On your path to becoming an adoptive parent, there are a lot of important steps to take. Your attorney will help you with the legal documents and procedures of adoption, but there are some things you will largely handle on your own.
One very important task that falls under the “do-it-yourself” banner is the creation of your parent profile. This is essential for matching you with a birth mother who is looking for a family for their child. Your profile has to be honest and compelling.
The Adoptive Parent Profile
A staple in US adoptions, an adoptive parent profile is made by you so that a birth parent is able to get a picture of who you are. It should be around 1,500 words long and describe your interests, your family and your lifestyle. It should also cover your feelings and thoughts about adoption itself and parenting.
Also known as a “Dear Birth Mother” letter, your profile may also contain family photos that are meant to help spark an emotional connection between your family and the birth mother or parents.
The Key Points
When you are creating your profile, the first two things you need to keep firmly in mind are who you are writing it for and what they would want to know.
Who you are writing the profile for may seem really obvious: it’s for the expectant parents or parent of a baby who may be placed for adoption. However, here you’ve got to think a little deeper. This is an uncertain and emotional time for birth parents, and they might be unsure about or afraid of the adoption process and very sad that the child won’t be able to stay with them for whatever reason. Therefore, you want to try to empathize with them in your profile and reassure them that you are caring and loving people who also only want the very best for their child.
Keep in mind, however, that you should never assume any details about the situation of the prospective birth parents. Your reassurances should be very general, and make sure you are not creating a sense of expectation or passing judgment in your writing.
No matter what the situation is, all birth parents want the best for their child. They want a placement that is perfect, with adoptive parents who will love and care for their child while raising them in a safe and secure home and giving them the best life possible. Therefore, it is important that your profile assures them that you have the ability to care for, love and support a child.
When you are drafting your profile, consider anything that is unique about you, your family or your situation. You are the selling point, so what will make you stand apart from the other adoptive parent profiles that the birth parents might read? Do you have a background in education or childcare? Do you live in an area that offers great things for children? Do you have other kids, adopted or biological?
In addition, your profile should cover what type of adoption you are looking for (closed, open, or semi-closed) and the level of contact the birth parents could have going forward. When you have all these points covered, the birth parents will be able to clearly see how their child could fit in with your family.
If you are ready to adopt, contact a family law attorney about the process today. This is a complicated area of law, and you will want to be fully prepared for every phase of the process.