LESS IS MORE
Don’t write a dissertation. Eight pages (that is, four sheets of paper printed front and back) is plenty of space to tell a birth mother about yourselves and include a few photos.
Too much information can be overwhelming. Keep in mind that the birth mother will be looking at five to ten profiles at a time: if your profile is too long she may just skip it entirely.
INCLUDE PICTURES, BUT NOT TOO MANY
Having a few pictures of your family is a great way to make a connection with a birth mom. Try to communicate a sense of your family dynamic. You might put in a few family vacation photos or pictures from holiday gatherings. Or maybe one of everyone goofing off. Highlight all the members of your household, including pets.
Make sure your photos are explained somehow: add captions or short blurbs about how these photos represent your family.
Don’t make it a full-blown photo album, though. The pictures you include should be just enough to help the birth parent imagine what their child’s life would be like as part of your family. Too much and you risk the images running together.
TALK ABOUT YOUR DREAMS FOR THE BABY
Tell the birth mother about the life and experiences you want to give her child. If you’ve already started a college fund, don’t be afraid to mention it. Be tactful, of course: don’t flaunt wealth or be pretentious. Instead, focus on the baby and what you want for him or her.
TRADITIONS AND HERITAGE
Many birth parents worry that their baby will feel disconnected or won’t have any roots. Share with them the values and the culture that you want to pass on.
DON’T INCLUDE IDENTIFYING INFORMATION
At this stage in the adoption process, it’s always better to communicate through an intermediary. Don’t list your full names, phone numbers, or email addresses. Most adoption services will remove this kind of information from your profile before sending it out to birth mothers.
It’s also important to avoid being too specific about where you live because it may be possible to narrow down who you are using that information. It’s okay to mention the name of your community if it is fairly large (for example, “a suburb of Tulsa, OK”) but not if there aren’t many other people (such as, Bokchito, OK, population 655).
SEND A DIGITAL COPY
While a birth mother will usually still look at printed profiles, sometimes there isn’t enough time to mail them to her. In those cases, profiles are usually emailed. An original pdf or doc will look better and be easier to read than a scanned image of a printed copy.
Further, this allows your adoption service to print out high quality copies as needed, rather than making lower-quality photocopies.
While it isn’t necessary, you may want to have your profile professionally printed. This will cost you a bit more, but shouldn’t break the bank. Many local office stores offer printing services or you can order prints online.
If you do choose to have your booklet professionally printed, don’t get a hard cover or unusual dimensions. These are more difficult to store and mail, and may result in additional fees from your adoption service. And don’t forget to include a digital copy, as noted above.
We do not recommend that you use design your booklet using services like Snapfish or Shutterfly since they won’t give you a digital copy of your book and lock you into getting big, thick books which cost upwards of $15 each. An adoption service will want at least twenty copies of your profile booklet since they won’t ask birth mothers to send them back, so these kinds of photo books aren’t a very cost effective option.
Making a family profile should be fun. This is your chance to say a bit about who you are and what’s important in your life. Fuss with the details, but don’t fret: what will make your profile appeal to a birth mom is the glimpse it gives her into your family, not the technical skill with which it was crafted.