This guest post is by Hal Kaufman, an adoptive parent and founder of My Adoption Advisor.
During the last several years there has been a lot of research and press about Millennials.
Pew Research defines Millennials as people born between 1981 and 1997.
This means that in 2017, Millennials are 20-36 years old. According to Pew, in 2015, Millennial women accounted for 82% of U.S. births.
If you’re looking to adopt an infant, your child’s birth parents are likely to be Millennials.
Having researched Millennials through the lens of an adoptive parent, I know how important it is that today’s adopting parents understand Millennial expectant parents.
The more you understand Millennials, the more effective you will be at creating your adoption profile, doing personal outreach, and connecting with and developing a long-term relationship with your future child’s birth parents.
Millennials and Your Adoption Profile
Here are two quick takeaways that are important to understand when it comes to Millennials and your adoption profile: be uniquely yourself and use your photos to tell your story.
Be uniquely yourself. Millennials are the most diverse generation ever. They’re more tolerant and even receptive to things that previous generations thought unthinkable.
Every generation has its own personality and Pew describes Millennials’ personality as confident, self-expressive, and open to change.
The takeaway: BE YOURSELF! Don’t be afraid to say that you have three dogs, two cats, and four chickens.
Don’t worry about sharing your passion for Medieval sword fighting. Yes, some readers may be turned off by your idiosyncrasies, but remember that some Millennials will love your quirks.
We all have them!
I frequently tell adopting parents that if they’re in a room with 100 potential birth parents, they would rather have two of them absolutely LOVE them than 100 who think that they are just OK—nothing offensively wrong, but nothing all that special either.
Remember that and make sure your profile encompasses your authentic self.
Use your photos to tell your story. When you see a magazine rack at a book store or checkout lane, do you pick up each one, read it cover to cover, and then decide which one you want to purchase?
Of course, you don’t. Potential birth parents don’t review adoption profiles that way either.
It’s the photos and images that capture our attention and pull us in (or not).
Expectant parents considering adoption typically will NOT read your profile text before either consciously or subconsciously placing you in the NO or the MAYBE pile.
Your photos make the initial impact on the reader. This is true whether your profile is a website, PDF file, or sitting in a 3-ring binder.
What are the top 5-10 thing you want every reader to take away from your profile?
Your goal is to communicate those things through your photos. SHOW the reader that you are active, love to play board games on the floor with kids, are a whiz on the grill, or get your hands dirty in your backyard vegetable garden.
Millennials and Personal Outreach
This won’t shock you, but Millennials are online even more than you are! They’re researching, playing, and connecting on multiple screens – sometimes simultaneously.
More than twice as many Millennials as non-Millennials use a mobile device. The main takeaway here is that you MUST be where they are.
It’s great to have a printed version of your profile at your agency and on their website, but if that’s all you do, you’re employing a limited strategy.
It’s true that some expectant parents walk into their local adoption agency to explore their options, but they’re turning to the search engines and social media first and in bigger numbers.
When they speak into their smartphones and ask, “OK Google. How do I place my baby for adoption?”, you want them to be able to find you.
You must have an online presence and for many that means creating a personal adoption website and running an online advertising campaign. Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and profile listing services are other good options for sharing information with potential birth parents.
Consider these and other avenues to get yourself out there. Remember, you need to be where potential birth parents are looking for you.
There’s a lot more to learn about Millennials and their impact on your adoption.
Research Millennials. Lay your printed profile on the floor and stand above it. Is it mostly photos or text?
Do your photos communicate what you want? List the ways you are available to potential birth parents online. Do everything you can to put your best foot forward and to increase your chances of connecting with your future child’s birth parents.
Hal Kaufman is an adoptive parent and the Founder of My Adoption Advisor, an adoption consultancy that provides eLearning courses, adoption profile and website services, and advertising services for adopting parents.
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