If you're reading this, chances are you already know that your adoption profile is a crucial part of how you present yourself to potential birth mothers. Your profile is the first impression she gets of you, your lives, and what you have to offer as adoptive parents of her child.
By avoiding the biggest profile mistakes, you can offset a lot of hard work and even make your adoption wait shorter.
So that you don't compromise your chances of moving forward with an adoption match, we're sharing 10 things NOT to include in your profile.
1. Assuming Language
It's important to avoid writing anything in your profile which implies you know what the birth mother is going through right now. A pregnant woman doesn’t have to be committed to choosing adoption in order to see profiles. If you praise her for her decision or talk about your excitement to raise her child, you might put unwanted pressure on her.
Here are a couple of examples of using assuming language in your adoption profile:
"We understand you're going through a hard time right now."
"You are so courageous in making such a selfless decision."
2. Personal Information
Sharing your personal contact information in your profile is a great way to set yourself up for an adoption scam. So when you create your profile, don’t include your last name, address, city, employer, alma mater, or any identifying info.
Sure, you can provide birth families a feel for your community; but don't list your address or the name of your town. When birth parents want to connect with you, they can do so through your adoption professional.
3. Inappropriate Photos
It's great to show your family’s silly side or candid moments with kids. But sharing a photo of your spouse drunk at a party in college or you in a skimpy bikini at the beach? Not so much. Your photos certainly don’t have to be perfect. But, make sure to choose the photos you include with care.
Select photos where you're appropriately covered up; birth parents don’t need to see you in a bikini or with your shirt off. And finally, take a look at the background of your photos to make sure there are no alcoholic beverages.
4. Living in the Past
Avoid sharing elaborate stories and details about what you used to do and about your past. Some hopeful adoptive couples are tempted to tell long and romantic stories about how they met. However, your profile should focus on your family in the present and the future. Birth mothers are hoping to see what kind of life you have right now and what kind of life her child would have with you!
5. Emphasizing Fertility Issues
For many couples pursuing adoption, infertility is a part of their story. It’s fine to share this part of your story with birth parents, since they'll want to know why you want to adopt. But it’s best to mention it briefly and then move on to sharing of the future you’ll provide for a child. There's no need to go into specifics about your diagnosis and treatment.
6. Phrasing About a Birth Parent's Experience
Don't give birth parents words that they might not be feeling. Because if you’ve put together a great profile, it'll speak for itself. Avoid using language that puts words in expectant parents’ mouths, like, “We will love your baby more than you can imagine.”
We know that people mean well when they say this kind of thing but it can come across as offensive. Instead, focus on sharing about yourselves in your profile. Let birth parents process their thoughts and feelings without bias.
7. Posed Photos Only
It’s perfectly fine to include posed photos in an adoption profile. They're a great way to show your family in a favorite location at home, on vacation, or at a family celebration. But it can be limiting to have a profile book made up solely of posed photos. To give birth parents a complete picture of your family, include a mix of action and posed photos.
8. Promises You Can't Keep
Your profile is the perfect place to share your commitment to your child's birth parents. Avoid giving promises you have no idea if you’ll be able to keep, such as inviting them over to your house on holidays or having monthly visits.
Many factors will determine the nature and extent of openness with your child’s birth family, and these factors might change over time. Don’t set up the birth family for disappointment before you’ve even started your relationship.
9. Tons of Text
There's no need to share your entire life story in your profile. For example, birth parents don’t want to read lengthy stories about your relationship. Your profile should share a bit about each area of your life, including your family, occupation, faith, and home. If you spark their interest, they can ask you follow-up questions when you speak over the phone. You can always get into more detail then.
10. Anything That Isn’t Authentically YOU
Your profile should reflect you and your family accurately. Avoid trying to come across as something you're not or portraying the life that you want to have for yourself.
Birth parents aren't expecting you to be perfect. But they also don’t want to see a generic couple that could be any family in any town in the US. Share your individuality through talking about your family life, hobbies, and vacation adventures.