The family profile is one of the most important pieces of your adoption journey. It is, after all, the primary way a prospective adoptive family is chosen by expectant parents considering an adoption plan for their child.
From experience, we know it is key to be yourself and to represent your family authentically. But that is often easier said than done!
If you are struggling to get your profile started, or if you have presented to many adoption situations without getting picked, here are 10 practical tips to make your family profile more authentic and dynamic:
Pick an amazing cover photo. Depending on how many profile books their attorney or agency gives them, some expectant parents won’t get past the cover if there’s not a reason to look inside. Make sure that your cover is an eye-catching shot, that makes them want to read more about you. You’ll also need to make sure it is a high-quality photo to be blown up and showcase your family the best way possible.
Use a high-quality camera for your pictures. Most smartphone photos are not the quality you might think. Get a friend with a good camera to take pictures of you or hire a photographer for one of those inexpensive mini-sessions you’ve heard advertised by local photographers. It will make a huge difference in the quality of your profile book. Make sure to layer your clothes or bring a change of clothes when taking professional pictures, so your whole book doesn’t have you in the same clothes!
Include candid shots. If your entire book is made up of posed shots, they aren’t going to see the real you and your smiles may look forced. Include pictures of you doing your favorite things (riding bikes, hiking, cooking, playing guitar, going to a street fair/concert, whatever those things are). The smiles in those pictures are going to be genuine, because you are doing things you love.
Describe details. Describe the things you like to do in detail, so that an expectant parent can actually picture your family doing those things. For example, if you like to have family game night every Saturday night, say that, but also include what games you like to play. Maybe the expectant mother grew up playing Battleship too.
Be a creative story teller. Tell expectant parents your family story creatively. Have your profile include stories about you and your family instead of just listing facts. For example, instead of simply saying that you got married in December, describe the cold, rainy day and how everyone shivered when you walked down the aisle because you were determined to have that outdoor wedding you had dreamed of.
Be real. Your profile has to reflect you, so make sure that you are telling stories, including interesting facts and selecting pictures that really show an expectant parent what you are like and what you like to do. If they emotionally connect with one or more of those things you like to do or if one of the stories resonates with them, you will stand out.
Include basic silly facts about you. When describing you or your spouse/partner/child, make sure to highlight key facts about you that will jump off the page and get you remembered (favorite TV shows, how you describe your best day, what you can’t live without).
Write about each other. If you are adopting with a spouse/partner, have your spouse talk about you and what things they admire about you and what would make you (or has made you) a good mother or father. They can brag about you more naturally than you can.
Describe any adoption connections you may have. Do you have 5 family members who adopted? Have you dreamed of adoption since you were a little girl? Or maybe your sister placed a child for adoption when she was a teenager? If you have any added connection to adoption, make sure to include that in your profile. Expectant parents want to connect with the family adopting their child in any way possible, and they will feel more comfortable knowing that adoption is accepted by your family.
Be funny. Include a section with funny or interesting facts about you and your spouse. You never know what will make you stand out from the other families and those might be the most memorable. And it is okay to be a little cheesy.
Your family profile is the visual way to tell your story, your thoughts on adoption and your plans for the future. It’s your opportunity to stand out.
If the thought of creating your family profile still intimidates you or if you need to revamp an existing profile that isn’t getting you noticed, visit our Profiles page to see what design services we offer. We’d love to help design the perfect family profile for you!