Adoption: The Profile Book

When birthparents are ready to create an adoption plan, the agency will offer them the profile of various families that match up.  So how do you capture the essence of who you are in a book containing 14-16 pages?

Okey and I were presented with this challenge early in our adoption process, and my tip to any couple going through the adoption process is to start your book as soon as you can.

Start writing your biography.  Write down everything.  Then edit it.  Keept it short!  You may each have to write a four-to-five page biography for your homestudy, so pull from that as needed.

Collect your photos that are clear and have your faces looking forward.  Include photos that show what you enjoy doing. Caption your photos!   (You know who you are, but a stranger may have difficulty recognizing you in a different hairstyle.)  Make sure to get head shots taken to include on your biography pages.  Don’t put too many photos on a page.  You can have one collage, but choose the photos wisely.
Make an outline.  Your agency should have one that you can use as a guideline.
Print out each your book in black and white.  Tape it together so that it looks like a book.  Then edit it.  Repeat.

As you near the end of the process, show your profile book to everyone.  Get their opinions and suggestions.  They might notice something you didn’t think to include.  (Example:  Our neighbor Judy noticed that we had just one photo of our dog in the profile book.  She thought that we should include a picture of our dog playing with children so that the birthparents would see that she was friendly and sociable.)

As mentioned in January, we’ve been contacted twice by our adoption agency about having our profile book shown due to special circumstances.  Our social worker informs us that our profile book has been showing well to the birthparents who match our criteria.  The only issues that she had seen expressed by the birthparents were that we did not have a straightforward “yes” to incorporating a name and to allowing a reunion visit.  We feel comfortable in our decision to consider these things after meeting the birthmother and are likely to keep things as they are.

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