning and preparation. And a lot of questions to ask yourself. You probably have your own list. But here are 5 essential ones we’ve come up with to ask before you start the writing process.
1. Why am I writing my parent profile?
As questions go, it doesn’t get any more basic that this. But you’d be surprised how rarely it gets asked. Avoid the mistake that other hopeful adoptive parents make. Before you start writing, be sure you know the answer. If you don’t, stop while you’re still ahead and ask yourself why not.
2. What’s the goal of my parent profile?
This flows directly from the previous question. If you don’t know why you’re writing your profile, you won’t know where to begin. And if you don’t know where to begin, chances are you won’t get very far. So rather than spin your wheels, create a mission statement. Put your goal in writing. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Think of it as a reminder or a guide to get you where you want to go. It could be something as simple as “I’m writing my parent profile because I want to create a connection with prospective birth parents.” On second thought, keep it simple. Doing so will get you further, faster.
3. Who am I trying to reach with my parent profile?
The answer to this one is a bit trickier. It’s hard to write to people when you don’t know who they are or anything about them. Prospective birth parents, just like prospective adoptive parents, are all different. So don’t take a cookie cutter approach and try to connect with everyone. And yet even if you don’t know specific details about your potential readers, you do know something about their circumstances and what they’re looking for. Just be yourself and tailor your message accordingly.
4. Do I have a clear understanding about how to reach my goal through my parent profile?
4. Do I have a clear understanding about how to reach my goal? Knowing the goals of your parent profile is one thing. Knowing how to reach them is something else entirely. Save yourself trouble down the road and make sure these two points are properly aligned before you write a single word. They won’t make the challenges you face suddenly disappear. But they will help you deal with them when they arise. And, if other people’s experiences are any guide, they will arise.
5. Am I ready to start my parent profile?
Once you know what the goals of your profile are and how to achieve them, it’s time to start writing. Or is it? Actually, it might not be. If you find the words don’t flow as quickly as they should, it could be a sign that you need time to mull things over. Do yourself a favor. Take a break. Jumping into the writing process too early will only cause you frustration and pain down the road–and make a difficult exercise even more difficult. But don’t put it off for too long. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get back to it. Not to mention that the sooner you finish your profile, the faster you could become a parent.
Looking to increase your chances to connect with expectant parents considering adoption? Explore our plans.