Sunday, December 5, 2010

Adoptive Parent Networking

A friend and fellow adoptive mama recently e-mailed me and asked me how I felt about adoptive parents networking (meaning, advertising themselves outside of their agency in the hopes of meeting an expectant mother wanting to place her child for adoption). The following is my response---not the most organized or cohesive, but it sums up my feelings:

I am not comfortable AT ALL with marketing ourselves. No newspaper ads, no parent profile online, no YouTube video, no business cards, no crisis pregnancy centers, no doc offices. I want our adoption to happen organically. I will not prey on expectant mothers. Plus, women who go to a crisis preg center could be just one month preg. That is not the time to decide on adoption.

Our old agency used online profiles (which we did) and YouTube videos (which we did not).

I flat out told *social worker's first name* today that we won't be marketing ourselves with any ads, business cards, etc. We will be working w/two agencies (*agency name* and *agency name*). That's enough.

Can you tell I have an opinion on this topic?

Why rush the process? We'll get placed quickly enough, I feel, [due to our openness to all races, either sex, and an open adoption with the birth family] without being on the prowl for a baby.

The online profiles also encourage a-parents to compete---who has the best letter? The best video? The best pictures? When *agency name* presents profiles, we a-parents can't compete b/c we don't see the competition---know what I mean?

I know some couples have waited years, maybe even a decade or two, to become parents. The networking avenues are endless and honestly, very tempting---do whatever, however, to end the dreaded wait. Many couples do not think twice about self-marketing. I admit that early in our first adoption process, I didn't think much of it either. It was all about us getting our baby and nothing or no one else. :( Embarrassing to admit. I partially blame the adoption industry for making adoption so much about those of us to pay the big bucks and not about the human hearts involved. But I also blame ourselves. Though, to be fair, everyone needs time to grow, learn, and change. Thankfully, we got the opportunity to grow, learn, and change BEFORE our first placement.

I'd rather do things right than obtain a child through manipulative and unethical tactics. After all, I believe we answer to God for everything we do.

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