One good turn deserves another.
These are actually from our Facebook page — helpful hints (at least we’re hoping you find them hopeful) for both prospective adoptive parents and birth parents that were originally posted each day during National Adoption Month.
I wanted to share them here last week, but other things (read: pre-holiday obligations) got in the way. On the upside, I’m proud to say that I’m now halfway through my pre-Christmas “To Do” list.
Some of these suggestions may be new to you. Some you may know already. Still, it never hurts to see them again. Thanks to everyone who shared, liked and commented on them on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Adoption Month may have come and gone, but hopefully these tips will help guide you through the process in the months and years ahead.
- Open adoption is a lifelong journey, not a one-time event. It’s O.K. to focus on the placement now, but start preparing yourself for all of the unique challenges that will come your way down the road.
- Infertility may have brought you to adoption, but it’s not a compelling reason for prospective birth parents to choose you. Instead, use it as an opportunity to show how you’ve dealt with challenges in your life and the lessons you’ve learned along the way.
- Open adoption may be your second choice, but that doesn’t mean it’s second best.
- Make sure expectant parents get all the counseling and support they need to make an informed decision. It’s good for them, good for you and, most importantly, it will be good for your child.
- When writing your parent profile, include details that a prospective birth mother needs to know — not what you want her to know.
- Taking your adoption search online will increase your chances of connecting with expectant parents. But it will also increase your risks of getting scammed. To protect yourself, get your adoption worker involved in a situation as soon as possible
- Don’t forget to include a dedicated toll-free number in your parent profile. You’ll want to make it as easy and as economical as possible for prospective birth parents to reach you.
- A birth father may not be directly involved in your adoption plan, but he still needs to be notified about it. Not only is it the right thing to do, it could also eliminate problems for you down the road.
- Your parent profile doesn’t need to click with everyone, just the birth family that’s looking for you.
- Open adoption is about loss. But while you’re going through the process, don’t lose sight of all the wonderful things in your life that you do have.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of photos in your parent profile. They’re the first things that prospective birth parents see and are a great way to create impact and set yourself apart.
- Keep a list of questions near your phone just in case a expectant parent responds to your profile. You may not need it, but it could come in handy if your emotions get the better of you.
- Not all agencies are created equal. Before you sign up for one, make sure you have a clear understanding of the services they offer and the costs.
- Put your best foot forward in your parent profile, but don’t overdo it. There’s a fine line between making a good impression and coming across as desperate.
- Open adoption covers a wide spectrum of contact. Find your comfort zone and avoid making promises you can’t keep.
- Adopting laws vary by state. Make sure you understand how they work in your state and in the one where the expectant parents or adoptive parents live as well.
- Always specify how much openness you want to have with prospective parents in your parent profile. It could be the deciding factor, especially if it comes down between choosing between you and other waiting parents who haven’t included those details..
Which of these tips hit home for you? Anything you would like to add? Share them and your thoughts in our comments section below. And don’t forget to check out the rest of our tips on our Facebook page.
(Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)