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How to make a great adoption profile video (and do it in 5 simple steps)

Posted on 15. Dec, 2014 by .


Have you heard of adoption profile videos?How to make a great adoption profile video in 5 simple steps

In my experience, videos are the secret ingredient for reaching out and connecting with a potential birthmother. Videos are easier than ever to create, edit, share, and especially watch – on the internet from your phone, tablet, or computer.

This means expectant mothers who are considering adoption can learn more about you faster when they watch your profile video.

Most hopeful adoptive families have not created a profile video – but you should. Here’s why.

In both of our infant adoptions, my wife and I made profile videos and each time our kids’ birthparents LOVED them. They said our video is what separated us from the other families because they could see more of who we are and felt a quick connection with us.

When you make a profile video, viewers get to see you in a way completely different than just from photos and text.

With the click of the play button, a prospective birth mother will instantly see what makes your family unique and she’ll want to find out if your family matches her plans for adoption.

While a printed profile (with just text and photos) can describe a family pretty well, the profile video provides sooooo much more detail on important things, such as…

Sense of Humor
Excitement of becoming parents
Love for one another

The benefits of the adoption profile videos can’t fully be described – you have to see them for yourself. Check out these videos of families from Lifetime Adoption.

OK – so hopefully I’ve got your interest up about profile videos – and now you are thinking “great, now how do I make one?”

Here are my 5 simple steps for making a great adoption profile video:

1. Get the equipment you need.
–You need a camera (I’m Captain Obvious, I know). A really nice camera (such as a DSLR) will make the video look great, but it isn’t necessary. You can make the whole video using your iPhone or other smartphone. Most phones have great cameras that take really nice video.
–You’ll need a computer to edit your video.
–You might like to get an inexpensive tripod to hold your camera still.

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4 Ways to organize your adoption journey

Posted on 20. Nov, 2014 by .


Are you a natural organizer?

Do you regularly have to-do lists, checklists and spreadsheets to help you get things done?

If you are a fabulous organizer or not, when navigating the rough waters of your adoption journey, it can get overwhelming if you don’t have some way to keep your “to-do” list on track.

I know what has worked for me through two adoptions, but I wanted to ask my friends on our domestic adoption Facebook groups to see what they’ve done to organize their journey.

So here are 4 ways to organize your adoption journey:

1. Use Evernote or OneNote.

Both of these are free software downloads that automatically sync your notes on your home computer, your phone, and even your tablet so you have access to these notes anytime, anywhere. Personally, I LOVE Evernote and use it ALL the time to organize my lists and notes.

Here are some specific uses:

⇒Create a notebook called “Our Adoption” or something you come up with that makes the notebook easily found among your other notebooks.

⇒Inside your adoption notebook, create a new note for each “to-do” item such as: homestudy to-do’s, profile to-do’s, agency to-do’s, and anything else you need.  

⇒Create a new note for your adoption budget so you can keep track of expenses and the money you have left. You can also take photos of receipts and store them – which can be handy for tax purposes.

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IAG 028 – New York adoption law with attorney Anthony Zurica

Posted on 13. Nov, 2014 by .


“Adopted children have become some of the most notable personalities to ever walk the planet. John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, and of course Superman himself, were all adopted.” Anthony Zurica

Every hopeful adoptive family needs an adoption attorney. Every state has their own set of adoption laws. It gets confusing to know what is allowed and who to trust when it comes to adoption law.

Anthony Zurica is our guest on the show today and he will answer questions about New York adoption law. He is an adoption attorney based in New York City and he has a passion for helping families hoping to adopt.

I know there are a lot of you that come to the Infant Adoption Guide blog and podcast who are living in New York. So in this episode, I wanted to bring in an adoption attorney that will help you learn all about the legal guidelines for families.

You’ll hear about the ways you can adopt and the differences in adopting with an agency or an attorney. You will get the answers to the most common questions about New York adoptions.

Even if you don’t live in New York, Anthony shares some great info and advice for all hopeful adoptive parents. He definitely has a big heart for helping families with their adoption plans. You will enjoy listening to and learning from him.


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Celebrate National Adoption Month during November!

Posted on 07. Nov, 2014 by .


That’s right! November is National Adoption Month. What does that mean? It is a time to celebrate and create awareness for adoption in the U.S.Celebrate

National Adoption Month started in 1995. Since then, every November a Presidential Proclamation launches activities and celebrations to help build awareness of adoption throughout the nation. Thousands of community organizations arrange and host programs, events, and activities to share positive adoption stories.

So what are we doing here on to celebrate?

During the month of November 2014 only, I’ve teamed up with several adoption authors and advocates to help inspire and encourage you on your adoption journey. The following adoption books have had their price dropped to a mere 99 CENTS during November!

Here they are along with easy links for you to go check them out.

Remember – these are only available at 99 cents during November – National Adoption Month!

Get them now while they are on SALE! Enjoy!

7 Steps To Domestic Infant Adoption99  by Tim Elder. Yep, this is my book filled with parts of my adoption story along with resources, inspiration, and hope for your domestic adoption journey.




The Eye of Adoption by Jody Dyer. In my opinion, EVERY hopeful adoptive parent should read this. It is Jody’s story about how she and her husband adopted a newborn in an open adoption. Click here to listen to the interview I did with Jody about her story and book.


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5 Tips For Making Your Adoption Portfolio/Profile Unique

Posted on 30. Oct, 2014 by .


My wife and I have just finished creating our profile for our 3rd adoption – and it doesn’t seem to get any easier.

I’ve done a lot of research about profiles. I really value Madeleine Melcher’s opinion and expertise about how to create the best and most unique profile. She literally wrote the book on creating adoption profiles (see link below). Plus, she is an adoptive mom and adoptee!

Madeleine has been creating adoption profiles for hopeful parents for many years so her unique perspective in the adoption world has helped lots of parents adopt faster.

She was our guest on episode 19 of the Infant Adoption Guide podcast and now she shares 5 amazing tips that will help your adoption profile stand out. Enjoy!

5 Tips for making your adoption profile uniqueI regularly see posts from hopeful parents who just want to get their profile finished.  They make an “all call” on adoption Facebook pages in hopes of seeing what others have done when creating their profiles. Whatever is fastest.  Whatever can accomplish it as soon as possible. 

I get it.  I am very much a person who wants things done yesterday, but if there was ever something you wanted done right, it should be this.

Doing exactly what everyone else has done will not work- you have to make it, YOU. 

It really does not take much more time to make your profile unique to you, but it may make all the difference in the outcome. So look at the other profiles if you want to.  See what you like and do not like, but whatever you do, take the time to make yours, your own.

1. BE YOU.

The best advice I can give when it comes to your adoption profile is to be you and each of the other tips will fall under that heading. YOU ARE good enough.  YOU ARE unique.

You are not going to be chosen for what you have in common with all of the other families, you will be chosen for something that sets you apart – something an expectant parent can connect with.

In my book How to Create a Successful Adoption Portfolio, I talk about a family that was chosen because they raised rabbits. Who woulda thunk it, right?!?!  Do not try to be a stepford family.  Do not try and be another version of you. Had that family with the rabbits not been themselves and shown themselves they would not have been chosen.


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Adopting a 3rd time – our latest adoption journey

Posted on 25. Oct, 2014 by .


If you’ve followed my story about how I became a dad and how my wife and I adopted our daughter in 2007 and our son in 2012, you know the road to building our family has been an amazing and wild ride.journey to our 3rd adoption

Our experiences have inspired me to help other hopeful adoptive families through and the Infant Adoption Guide Podcast. I’ve recorded a podcast episode about our journey so if you’d like to listen to how we’ve made it through our first two adoptions, check out episode 12.

The big news for our family is that we are adopting again! 

My hope and prayer is that our adoption stories will inspire and help you in your adoption journey.

Excited (and anxious) for adoption #3

Just like any family who are “expecting” to add to their family, my wife and I are super excited to adopt again. We are also a bit nervous and anxious.

It may surprise you that we are nervous after adopting twice, but that’s the thing with domestic infant adoption – every story is unique and there are no guarantees. You just don’t know how the whole thing is going to play out.

What do I mean by this? There could be a failed match (or more than one) with an expectant mother, where we may be invested emotionally and/or financially only to start over with waiting for the right match. 

After two successful adoptions, we know how we would like it to go. We know what it takes to build our family, but we also know it can be a roller coaster ride.

Where we are right now in our journey

We decided to work again with our friends at Lifetime Adoption Center, just as we have on our first two adoptions. They are great and we are comfortable with them. We know what we get and they do what they say they will do so we trust them. We feel that Lifetime will minimize our risk of a failed match or failed placement.

Here’s our TO-DO list: […]

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Ask An Adoption Question #6: I want to adopt – where do I start?

Posted on 27. Sep, 2014 by .


In today’s “Ask An Adoption Question”, Allison asks about how to get started on the adoption process.askanAdoptionQuestion6



Thank you so much for your wonderful site! I’m just starting the adoption process. I’m truly at a loss of where to go to find assistance with the process. I don’t know if I should use an agency, attorney, or any other sources. I want to adopt, but where do I start?!



Hi, Allison!

Thanks for the email and nice comments about my site. Congratulations on starting the adoption process! I totally understand being at a loss about where to start and where to find help. I’ve written several articles about starting the process. Here are a few: How to start? Here’s the first step in your adoption journey and 7 steps to domestic infant adoption.

Here’s what I would do if I were in your shoes, just starting the infant adoption journey:

I’d carefully look at my financial situation and determine how much adoption budget I have. Domestic infant adoption is expensive because of the help you need. You’ll need a homestudy completed, you’ll likely hire an adoption professional to help you connect with a prospective birthmom, you may need to travel to another state, etc.

Here’s some places to learn how to evaluate your adoption budget, learn about adoption costs, and how to fund your adoption. […]

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IAG 026 – Adoption Grants with Becky Fawcett of

Posted on 19. Sep, 2014 by .


Most of us who are working to save money for our domestic infant adoption could use help with covering the cost. What if you could get FREE money for your adoption journey?

Our guest on the show today is Becky Fawcett, an adoptive mom, blogger, and the Founder/Executive Director of, which is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) financial assistance grant program providing qualified couples and individuals with grants of up to $15,000 towards their domestic, international, foster, or special needs adoption expenses.

Adoption grants IAG 026 with Becky Fawcett

Becky shares her story and her passion for helping hopeful adoptive families through Listen to this interview as we talk about you have the chance to receive an adoption grant.

We know that most private or agency/attorney assisted infant adoptions in the U.S. are expensive. Most people struggle with figuring out how to pay for their adoption journey. While there are many ways to fund your adoption, grants are free money that you can use to pay adoption expenses. was founded in 2007 and is the only organization of its kind in the United States that embodies all of the following criteria:

  • awards large life-changing grants up to $15,000 that help families complete their adoptions
  • supports all types of families
  • supports all types of adoptions (domestic, international, foster care)
  • supports all types of religions without requiring a statement of faith
  • does not charge applicants to apply

Becky says that “In a nutshell, we help hardworking families overcome the financial obstacles of adoption so children can join loving and permanent homes to give them all that they deserve.” 


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Adoption, vacation and pillow pets in the rear view mirror

Posted on 06. Sep, 2014 by .


Over the years, my wife and I have been on several vacations together. Many of them were road trips where it took several hours to get to our destination.

Maybe you know what it’s like to pack for a long road trip. As much as we try to simplify our packing and take only the “essentials”, we end up with suitcases full of 10 pairs of shoes, half our wardrobe and the kitchen sink.

Problem: there’s not a lot of room left in the car.

This happened again recently when we went on a family vacation that required 7 hours of driving.

To be fair, this trip was with our two kids which meant there were toys, pillows, toys, and another suitcase. I spent lots of time (more than I care to admit) diligently packing the car, trying to carefully use every square inch so I could see out the back window.

I was proud that everything fit, nothing was smashed and it looked like I would be able to see out the back window just fine. So we loaded everyone in the car. We were a bit late getting on the road, but we set off for 7 hours of driving bliss.

Not even 5 minutes into our road trip, I looked in the rear view mirror. To my surprise, I couldn’t see much of the road behind us. My view was blocked. Not by suitcases or bags – but by two pillow pets. […]

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IAG 025: Adoption Home Study Questions & Answers with Lori Fraas

Posted on 29. Aug, 2014 by .


How would it feel to ask a social worker about your adoption home study BEFORE you started the process? What if that social worker had already completed over 1500 home studies?

Licensed clinical social worker Lori Fraas is our guest on the show today. She shares her experience from completing over 1500 home studies. She answers tons of questions that will help you eliminate fear and overwhelm, giving you confidence to complete your adoption home study. 

Lori is the founder and Executive Director of Adoption Support Services of Florida, which is a licensed adoption agency dedicated to helping families. She completes home studies for families living in Florida.

She is an expert in home studies and is a sought after speaker for online adoption seminars, Social Work training courses, RESOLVE infertility support groups and adoption conferences.

Lori says “The home study should be an interactive, educational experience and not a painstaking chore. We understand there is no such thing as a perfect family and one phrase we hear again and again after the completion of the home study process is – Wow, that was easier than I thought it would be!” 


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