Adoption is one of the most important decisions you will make in your entire life, whether you are pregnant and thinking about making an adoption plan, or are going through the process to become an adoptive parent. The decision to become an adoptive parent is also something that feels like it should be kept private. But, from what we have learned, if you want to find a birth mom you’ve got to get out there and tell everyone you know (and hope they tell everyone they know, too. ) Even though this very public approach can feel awkward at times, it can only help shorten your wait. So, we are trying to think “outside the box” and come up with unconventional ways to get the word out. One social worker told us about a waiting family that just recently took out a billboard near a busy outlet mall during the pre-Christmas rush – good timing, but pretty costly – the verdict is still out as to whether it was successful or not – I sure hope it was.
There’s also the thought and research that must go in to the creation of a flier and a classified ad: what should the flier say and what pictures should we use? do we provide out number, a toll-free number or the agency number? where are the best places to put up our flier? what should our ad say? how do we determine the circulation for the papers figure out whether the ad cost is a worthwhile investment? will the right people see our ad? will the paper even allow an adoption classified ad?
Then there are other ideas, like including a note in your holiday card in the hopes of reminding your family and friends that you are adopting and trying to find a birth mom. How about taking an unconventional approach, like using social networks Facebook and Twitter, and joining forums and message boards? There are quite a few subscription-based services where you can place your adoption profile, one of the big ones is Parent Profiles, but these services can also be quite costly. Whatever approaches you decide on, take the time to think about what you’re personally comfortable with and what you can afford to do. Sadly, there are alot of people out there trying to take advantage and make a buck off of waiting adoptive families, so do your research and choose wisely and thoughtfully – and then jump on in.
If you have heard of other unconventional ways to network, please feel free to share them here.