If you’re like most prospective parents who have come to adoption via infertility you likely want to find a match right away.
Nobody likes to wait, especially if the journey you’ve taken to get here has hit bumps and walls along the way.
One of the great things about adoption—or at least private domestic or independent adoption–is that you have the option of finding your baby yourself.
By connecting with an expectant mother with an adoption plan you can speed up your path to parenthood.
Instead of waiting years, you may only have to wait months or sometimes even weeks.
How quickly you find a match will depend on a number of variables, some of which are in your control and some of which aren’t.
First and foremost, the question you have to ask yourself is how proactive do you want to be in the process? Are you looking for a match through an agency or by yourself? If you’re working by alone, do you have adoption specialists such as consultants or attorneys to help you get the word out, hold your hand during the process, and shorten your wait?
Have you told everyone you know that you’re looking to adopt and to pass your name on if they know someone who is pregnant and not ready to parent? Are you prepared to create a profile of yourself and share it with people you know to speed up your search? What about taking your search online–how do you feel about putting yourself out there by posting your profile?
All of these things can help shorten your wait. But it really comes down to finding different ways to get the word out and determining which ones are you most comfortable with?
Posting Your Profile Online Can Reduce Your Wait Time
Some people post billboards with a 1-800 number in the hopes of connecting with an expectant mother. Others wear t-shirts that ask people to contact them if they know of someone with an adoption plan. Still others pass out business cards and pamphlets to their doctor, dentist, mailman, massage therapist and other professionals in the hopes of getting their message into the hands of the expecting couple they’re looking for.
Posting your profile online is another way to expand your reach and increase your visibility. Unless expectant parents can find you, they can’t connect with you. So creating a website or joining an online discussion group or posting your story on social media are all ways to shorten the time it takes to find a match.
Adoption profiles sites like America Adopts! are another tool you might want to consider. As long as you have a home study and live in a state that allows adoption advertising you can create a profile in minutes and get it shared with a segment of the population you would never be able to reach on your own.
Self-Matching Adoption Sites Can Increase Your Reach and Visibility
How long it will take to find a match through an adoption profile site depends not only on your profile but on how many other profiles on it since you’ll be sharing space with them. If the site isn’t easy to find through a Google search, that too could stall your efforts to make a connection. So before you sign up for a profile site do a quick search yourself using keywords that you think expectant parents would use and see what sites show up in the results.
Newer sites will have a harder time getting to the top of Google because they lack the track record and trust factor that more established sites have. Usually it takes years to get into Google’s good graces. Even the name of a site plays a part in how Google ranks it because it signals to Google what the site is about. For instance, a site called “Adoption Profiles” will rank high if you’re looking for an adoption self-matching site while one called “Appleyard Families” not so much.
Since social media is another tool that everyone uses today, especially millennials, look at the adoption profile site’s social media networks. Do they have 300 followers or 3,000? Do they promote their hopeful parents or themselves? How much content do they have on their site and social media and how much of it is geared specifically to pregnant women who may be considering adoption?
The more ways that an adoption profiles site can drive expectant parents to its site the more chance you have of making a match. And remember, matches aren’t adoptions. So when a profile site tells you it has had 5 matches in 5 months don’t be afraid to ask them how many of those matches resulted in finalized adoptions.
Matches Don’t Always Lead to Adoptions
A match, whether it comes through an adoption website or an agency, will fall often apart before placement. The expectant parents and the adoptive parents may not be a good fit. Or the expectant mother decides she doesn’t want to place after all, she wants to parent. Or, in some cases, the match could have with a scammer.
That’s why it’s important to move slowly and carefully after you make a connection, even if you’re in a rush. Especially if you’re in a rush. Those are the times when you might not scrutinize a situation as closely as you need to and let your emotions get the better of you.
Always give the person you’ve been matched with the benefit of the doubt. Be open and honest with them. Act in good faith and treat them with respect, the way you would want them to treat you. But don’t let your guard down or plan too far ahead until the adoption papers are signed. The last thing you want is to start your search all over again.
When it comes to finding a match, the process could take a few weeks or a few months or a few years. No matter how it comes about, getting the right match is more important than getting a fast one.