Social Worker: Adoptive Parent Profile

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What is an adoptive parent profile?

An adoptive parent profile has many names. It is often referred to as a parent profile, an adoption profile, adoption dossier, adoption portfolio or a family resume.

Profiles generally include statistical history about yourself, such as age, educational and employment background, your interests and hobbies and your family. They usually have one or more photographs and sometimes a separate letter to a prospective birth parent. Simply put, it is a document that gives background and current information about a person who would like to adopt a child. If adopting via an agency, they will often have a specific format for you to follow. When adopting independently, you may be as creative and original as you like.

First impressions are extremely important. Your profile is your introduction to a woman or couple planning on making an adoption plan. If adopting through an agency, this will be your first contact. The agency will send your profile along with a few others to the expectant parent for their consideration. You will need to transform your thoughts into heartfelt words. If a prospective birth parent is presented with two or more profiles with the same family criteria, she is more likely to choose the one that is well thought out, organized and creative. Remember that the goal is to connect with the birthmother who is right for you.

When adopting independently, you already would have spoken to the birth parent one or more times. The adoptive parent profile in this situation is used as a way to showcase things about you that are unique and special. Your profile is an invitation to a birth parent to ‘come into your home and meet your family.’ Many profiles will sound alike, so you want yours to stand out from the rest. You will describe each other and your marriage, explain reasons for adopting, share your parenting philosophy, hopes and dreams and perhaps even a discussion about religious beliefs if you choose.

Whether adopting independently or with the assistance of an agency, you will want to include photographs of yourselves, pets and your families. Outdoor, informal photos are considered better and ones, which demonstrate your love of children, are important, as well. You may want to include a picture of yourself with nieces and nephews at the beach, at a sporting event or holiday gathering. A potential birth mother is looking for loving, relaxed people who can relate well to children. Your profile needs to convey that you are a stable individual and/or that you have a strong marriage.

Some ‘don’ts’ to consider:

  • Make sure you don’t sound too professional, too perfect or too much like everyone else.
  • Write your resume on an 8th to 9th grade level, one that is easy reading, but remember, not to be too condescending.

Try to put yourself in the place of an insecure and frightened birth mother that is looking for a place for her child to grow up. She is hoping to find a home, in which her child will be safe, protected, wanted and loved. The woman or couples who read your adoptive parent profile might be instrumental in making your dreams come true. Adoption is not your last resort, but another way to give a child a home and form your forever family.

by Leslie Zindulka, LCSW-R

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The information and advice provided is intended to be general information, NOT as advice on how to deal with a particular child's situation and or problem. If your child has a specific problem you need to ask your pediatrician about it - only after a careful history and physical exam can a medical diagnosis and/or treatment plan be made. This Web site does not constitute a physician-patient relationship.

This material has been provided by, an innovative adoption medicine private practice and educational service, dedicated to helping parents and adoption agencies with the complex pre-adoption medical issues of internationally adopted children. All medical interactions are performed via, e-mail, express mail, telephone, and fax. There is no need to make a live appointment or travel outside of your hometown. For more information, visit or call 631-499-4114.

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