In Part 1, I stated that my husband and I are mainly pursuing a private adoption for financial reasons. This is true and was our motivation at first. However, now it is not the only reason. If you have adopted, considered adoption or have ever talked to someone who has adopted – you have heard the process is expensive. It is so expensive it can be intimidating to a couple that would truly be great parents. Just as I strongly feel that a woman expecting a child should never choose adoption solely because she feels she can not afford to parent, I also feel that the high cost of adoption should not prevent a couple to be blessed as parents. Since many families would provide an amazing life for a child but are intimidated by the cost, I feel compelled to be a “trail blazer” in a sense. If our journey can help others to adopt, then that, to me, is awesome.
Perhaps our desire to adopt without an agency is in our hearts simply because God has a plan for our family that will come about in a way we could not possibly foresee. Whatever the reason, I want to share all I have learned with you. As I reflect on our journey of becoming parents again, I realize how many amazing organizations I have discovered. Researching ways to connect with birthparents sans an agency allowed me to find Project Cuddle, A Baby’s Breath and Special Angel’s Adoption Advocates. These organizations have phenomenal missions and spreading awareness about them, I believe, helps me do my part in making the world a better place.
Ok, enough talking! Here are more ways to connect with a birthmother or birthparents and be on your way to a private adoption!
- Network, network, network! Give your paper profile to everyone you know. Give it to your family, friends, your OB-GYN, co-workers, neighbors, your Mary Kay lady, your hairdresser . . . I think you can catch my drift here. Ask all of them to keep it in their glove compartment of their car or in their purse at all times. You never know when you may hear, “so and so’s daughter’s cousin is pregnant and considering adoption” . . . bam. Here’s an awesome couple. Share your Facebook page and ask all of your friends to like and share the page as well. Keep your Facebook page interactive. Post questions and invite friends to post and comment on it often. Facebook recently made activity mean more than number of likes . . . so the more it is written on, the more it will show up in the newsfeed. Also, you can pay Facebook a very small amount to advertise your page. Unless of course you put the words “unplanned pregnancy” in the title. They apparently frown on that . . . but I digress. On Instagram, like tons of pictures and follow everyone you know on there. Then follow people you don’t know. Use hashtags (#adoption #openadoption, etc.). If someone follows you on Twitter, follow them back. Post pictures and use hashtags on there as well.
- Connect with other couples hoping to adopt. As you network on social media, you will find other couples doing the same. Root for them, talk to them, share your ideas and ask for theirs. One couple we came across recently posted a picture of their family’s new addition! I messaged them, congratulated them and asked how they connected with their child’s birthmother. They said they went to an adoptive parent support group and a couple there had been contacted by their child’s birthmother; she was pregnant again and wanted to place. The parents decided that they were not in a position to adopt again, but told the birthmother about this couple hoping to adopt. The birthmother contacted them, they decided it was a good match and now the couple I met through Facebook networking has a daughter. I actually had just decided to join an adoptive parent support group – but would have never thought that a match would happen that way! Another couple we met through networking was also blessed this month with a bundle of joy. They told us about an Adoption Consultant group. At this point we are not going that route (Consultants cost a couple thousand dollars – much less than an agency). Hearing other’s success stories will give you hope and more networking ideas!
- Consider placing an ad in a newspaper. I have heard from more than one person that print ads still work. Alison at Adoption Advertising Resources had such great success using newspaper ads when she adopted that she started her business to help others do the same. Alison will help you for as low as $12.99 and has offered to provide PrayerWineChocolate subscribers $5 off option one, $10 off option two, and $20 off option three. Check out her website to see more details about what each option offers: http://www.adoptionadvertisingresources.com/
- Use adoption websites that connect expectant parents with adoptive families. Four of these companies are parentprofiles.com, adoptimist.com, adoptbrite.com and Your Adoption Gateway. Most of these companies agreed to give PWC subscribers a discount (for a limited time). Sign up today and you could potentially save over $100.00!! We were on three of them at one point, now we are only on two. Your Adoption Network wrote an extensive story about my husband and I on their blog, and even posted a video on youtube (here it is if you’re curious Our family video). I especially like how Your Adoption Gateway offers a support network for women considering adoption as a part of their services. Your Adoption Network is also extremely reasonably priced.
- Reach out to crisis pregnancy centers and pro-life groups. Even though most women these organizations help will choose to parent, some do consider and choose an adoption plan. Some crisis pregnancy centers and pro-life groups refer women considering adoption to agencies, but others will happily take your information and keep you in mind if they meet an expectant mother considering adoption. Most of these organizations are based on volunteer help, so consider becoming a volunteer while you wait for your little blessing! Another important reason to connect with crisis pregnancy centers is to help a woman who may contact you about a possible adoption plan. I realize when a person contacts you about being the perfect match for her unborn child it is really exciting. But it is extremely important to make sure that this young woman knows that if she does want to parent, there is help available. Encouraging a young woman who is considering adoption to visit a crisis pregnancy center will help her discern if adoption is the right path for her and her baby.
- Sign up with Special Angels Adoption Advocates. Special Angels is an adoption advocacy group that places children with special needs. 85% of the children they place are under the age of one. Although they hope to become an agency soon, they are still an advocacy group and being on their waiting list is completely free. Each situation they are presented with is sent out to those on the waiting list. Couples decide if they want to apply for the situation. Some children that need homes have severe medical diagnoses, but others are not so severe. Our son was born with some medical needs and I asked if they ever see cases like his – and they said yes! Each situation Special Angels sends their waiting families include the expenses. Some of these situations are potential private adoptions others are agency. Special Angels places about ten children a month across the U.S. Find out more information on their website! http://www.specialangelsadoption.org/
- Be creative. We have been encouraged to create pass along cards by many people. We decided instead to order pens from pens.com with our information on it. We figure pens travel, and they are useful. I mentioned this idea to my sister who is in college and she agrees it’s a great idea. I’ll be giving her pens to leave around campus as soon as they arrive! If you choose to order from pens.com, make sure you search for a promo code on Google. I am so happy I did this – it saved me close to twenty dollars!
- Be patient and be careful. Unfortunately, there are scammers out there. Having an adoption attorney lined up to work with you will help you weed them out. It’s a good idea to ask a potential birthparent to contact your attorney. Many scammers will disappear after that suggestion. Others will call your attorney, but chances are your attorney will sense something isn’t right and let you know. As for being patient, someone once said to me, “Remember that you are not waiting for a child, you are waiting for your child.” Have faith and don’t give up!
Please remember that each state has specific adoption laws. In PA, using an adoption consultant is legal.. It is not legal in all states. Also, paying for birthmother expenses is illegal in PA, but not in others. It is extremely important to be familiar with your state laws.
I’m hoping Part 3 of this series will reveal how we adopted our second child! Until then, please share your stories of hope and dreams coming true!
Want to check out part 1? Click here: Pursuing an Adoption Without an Agency: Part 1