Your adoption profile/adoption portfolio is likely your greatest tool as you seek to adopt a child through an agency or adoption attorney. That said, I know one of the last things you want to do is make a mistake from the first words you include on the page. While it was once commonplace to have a "Dear Birthmother Letter" (I know, the first agency we used required one :) and many letters in adoption profiles/ adoption portfolios have begun "Dear Birthmother," (even ones I created early on for clients and many I see families or those they contract do today), it is not an appropriate thing to write or to say at this point in the process.
A BIRTHMOTHER is not a woman who is considering an adoption plan or even in the midst of an adoption plan, a BIRTHMOTHER is a woman who has given birth to her child and followed through with an adoption plan. You are not an ADOPTIVE PARENT until you have been placed with a child, are you? Of course not. To call these women BIRTHMOTHERS when they are considering families to place their child with is inaccurate and may be taken as assumptive and I know you want to be neither.
Will you include a letter in your adoption profile/ adoption portfolio?-- I hope so--but I hope it begins with something other than "Dear Birthmother" and that you convey yourself, while also using appropriate adoption language, throughout your entire profile/portfolio. It is easy in your excitement to use words or phrases that may be taken the wrong way by an expectant parent. Many of my clients are unsure what to say and are even more unsure what is the right way to say it. While those that come to me, have my experience to help them to say things in appropriate ways, I encourage you to be sure that ALL of what you include in your adoption profile/adoption portfolio says not only what you mean but will also be taken in the way that you mean it. You would never ever ever want to be or to be perceived to be coercive in your choices. I know you want to be honest and ethical in every way.
Author- Madeleine Melcher
Adoptee, mom to 3 blessings of adoption, author, creator of adoption profiles, taxi driver, boo-boo kisser, tutor, lover of books and bedtime snuggles, friend forever and imperfect child of God.
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