This guest post is by Lori Barer Ingber of Parent Match
For many hopeful adoptive parents, being matched with a child is the most dreaded part of the adoption process. Many prospective parents feel all there is to do is wait… and wait… and wait.
Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help shorten the wait and feel more confident that you are doing everything you can to be your own adoption advocate.
Strong Partnership With Your Adoption Agency = More Options
Create a strong relationship with your adoption agency. It sounds simple, but so many adoptive parents feel that they can’t ask questions or they feel like they’re bugging their agency with too many questions about the process. Talk to your adoption agency about how they go about finding you a match.
Who makes up their referral network? Are they working with other agencies? Do they have contacts in other states and how does that impact their search for you? What advertising is done on your behalf and how have those efforts paid off so far?
My own sister saw firsthand the importance of her agency networking with other agencies when she adopted her children. She was working with not one, but two great agencies.
In fact, her first agency had encouraged her to sign up with the second one because her wait was growing so long. And while they both wanted to help her, their referral network was a bit of a closed system. They just didn’t have the ability to find more agencies and make more connections–which is exactly what she and her husband needed.
Her wait was stretching into year two when I heard through a friend there was an agency with unmatched children. We called, confirmed it was true, and she was matched with her daughter that day on the phone.
This story is exactly why I created my company Parent Match. Now with Parent Match, those two agencies would have easily connected with that third agency and helped my sister and countless other families come together sooner.
The key to adopting
That brings me to another tool I’ve found over the years –-online networking. Even though your agency is working hard for you, come to places like America Adopts! regularly.
Join online forums to “meet” other adoptive families and expectant mothers. Do this not only in the hopes of finding a match, but also to learn more about adoption. It’s an absolutely invaluable tool to learn about how expectant mothers view their open adoption relationship so you can know what to expect.
Follow conversations of other families who have recently brought home their child to help you prepare. Online forums can also help you access expertise that would be hard to reach otherwise.
For example, Parent Match hosts a monthly Twitter chat where we bring together people such as leading adoption attorneys or the heads of organizations like Help Us Adopt to talk to adoptive parents quickly and easily online.
It’s easy to get lost online, so focus your energy on strong relationships, solid resources and interactive communities. You’ll feel more empowered and meet others with similar experiences to help you on your journey.
Lori Barer Ingber is the president of Parent Match, the nation’s first and only national professional network for domestic adoption professionals.
Share Your Open Adoption Story
Do you have an open adoption connection? Are you a hopeful adoptive parent, expectant parent, birth parent, adoptive parent, adoptee, or adoption professional? We’re always on the lookout for great stories that will inform, educate or entertain our community. To learn more, check out our Guidelines For Guest Posts at America Adopts!
Photo Credit: ~k~