Self-matching for adoption is one of the fastest growing trends in private domestic adoption today.
Being able to connect to expectant parents with an adoption plan yourself rather than going through an agency is an appealing option for budget-minded waiting parents who either can’t afford an agency or want to take their efforts to find a baby to adopt into their hands.
But even if you are working with an agency self-matching for adoption can help you find a match faster and easier and build on your specialists’ networking efforts
Adoption self-matching means that you’re responsible for finding a match with a pregnant woman with an unintended pregnancy. She may be not be ready to parent and is looking at adoption as an option for her baby.
If she connects with you and decides after receiving counselling and legal representation from licensed professionals that she wants to place her baby with you you could become that child’s adoptive parent.
Self-Matching Online Is A Growing Option For Prospective Adoptive Parents
In the past, most adoption matches were made through an agency or word of mouth. But the internet has disrupted the adoption world, and many hopeful adoptive parents today are taking their search for a baby online and posting their parent profile in the hopes of finding match.
Some of the ways prospective parents are trying to find a match on the web include
- Creating a personal website
- Spreading the world through social media or word of mouth
- Self-matching adoption sites
Creating A Personal Website
Creating and networking a personal website yourself through ads, social media and other online tools and platforms is an appealing option for prospective adoptive parents who are into DIY and enjoy being creative and resourceful.
Most do-it-yourself websites today are relatively inexpensive if not free and easy to create. Some may require a bit of technical knowledge but the majority of them use a “drag-and-drop” approach to create web pages that don’t involve any programming know-how.
Joining Social Media Networks
Social media networks like Facebook and Instagram are another way to self-match online. In addition to sharing snapshots of your life and your desire to adopt, you can use them to post a link to your webpages and drive traffic to your profile.
The great thing about social network platforms is that they’re free and will connect you to a community where you can start making connections immediately.
However, if you want to give your profile an extra boost to get more noticed you can invest in sponsored posts that expand your reach and visibility affordably and target expectant parents.
Signing Up With An Adoptive Parent Profile Site
Adoptive parent profile sites like America Adopts! are another option if you’re looking to taking your self-match outreach efforts to the next level.
With self-matching adoption profile sites, you create your profile yourself using a template provided by the service. They will then network it for you through their presence on Google search engines, social media and elsewhere.
Self-matching parent profile sites charge a monthly subscription fee. The fees can range from under $50 to hundreds of dollars, depending on the site. Most will also allow you to update your profile anytime for no extra cost.
Adoption Self-Matching Sites Can Increase Your Reach and Exposure
Self-matching sites can potentially reach a larger audience than an agency if the agency in only focused on local matches within the community or region.
If you want to reach an ever larger audience, self-match parent profile sites offer a tiered fee schedule and advertising opportunities. For instance, for a bit extra, your profile could appear on their home page or get priority placement on its main profile pages or be featured on other pages of the site.
Some services will also let you stand out even more by promoting you on their social networks or through Google ads.
How quickly you self match on an adoption profiles site will depend on a number of factors:
- How much exposure the site has
- How much visibility your profile gets
- How compelling your profile is
How Quickly You Self-Match Depends On How Much Exposure An Online Service Has
Most expectant parents join self-matching adoption sites because they want their profile to get extra exposure. If you’re networking on your own, there will be limitations on your budget and ability to reach a large number of people. Self-matching sites, especially established sites that have a strong presence on Google and on social media, have the networking heft to get your profile in front of more eyeballs than you could achieve by yourself.
And the more exposure your profile has, the easier it will be for a woman with an unintended pregnancy to find it, and the sooner you can find a match. Keep in mind that matches are different from approved adoptions but they are one of the first steps in connecting with a woman with a placement plan.
How quickly you find a match through your parent profile will depend on how much exposure your profile gets. If a self-match site doesn’t get a lot of traffic or doesn’t show up easily through search engine searches you could be waiting a longer time to make a connection. So it’s important to do a search on Google and social media to see how easy is it to find the parent profile service before you sign up. If you can’t find it quickly using keywords that expectant parents would use then chances are they won’t either.
Most self-matching sites have active social media accounts where their hopeful parents have the option of getting even more exposure. Check out the accounts. How many and which social media platforms are they on? Do they promote their hopeful parents and if so, how often? How many followers do they have? How regularly do they post, and how interesting are their updates? Is the content they share of interest to expectant parents or simply self-promotional? Knowing the answers to these questions could help you find a service to self-match faster.
If Your Profile Is Easy To Find You Can Find A Match Sooner
If the main reason to join a self-matching site is to get your profile noticed by expectant parents and their family and friends then you’ll want to make sure that your profile stands out on the site itself. At first glance, a self-match adoption site with lots of profiles looks impressive.
But the more profiles there are the less chance yours will get the attention is deserves. So before you join, see how many profiles other prospective parents you’ll be going up against. Are there a few, a lot, or just enough to make the site look inviting and dynamic? Are of the profiles of the prospective parents all piled up together or are there ways to make yours stand out? Does the site offer home page exposure where you have a chance to be front and centre or on other pages of the site? And will your profile rotate or will does it move to the bottom of the profiles page every time a new one is added?
How Compelling Your Profile Is Will Determine How Quickly You Make A Connection
The online visibility of a self-matching site and its ranking on search engines like Google are important. If expectant parents can’t find you when they’re searching for prospective adoptive parents on the web it doesn’t matter how good your profile is. But that doesn’t get you off the hook. Whichever site you choose, make sure your profile is as compelling as it can be.
Self-matching adoption sites can do a lot to raise your profile, but there’s only so much they can do after they drive traffic to your profile. While they can grab the attention of expectant parents and help them find your letter and photos, that’s as far as it goes. You need to do the rest. And if your profile isn’t appealing or doesn’t stand out, your hopes of finding a match will be dead on arrival.
Photos Can Often Be The Deciding Factor So Make Sure You Include Lots Of Them
Make sure that your profile paints a full and accurate picture of who you are. Include information about yourself, your family, your home and your adoption and parenting plans. And take the time to find the right photos. For many prospective adoptive parents choosing photos is an afterthought–the last thing they do before they post their profile. But it’s usually the first thing that expectant parents look at when they arrive at your profile. In fact, many times it’s the deciding factor–the one thing that could make or break your chances of finding a match and becoming a parent.
When choosing a self-matching site, explore their features and format. Does it give you the opportunity to tell your story the way you want to tell it, or is it more restrictive? How much room do you have to share your details and the things you want to say to set yourself apart? How many photos can you post? These are all factors you’ll want to keep in mind when making your selection.
Self-matching for adoption is a tried and true way to jump-start your journey to adopt a baby and take things into your own hands. And if you do it the right and you’re lucky enough, it could help you find a match with expectant parents and become a parent yourself quicker and more affordably than other networking tools.