Friday, September 14, 2012

Guest Post: Profile Tips By Elizabeth

Hi readers! We recently got to read a little bit about Elizabeth's family and their experience with adopting their beautiful daughter. Today we get to know some of Elizabeth's suggestions as a former social worker. She has some great advice on how to make your profile more appealing! Enjoy! -Elise

Tips For Your Adoption Profile
As an adoption social worker, part of my job was helping adoptive couples create a good profile. As this was for adoptions through foster care, a matching committee made up of adoption professionals was the ones reviewing the profiles. However, many of the principles are the same. Let me preface this by saying these are just suggestions, if they don't feel right for you, don't use them!

Profile Picture:
*Color catches the eye. For example, if I was looking through the 800+ profiles on the LDS website, the people in muted and/or earth tones would fade into the background if I was browsing. A person in bright yellow, or standing by bright flowers would stand out.

*While a professional picture is not necessary, a professional looking one is, meaning, try not to use a picture of you standing around a birthday cake, at the lake, etc.  Also I would not suggest very casual clothes like beach wear, flip flops, etc.
* Don't get lost in your landscape. Crop your picture so that you and your spouse/family fill in the space.

Intro Sentence:
*Keep it simple and from the heart. Try not to be too over-the-top or desperate (like Pick Us! Pick Us!). A potential birth parent is going through indescribable emotions as they review these profiles and a loving/peaceful/comforting introduction is going to appeal to them much more than a desperate/overly eager one.

* Only post your blog address if you feel comfortable with hundreds, if not thousands, of bored people looking at your blog. If a potential birth parent is interested in you, you can give it to them in private/through email.
Letter to Potential Birth Parents:

*I asked both birth mothers who chose us what appealed to them from our profiles. Both said that they liked that we didn't talk about God/Heavenly Father a lot and did not present ourselves as being overbearingly religious. Because neither was LDS (or even really knew what it was) and a good chunk of potential birth parents are not religious or have any affiliation with the LDS church. So while it may be your tendency to bear your testimony through your letter, know that this will only be appealing to a certain demographic.
*Carefully consider what level of openness (letters, phone calls, identifying information, visits, etc.) in an adoption you would want and talk about it in your letter. This is likely the most important information a potential birth parent will want to know about. Please give this careful consideration as you only want to promise what you really truly can commit to.

 Photo Albums:
* Again, only post pictures that you are comfortable with having a lot of strangers (most of whom are not even potential birth parents) looking at. Don't you just hate those profiles statistics? They creeped me out!

*Use pictures that show what you like to do so that a potential birth parent knows if you have the lifestyle/hobbies they are looking for in adoptive parents.
* One of the birth mothers who chose us said we appealed to her because she was African American and we had posted pictures in our album with our African American friends. She felt we could give her child connections to her culture. If you have similar friendships and are open to a transracial adoption, it would be important for a potential birth parent to see the connections you could provide to a child.

*Try not to present yourselves as "too" anything.... too perfect (because no one is), too reserved (could seem indicative of future behavior), too detailed (save that for communication through email or in person), or just "too" anything!

* Review, update, and edit your profile every 6 months.

 Hopefully, some of these tips helped you. Please remember while it is important to present yourself well through a profile, it is even more important to be 100% truthful in how you present yourselves. These tips are not supposed to help to trick a potential birth parent into choosing you as adoptive parents but are meant to help you present yourself in the best possible way so that a connection or interest may be made more easily between you and a potential birth parent. -Elizabeth


Anonymous said...

This was awesome, thank you Elizabeth

Emmanuel Obarhua said...

Hi Elizabeth, that was informative and well written. Thanks for taking your time on this.

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