Whether you have decided to pursue adoption independently or work with an adoption professional, you will need to take great care in creating a distinct and compelling adoption profile. If you are just learning about the adoption process, you may ask, “What is an adoption profile, anyway?” In short, an adoption profile is your most important piece of marketing material. It is a booklet that will be shown to expectant mothers considering adoption, which consists of photos and narrative that describe who you are, what you do, what you value and what kind of parent you will be. Your goal is to tell your story and connect with an expectant mother on an emotional level. It is not unusual for expectant mothers to view several dozen profiles from hopeful adoptive parents at a given time. So how can YOU make YOUR profile stand out from the rest? Here are 5 tips from Everlasting Adoption’s Professional Profile Creator, on how to create a stand out adoption profile.
1. Invest in Professional Photos
One of the most important pieces of advice I can offer, is to include high quality photos in your adoption profile. Of course the words of your story are important too, but your pictures will tell an even more immediate and captivating story. A birth mother will more likely be drawn into reading a profile through quality photos that catch her eye and makeher feel a connection. Try to not solely rely on selfies and photos from your phone for your profile. If it is feasible to fit in your budget, consider hiring a professional photographer to take photos. You can create an account with Red Thread Sessions to view a directory of photographers who specialize in adoption photography. If hiring a professional photographer is absolutely not an option, consider renting a camera and recruiting a friend or family member to take your photos with professional equipment.
2. Be Yourself
We aren’t all great writers and that’s ok! Don’t unnecessarily stress yourself out about your writing ability. The most important thing to remember when writing the narrative for your profile is to be you. Don’t try to write or speak in a way that isn’t natural for you and don’t be cliché. Your writing will be more meaningful if you say what you want to say and not what you think someone else wants to hear.
3. Be Specific and Descriptive
Expectant mothers read profile after profile that sound very much the same, so how do you make yours sound different? The goal here is to be very specific and descriptive to make prospective birth moms feel something while they are reading your words. This does not require an innate writing ability, it just takes some creativity. You could say, “It is our family tradition to have Christmas dinner at my grandmother’s house”, but that sentence doesn’t really make the reader feel anything. Instead, draw on all the senses and emotions involved in Christmas and the holidays and describe them. “Christmas dinner at my grandmother’s house is surrounded by the laughter and excitement of all the nieces and nephews as the smell of her homemade sugar cookies fill the kitchen.” Now this sentence makes the reader feel as if they are celebrating Christmas dinner there with you. Just remember, specific examples will always have more affect than generalities.
4. Show More Than Tell
An adoption profile that has page after page of paragraphs and few pictures will be reviewed far less than one with a focus on good quality pictures telling a story. I know you have so much you want to tell an expectant mother and it is ALL important. It comes down to the time involved in reading each profile she is presented with. She may set aside a profile with a lot of reading in favor of a profile where the pictures do the story telling and compelling captions help fill in the blanks. It is normal for most of us to be drawn to something that is visually appealing. Spend some time reading and rereading your narrative and condensing it down.
5. Highlight Something Unique
If there is something that sets you apart from other prospective adoptive parents, highlight this in your adoption profile. Do you have a sense of humor, do you like to bake, do you participate in volunteer work, etc.? Even special family traditions should be mentioned in your profile. This is yet another way to help your adoption profile stand out from the rest.
A lot of what draws birth mothers to adoptive parents isn’t something that can be put in words and checked off on a list. They just have a feeling about a parent or couple and this aspect of the adoption process, like so many is out of the adoptive parents’ control. Using some of these tips when creating your adoption profile will help you maximize what you can control and put together the best piece of marketing material possible.