Adoption matches are an inexact science. Even though many factors can help you connect with expectant parents, there’s no one surefire way to do it.
Having a strong profile letter can help. So can good pictures. Posting them online in places where expectant parents can find you can’t hurt either.
According to one school of thought, being childless can be an advantage because some expectant parents want their baby to grow up as an only child. But there are also many expectant parents who are looking for a families that already have children.
At the end of the day trying to figure out what expectant parents with an adoption plan are looking for and how to increase your chances of getting picked can be exhausting. Especially when you realize how much is at stake.
But what if we told you there was one really simple thing you could do to boost the odds of expectant parents connecting with you?
There is. And it’s so simple you may not have thought of it: Being positive.
Yes, being positive in your parent profile is one of the easiest ways to grab expectant parents’ attention and make them want to learn more about you.
I’m sure there are lots of studies to back this up, but let’s ignore them for a moment and look at the issue from a purely common sense point of view.
Let’s say you were to examine photos of two couples side by side,. And let’s say one of the couples was smiling and looked happy while the other one looked glum and disinterested. Which one would you choose? Which one would you want to spend time with?
It’s pretty straightforward, right? And the reason is simple: happiness is infectious. Not only do we prefer happy people, but when we see them we feel happy too.
Now think about expectant parents (or an expectant parent) for a moment. They’re going through one of the most tumultuous experiences of their life.
They may be facing an unplanned pregnancy. They may be alone. They may not have support. They may realize they’re unable to raise their baby, but they can’t imagine another couple loving their child as much as they could.
But then they see your smiling face and gradually enter your world. Suddenly they’re intrigued. They’re no longer focused on their own challenges. They start thinking outside themselves.
They start imagining what their life would look like if another couple were to raise their child and they start to feel better about themselves and their prospects for the future.
In other words, your smile gives them hope.
Keep this in mind when you’re choosing photos for your profile. I can’t tell you how many profiles we’ve seen where one, or both people, look like they would rather be somewhere else.
Your profile picture is the first thing expectant parents see, and if it’s not upbeat and positive it could be the last thing they see. First impressions count!
I know what you’re thinking. “My husband never smiles in pictures.” Or “my wife hates having her picture taken.”
Fair enough. We believe it. But before you tell us that there’s nothing you can do about it, think about what’s at stake here. Your photo is the centerpiece of your promotional efforts.
You’ve already spent thousands of dollars to get to this point. And you’ll likely spent a few hundred more to get your story out there.
Surely, you can flash a smile for a few seconds for a profile photo. Your chances of creating a family in the future could very well depend on it.
Now if you’re thinking that we’re telling you to be fake and phoney and do whatever it takes to find a match, you’re wrong. When it comes to adoption profiles, being yourself is the key to success. Authenticity matters.
So no, don’t do or say anything in your profile just because everyone else is doing it or because you think it will help you find a match. There’s no point making promises if you’re not going to keep them.
But this isn’t about trying to be someone else or acting like you have the perfect life. Expectant parents with an adoption plan aren’t interested in perfect people. They want real people.
They know that life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. So don’t be afraid to show your vulnerabilities and talk about things you’ve struggled with.
If, like many couples, your battle with infertility is what brought you to adoption, go ahead and say so. It’s part of who you are and your adoption story.
But don’t give it any extra weight, the way that many waiting parents do, by mentioning it in the first few paragraphs of your profile and letting it hang there.
Yes, some expectant parents will want to know what led you to adoption. But they don’t need to know right away.
Instead, use that space to draw readers into story. Introduce yourself and describe who you are as individuals, as a couple, and as potential adoptive parents.
Then, once you’ve laid the groundwork, briefly get into your infertility struggles, if you so choose.
Opening up about your struggles will answer questions about your adoption journey. And it will also show that you’re not afraid to talk about hard things.
Expectant parents who are considering adoption for their baby won’t only appreciate your honesty. They’ll be moved by your vulnerability. And, as they reflect on their own struggle, it will give them something they can relate to.
But again, don’t just put your infertility story out there and forget about it. Use it to make a point. Explain how it shaped your life or what you’ve learned from the experience or how it brought you and your partner closer together as a couple.
In other words, turn what could look like a negative experience into a positive one.
Life is full of challenges. How you overcome yours says a lot about you and will show expectant parents a side of you that might surprise them.
And, as they look at your upbeat photos and the rest of your profile, it could well be the deciding factor that helps them make one of the most important decisions of their life.
Do you have an open adoption story? Email us any time or find out more about how to share it with our community.