They go by many names, including dear birthmother letters, family profiles, parent profiles, adoption profiles, and adoption portfolios. We have spent countless hours reading them and researching what many experienced attorneys, agencies, authors, consultants, birth parents, and adoptive parents state are the top tips for creating a great profile. We also have our own ideas based on personal experience.
All of the networking and marketing in the world cannot overcome a lackluster adoption profile. It MUST stand out from the pack. Imagine reading 5, 15, or 50 of these at a time. They all start to sound alike, but that is what creates the opportunity for your profile to stand out from the others.
Adoption Profile Tip #1: Be Genuine
Most adopting parents think that the purpose of the adoption profile is to share information about themselves. This is only half of the equation though and it’s not even the most important half. In addition to sharing information about yourself, you must also paint a picture of what life would be like for a child in your family. Accomplishing these two things in a sincere and honest way is what being genuine is all about.
One of the things that gets in people’s way is their desire to avoid saying something that might turn somebody off. For example, “I don’t want to mention that we have a big dog because some expectant parents might not like dogs.” Here is the advice that I offer them and you:
The goal for your adoption profile is to help you connect with just a few
expectant parents who think you are incredible, not 100
expectant parents who think you are OK.
Read that again. It’s very important. Share who you really are and the right people will connect with you. Keep things “generic” and a lot of people will think you’re OK, but you risk not connecting with anyone.
Adoption Profile Tip #2: Photographs and Captions must ROCK!
The photographs and captions you put in your adoption profile, especially the first set on the front page, are frequently the determining factors in whether or not someone reads your profile – not chooses you to parent – READS YOUR PROFILE! At a minimum, expectant parents make initial judgments based on the photos.
Most adopting parents spend much more time writing the words for their adoption profile and not nearly enough time finding just the right photographs and writing the perfect complementary captions. As you search for photos for your profile, imagine communicating so much information through them and the corresponding captions that the text in your profile becomes secondary and even unnecessary. When you accomplish that, you have phenomenal photos.
The goal for your photos and captions is to communicate so effectively
who you are and what life for a child in your family will be like
that reading the text would simply be redundant.
Adoption Profile Tip #3: Show More Than Tell
It is more memorable and a more interesting read when you show your values, loves, and personality through anecdotes, stories, and pictures. DO NOT SIMPLY REPORT FACTS WHEN YOU CAN TELL A SHORT STORY.
Which is more likely to make a connection with the reader:
- “Sue likes to cook.”
- “Nothing beats the sweet smell of Sue’s homemade caramel rolls fresh out of the oven.”
What about these two:
- “We enjoy camping.”
- “We canoed all morning before hiking 15 miles to our campsite.”
Engage all of the senses whenever possible. Can’t you just taste those caramel rolls right now? Are your arms and legs feeling a little heavy?