When we launched America Adopts! 10 years ago, you could count the number of adoption profile websites on one hand.
Today, you’ll need both hands and a few toes to keep up with them all.
If you’re looking for a birthmother for an independent adoption—or, more accurately, an expectant mother who one day may become a birthmother—adoptive parent profile sites can be a great cost-effective option.
Creating an online profile on a parent profile site is easier and less expensive than creating one on your own. And by leveraging their presence online through search engine optimization, social media and other tools, they can drive more traffic to your profile than you could on your own.
Think of them as a dating site for adoption—your first step toward creating a match. You still need to work with experienced adoption professionals to get the adoption finalized, but finding an match is often the trickiest part of the independent adoption process.
Just like the hopeful parents they cater to, every adoption profile site tries to stand out in its own way.
Some emphasize the number of matches they’ve created while others focus on their safety and security features.
Most hopeful parents sign up for them for three reasons:
- To increase their online exposure with expectant mothers
- To stand out from other hopeful parents
- To save time and money
Let’s look at each one in more detail.
Adoption Profile Sites Can Help You Get More Online Exposure
In order to find an expectant mother through independent adoption you need two things: luck and exposure.
But you can’t have luck without exposure.
Adoption profile sites can help you increase your online exposure instantly at a fraction of the cost of other outreach tools.
One of the first things you’ll realize when you’re looking to find an adoption match is that the number of hopeful parents greatly outnumbers the number of pregnant women who are thinking of placing.
That means not everyone will get chosen and, by extension, not everyone will get found.
You could have the most amazing profile in the world but if expectant parents don’t know where to find you it doesn’t how good it is—you won’t get picked.
The First Place Most Expectant Parents Go To Find Adoptive Parents Is On The Web
So if you’re thinking of joining a parent profile or self-matching site, you need to see how much exposure it gets and how do expectants find it.
One of the first places that people look today when they’re searching for something is Google. Expectant parents are no different.
If they’re looking for adoptive parents, they’ll type keywords or phrases into the search engine and wait for the results.
Sometimes they’ll enter the first thoughts that come to mind:
- “I want to give up my baby for adoption”
- “How do you put up a baby for adoption”
- “How much does it cost to give up a baby”
Or, if they’re further along in the process, they’ll type keywords like
- “Find adoptive parents”
- “Want to find someone to adopt my baby”
- “Looking for parents for baby adoption”
When it comes to exposure on Google, some self-matching sites carry more weight than others.
For starters, it takes years to work your way up into Google’s ranking system. So right from the get-go, older sites will have a leg up because they’re been around longer and have a track record and credibility.
If a site produces high quality content targeted to expectant parents considering adoption, that’s another feather in its cap.
When determining where to rank a website, whether it be on the first page of the 50th, Google looks at a myriad of factors.
Even a site’s name counts for something because it indicates what the site is about.
For instance, one that includes variations of words such as “adoptive parents profiles” or “adoption profiles” will automatically score higher than a site without them.
If, after doing a search using any of these keywords, the parent profile site you’re looking for doesn’t show up, chances are it won’t either when an expecting mother searches for it.
Another way that an adoption profile site can increase your exposure is through social media. But again, when it comes to a presence on social not all of them are equal.
When assessing a site, pay special attention to the following:
- How many followers do they have?
- How many networks are they are on?
- How often do they post?
- What do they post?
- How interesting are the posts for someone considering adoption for her baby?
If you’re looking to extend your reach on social media, you might want to consider the following:
- Can you get posted on their social media accounts?
- If you can, how often do they post new parents?
- How appealing are the messages?
Paid advertising through Google Adwords is another way that profile sites increase their clients’ visibility. Explore whether it’s included in their plans or if it’s extra.
If the main reason to join a self-matching site is to boost your exposure, why pay extra for it?
Adoption Profile Sites Can Help You Stand Out
The other big reason to sign up for a self-matching adoption profile site is to stand out–to set yourself apart from other hopeful parents.
As mentioned earlier, if an expectant mom can’t find you, she can’t connect with you.
So, with that in mind, take a look at how many profiles a site has.
A few dozen? That’s ok. Several dozen? Not as good. More than several dozen? It’s time to look elsewhere.
If one of the reasons to join a profile site is to increase your visibility, the last thing you want is to get lost in the crowd—and than have to pay extra to make yourself stand out.
If you think being on a site with lots of profiles is bad for you, just imagine what it’s like for an expectant parent who has to sort through them all. In all likelihood, she’ll either pick the first couple she comes across or head for the exit.
So before you join a profile site, take a look at how many hopeful parents are listed and ask yourself
- How easy is it to find them?
- Are they all on the same page?
- If they aren’t, how much scrolling or clicking do you have do to get through them all?
- Do the profiles rotate or are they static?
- Where do the existing hopeful parents go each time a new couple is added–to the bottom of the page, another page, or where?
If you find it exhausting to browse all of the profiles, it’s highly likely that an expectant mother will too.
Self-Matching Adoption Sites Can Save You Time And Money
The third main reason to join a self-matching adoption site is to shorten your adoption wait and save money.
After all, the more exposure you get, the faster you’ll find a match.
Most parent profile sites are structured around a monthly subscription model of pay-as-you-go, cancel anytime.
Some, however, require a year-long commitment. But considering a match could happen at any time, you may decide a year commitment is too long and costly.
Connecting to an expectant mother on your own through independent adoption can also give you more control over your journey.
Instead of an agency calling the shots, you do.
Adoption Profile Websites Can Give You A Boost Even If You’re Working With An Agency
If you’re trying to find a match on your own, without the help of an agency, joining an self-matching adoption site can jump-start your journey.
But even if you are working with an agency, they can give your outreach a boost.
After all, the more exposure you can get the better.
Plus, some agencies only work locally or regionally. But with an parent profiles site you have the potential to reach a much larger audience from all across the country.
At the end of the day, whether a match comes from you or your agency doesn’t matter. A match is match
But remember, it’s not the same as an adoption.
Many matches fall through before they get finalized, whether it be because the expectant mother changed her mind and decided to parent or the adopting parents concluded they weren’t a good fit or because it was a scam.
Online matches are riskier than agency matches because the agency vets the expectant parents beforehand. Not so with online matches. You, with the help of your adoption professionals, are responsible for all of the screening and verification.
So when you see an online service announcing “6 matches in 6 months” don’t be afraid to ask how many of them resulted in approved adoptions. Sometimes the answer will surprise you.
No matter which website you join, prepare yourself for scammers. Some websites offer safeguards that they say will protect you against them but don’t let your guard down—scammers will always find a way around even the toughest security measures.
Get Your Specials Involved As Soon As You Find An Adoption Match
The best way to protect yourself is to get your professionals involved as early as possible.
In some cases, the extra layers of protection–whether it be getting expectant parents to create their own login or have your adoption specialists screen them first—can actually work against you by creating additional barriers.
Many of expectant mothers come to these sites because they’re desperate and want answers quickly. If they’ve had run-ins with child welfare agencies or the law they may not be willing to create a separate registration or to wait for your adoption professional to get back to them.
To recap, if you’re proactive and careful, adoption profiles website can help you find a match with n expectant mother through independent adoption faster and easier than going through an agency.
But before you sign up, make sure you’re clear about what the service offers and whether it is right for you.