“How do we find a birth mother?” is one of the questions we hear the most from families when they are considering pursuing an independent adoption. That’s why we spent so much time on the Networking and Advertising lesson of Adoption For Life. We wanted you to have many ideas and clear instruction on how you can network your way to the child meant for you.
These methods are what all adoption professionals use today. There is nothing magical about how to make one specific method work. Much of it is simply getting to work and making it happen. Adoption usually happens when your information is in the right place at the right time.
Here are three easy, low cost ways that adoptive families have found their children through independent adoption.
Passing out high quality adoption cards to local obstetricians and midwives is a great way to network, and it works! Distributing a small stack (15 cards) to local physicians who work with pregnant women, along with a letter sharing your adoption hopes, really paid off for Phillip and Nan. They distributed these in their small town, as well as neighboring cities. Within six months they received a call from a woman who had received their adoption cards from her doctor.
Important tip: Include in your letter that you have completed the background checks and home study process and are officially approved by your state to adopt.
Spread the Word
Just sharing your plans with friends and family, and asking them to do the same, can help you find your baby or child. Mark and Mandy had shared their many miscarriages with close friends, but decided to open up and share their losses with more people, along with their adoption goals. Before they could complete their home study, they were contacted by a friend of a friend who had adopted a child and had an open adoption. The birth mother was pregnant again and asked these people to help her find a family who had no children yet. They were able to rush the home study and welcomed their baby boy in only three months!
Important tip: Knowing what you are open to, and what you are not open to, will help enable you to move forward on situations like this that may need quick action.
Meet New People
Part of the success of networking is meeting new people and letting them know about your adoption plans. Try volunteering somewhere or stop by area churches, and homeless shelters to drop off some profiles or adoption cards. The more people you meet who you can share your adoption plans with, the wider your network will become. Enlist friends and family in this endeavor too. You never know who may know someone who knows someone who is considering adoption.
Important tip: Be smart about these efforts. A Catholic church may not be a wise effort for a family who is of a different faith. Similarly, volunteering efforts should be genuine, not just a one-stop opportunity to try to recruit a birth mother.
These are just three methods that we have shared recent success. There are many, many ways to meet potential birth mothers. Do what feels comfortable for you and your family. And remember to ask your coordinator if you need help.