When we first began researching the steps we needed to take to start the adoption process, we consulted with an attorney. She was very professional, candid and well-versed on all aspects of adoption and we were grateful for what we learned from our meeting. We decided to hold off on committing to an attorney for fear they wouldn’t have many avenues for direct contact with birth mothers.
We then met with a local non-profit adoption agency to hear what they had to say. We ultimately knew we needed to get our home study done by an agency, and we really liked the people we met with there, so we sent in the modest application fee and also began our home study process. Approved back in July 2010, we had hopes for a quick match – that has yet to present itself.
Back in the fall, we were told, along with several other hopeful families, that we could potentially improve our wait time by networking to find a birth mother ourselves. Now, many people I have mentioned this to have said, “Why do you need to do all of this stuff yourselves?!” The thing is, we don’t have an agency that we are committed to financially. We’d be happy to work with the agency that did our home study, if that is what the birth mother is comfortable with, as they are super caring and trustworthy.
While this can be great if you like being a free-agent, as we are discovering, the drawback is that they don’t have a huge budget for advertising and marketing, so throngs of birth mothers aren’t knocking on their doors. So, what they do is offer you advice that can hopefully help to shorten your wait. They recommended tactics that included creating and posting flyers, emailing friends and family, telling neighbors, doctors, dentists, hairdressers that you’re adopting. They even went so far as to recommend other agencies or attorneys willing to, without a retainer, show your profile to the birth mothers they’re working with. The idea is that you never know who will hear about an adoption situation during the course of their day. And if and when they do, they will think of you and share your info with the birth mom! So, we rolled up our sleeves and took lots of action. Here’s a list of what we’ve done so far…not for the faint-hearted…
- Created and sent out our profile books
- Created our Website/blog
- Created and placed adoption flyers in various locations
- Created and shared Pass along cards ( business cards for hopeful adoptive families)
- Created and activated our online Parent Profile
- Emailed friends, family and acquaintances
- Included notes in our Christmas cards
- Sent stacks of our profile books to an attorney and other agencies
- Written Facebook posts, built a Facebook page, and purchased Facebook ads
- Began Google AdWords campaign
- Joined online adoption forums and became part of the community, making connections, helping others, and giving and receiving advice
- Told everyone and anyone we’d who’d listen
Clearly, trying to find a birth mother and hoping she chooses you as adoptive parents requires great fortitude, dedication, perseverance, thoughtful planning and attention to detail, and boatloads of patience. But, most importantly it requires a deep seated faith that the baby meant to be with you will find their way into your heart and home very soon.
We would love to hear if any of you have tried any of the above, if things worked well or didn’t, and whether you would do things differently if you could. Any and all recommendations are welcome!