There was a time, not too long ago, when agencies controlled all aspects of the adoption world.
Matches would come through word-of-mouth, family or friends or through the agencies themselves.
But nowadays, thanks to the internet and tools like search engines, websites, social media, and self-matching and independent adoption services, those days are long gone.
If a woman is pregnant and looking at adoption, all she needs to do is go online and she’ll instantly find just about everything she’ll need:
- Information about placing her baby
- A step-by-step rundown of the private or open adoption process
- A list of places where she can get counselling and support
- What to expect after the placement
- Professionals who can help her through every stage of her journey
And, of course, no shortage of hopeful parents who would love to adopt her baby. That’s where you come in.
With the rise of independent and self-matching adoption, you and the expectant parents now have the ability to take charge and move forward with your adoption journey together without the assistance of an agency.
Keep in mind that working without an agency doesn’t mean you can do it all on your own. Adoption is a legal process; you still need to hire experienced licensed professionals to help you get through the process and finalize the placement. But if done right, arranging everything yourself as opposed to having an agency do it for you could save you both time and money.
Finding An Adoption Match On Your Own
Working without an agency means you decide everything and work at your own pace. Once you get your home study done, it’s up to you find an adoption match.
Finding a match could take weeks or months or sometimes years. It depends on a number of factors:
- How strong your profile is
- How many people see it
- How much networking you do
Creating an adoption profile is an art in itself. It’s unlike anything you’ve put together before. Your letter needs to be descriptive and heartfelt, but it also has to grab an expectant mother’s attention. And your photos need to pull her in and give a full and accurate glimpse into your life.
When it comes to your letter, humor can help and concrete details—not only about you and your family but also your thoughts about parenting and adoption–will go a long way too.
Parent Profile Sites Can Help You Get The Message Out
How many people see your profile will depend on how widely and well you share it. Where are you networking it? Do you have a website or a blog? An Instagram or Facebook account? Are using Google ads or sponsored social media posts?
One way hopeful parents today are spreading the word about themselves is through self-matching adoption or adoption profile sites like America Adopts!
Posting your profile on one of these service can help you adopt a baby without going through an agency, and oftentimes they will help you find a match more quickly and economically.
No Long Term Contracts To Sign
Unlike at an agency, there’s no long-term contract to sign. Nor do you have to sign any agreements that restricts your ability to work with other services, allowing you to spread the word about your hopes of adopting a baby further and for less money.
Your Online Profile and Marketing Are Done For You
Don’t have a website? No problem, An adoption self-matching site will create a web page for you that includes all of your vital information and photos. Don’t know how to market yourself? Again, a self-matching site will do it for you.
Exposure To A Larger Pool of Expectant Parents
Because self-matching sites are online, anyone anytime can see them. Unlike some agencies that only work with local expectant parents, people from all across the country will be able to access your profile. More people that see your profile = more opportunities to find a match = less time and money to adopt a baby.
Pay As You Go
It’s up to you to decide how long you want to stay with a self-matching adoption site. Sometimes you may need only a few months, but usually it takes longer to find a match. According to some statistics, the average wait time is anywhere from nine months to a year. And the beauty of not signing a long-term contract is that you can cancel anytime.
You Call The Shots
One of the main reasons hopeful parents choose adoption self-marketing is because it shifts control over the adoption process from the agency to you. From deciding what to put into your profile to vetting the expectant parents, you’re in charge.
Keep in mind that unlike an agency, a self-matching adoption site will not facilitate the adoption for you. It won’t do the screening of expectant parents, counselling, legal work, or any of the other things you need to do to meet the adoption requirements of your state. You’ll need to hire adoption specialists and attorneys to do that for you.
Self Matching Sites Have Only One Job
Self-matching adoption sites have one role, and one role only: to help you connect with expectant parents who are thinking of adoption. It’s a narrow focus, but as you’ll find out one of the most important and challenging ones.
Remember, too, that a match is not the same as an adoption. You still need to get the adoption finalized with the help of experienced licensed specialists and attorneys and the expectant parents you find still have the right to change their minds.
That’s why it’s important to make sure that you vet all of your responses carefully and move forward cautiously with a new situation.
Independent Adoption Is Riskier Than Going Through An Agency
Unfortunately, independent and self-matching adoption carries more risk of fraud than adopting through an agency. In an agency, all of the screening and filtering of the expectant parents is done by adoption professionals. On a self-matching site, you have to do it or hire someone to do it for you.
Generally speaking, finding a match through independent or self-matching adoption can be easier and cheaper than going through an agency. However, without the safeguards in place, it can be just as expensive or even more expensive if the situation gets complicated or there are unexpected medical or legal expenses.
Work With Experienced Licensed Professionals
Getting your professionals involved in a situation as quickly as possible will save you a lot of headaches and heartaches down the road. They can spot red flags early on and because they’re less emotionally invested in a situation, will be able to advise you on how to move forward with a clearer eye.
As long as you’re careful and you know what to do when someone reaches out to you, you can minimize your risk. If you’re looking for ways to beef up your outreach plan try it for a few months and see how it goes.
Even if you’re working with an agency, you can always network on your own. The more feelers you put out there the better. But speak to your agency first just to make sure they’re ok with it.
Who knows, there’s a good chance they’ll encourage you. If you find a match on your own, that makes it even easier for them.