How long does it take to get matched with birthmother?
Although it would be nice to give you definitive timeframe, the reality is there is set time. Like so much about adoption, it depends on a variety of factors.
But first, let’s make sure we’re on the same page about the definition of a “birthmother match.” It can mean different things to different people.
A birthmother match is one where a woman with an unintended pregnancy connects with you and goes through with her adoption plan.
But if she connects with you and then changes her mind before signing the adoption papers, that’s not a birthmother match. She’s simply a pregnant woman considering adoption.
A Birthmother Match Is One Where A Pregnant Woman Moves Forward With Her Adoption Plan.
In adoption, words matter. If you’re not careful and jump into a situation too quickly, you could find yourself in a big mess. Educating and empowering yourself is the key.
In regards to how long you have to wait for a birthmother matches, we’ve had hopeful adoptive parents find a match their first day on our site and go on to become parents.
But we’ve also had hopeful parents find a match one day, ask us to remove their profile, only to contact us a few days or weeks later requesting us to put it back up because the match fell through.
Similarly, we’ve had waiting parents spend years trying to find a match. Then, one day out of the blue they’ll get a message from a pregnant woman who has spotted their profile and the next thing you know they’re holding a baby in their arms.
When it comes to finding an adoption match, there really is no rhyme or reason. They can happen at any time for any reason. Something in your profile may have jumped out at the expectant parent and created an instant connection. Or it could have been one of your photos. It could be something as simple as you have a dog and she loves dogs.
Which is one reason why you always need to be yourself. You never know what will create that initial connection with an expectant parent. You may enjoy reading and think that no one will ever pick someone who’s into books. Books are boring. But there are expectant mothers out there who are looking for exactly that type of person to raise their child.
In the time it takes to read this article, there’s a good chance a match will have been made somewhere in the U.S.
According to online statistics, if you’re working with an agency you can find a match in a year or two after completing your home study. If you’re looking on your own through independent adoption, you have a chance to reduce the timeframe to 9-12 months–about the same time as a pregnancy.
But these are just averages according to selected sources. Sometimes a match will come sooner; but most times it takes longer.
Waiting For A Match Is Hard
In many instances a match may have nothing to do with you. It may just come down to chance and good luck—being in the right place at the right time.
Waiting for a match to adopt a baby can be nerve wracking. Even though you might only be waiting a few months, it can feel like an eternity.
Every waiting parent wants to be a parent yesterday. What they don’t realize is that adoption is a marathon, not a sprint. Or more like an obstacle course.
No sooner have you cleared one hurdle than another one comes your way.
Nothing builds up character like overcoming adversity, and by the time you’ll finish your adoption journey you’ll have character in spades.
The hardest thing about waiting for a match is the uncertainty—waking up every day and wondering, is this the day?
But uncertainty can also be exhilarating when you think about all of the possibilities and the potential for things to change on a dime.
You could go to bed one night thinking you’ll never become a parent. Then the next morning you’ll wake up to a text from someone who says she just saw your profile and wants to place her baby with you.
A Match Isn’t An Adoption
But to go back to what we talked about earlier: Finding a match doesn’t mean that you’ve reached the finish line. You might feel like you’re in the home stretch but there’s still a ways to go.
You still need to verify
- the person you’ve been matched or connected with is actually pregnant
- she has an adoption plan
- she is seriously considering following through on her plan
Sometimes you’ll connect with someone who
- isn’t pregnant
- doesn’t have an adoption plan
- isn’t seriously thinking about moving ahead with the plan
These people are more commonly known as adoption scammers. Usually, the scams are more emotional than financial in nature. That’s what makes them so hard to understand and why so many people get duped.
Adoption Scammers Will Exploit Your Zeal To Become A Parent
They’re after your emotions, not your money. They get a rise out of preying on your vulnerabilities and your weaknesses. They know how badly you want to become a parent and they exploit it for their own self-interest.
Scams happen more often than you think. You just don’t hear about them as much. “It’s a match!” sounds a lot better on social media than “It’s a scam!”
There are ways to protect yourself:
- don’t jump into a situation too early.
- work with experienced professionals.
- verify the person’s pregnancy.
Once you fall victim to a scam, it can take a long time to get over it. Some hopeful parents still talk about their run-ins with fraud artists years after they’ve brought their baby home.
If you want to shorten your wait and avoid scams you might want to sign up with an agency or multiple agencies.
Signing up with an agency can give your efforts to find a match a boost. If money isn’t an issue, signing up with multiple ones can give them an even bigger boast.
An agency will take care of everything for you, including vetting the expectant parents.
Not Everyone Can Afford Finding A Match Through An Agency
But if you can’t afford an agency you can try to find a match on your own by
- hirubg an adoption consultant or advisor
- creating and networking your adoption profile
- joining an adoption profile site
Adoption consultants are specialists, usually adoptive parents themselves, who will hold your hand and guide and support you through every step of the process. They’re like an agency, only less expensive. However, they can’t do any of the adoption services for you and they’re not regulated. They work with other agencies and professionals, sharing leads that you can’t find on your own.
Creating a profile and then networking it can also shorten your wait time. Sharing it with your family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and everybody else you know could help you make a connection. After all, you never know where that connection will come from.
Same with word of mouth. Or at least it worked before. Now, as a result of COVID-19 and physical distancing restrictions, in-person meetings and interactions aren’t taking place as often as before.
Sharing your profile on social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are other ways to reduce your wait time, as is joining online adoption matching groups on Facebook.
Adoption Self-Matching Sites Can Help You Make A Connection Faster and Cheaper
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of creating and maintaining your own website or don’t have the time or material to update your social media accounts, you could post a profile on a self-matching adoption site like America Adopts!
Doing so will instantly boost your visibility and increase your reach. Unlike adoption agencies, some of which specialize in local matches, self-matching sites can connect you to a larger pool of expectant parents from all across the country. The more people who see your profile, the better chance you have of making a connection.
Joining a profile site will also give you more control over your journey since you, not your agency, will call the shots. How quickly you find a match on a self-matching site depends on a number of variables
- how many expectant parents visit the site
- how easy it is for them to find your profile
- how effective your profile is
Older self-matching sites typically get more traffic because they’ve been around longer and rank higher in search results, especially for independent or open adoption-related keywords such as “find an adoptive family” “put up baby for adoption” or “give baby to adoptive parents.”
How Easy Is It To Find Your Profile?
How expectant parents find a self-matching site is one thing. How they find you on the site is another matter altogether.
A lot will depend on how many other couples are on the site and how easy it is to navigate. The more profiles there are, the harder it will be for expectant parents to find yours.
Similarly, the more clicks it takes to find your profile, the greater the chance an expectant mother will give up and either pick the first couple she finds or exit the site.
When you’re considering which self-matching site to post your parent profile on, look at what happens each time a new profile is added. Do they rotate or do they moves down a notch every time. If they don’t rotate or offer everyone on the site a level playing field, you could find yourself in the top row one day and at the bottom of the pile a little later.
Presenting Yourself Well In Your Adoption Profile Can Give You The Edge
How well you come across in your profile is another element that could determine how quickly you find a match. If you have a compelling story with lots of great pictures, you’re going to have an easier time standing out and making a connection.
But much will also depend on who you are, where you live, and what the pregnant woman is looking for. Let’s say an expectant mother lives in Portland and she wants to find a family nearby because she wants to keep in touch with them. If you live nearby you’re in luck.
But if she’s looking for a black, Buddhist or LGBT couple and you’re not black, Buddhist or LGBT it doesn’t matter where you live or how strong your profile is, you won’t be on her radar.
That’s not to say she can’t change her mind or criteria. In some cases, a pregnant woman will visit a self-matching site with a certain idea in mind. Then she’ll come across a couple that don’t possess any of her preferences, fall in love with them on the spot, and utlimately throw her wish out the window.
Working with an experienced agency or an consultant can help you find a match faster. But if you’re willing to be proactive—put in the time and do some of the work yourself by creating an awesome profile, networking it, posting it online or joining a self-matching site–you could reduce your waiting time even more.