Archive for 'Domestic Adoption'

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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IAG 027 – Dr Ray Guarendi – author, speaker and adoptive dad of 10

Posted on 02. Oct, 2014 by .


On this episode of the show I chat with Dr Ray Guarendi, a father to 10 adopted children who is also a clinical psychologist, author, speaker and radio/TV host.

Dr. Ray has been a regular guest on TV and radio programs such as Oprah, The 700 Club and CBS This Morning. Through all of his work, families have been his life. His aim is to help parents – offering practical advice mixed with wit and humor.

Dr. Ray wrote the book “Adoption: Choosing It, Living It, Loving It” where he answers the most commonly asked adoption questions with insight, humor and a heart for the adoptive family. His goal is to eliminate misperceptions about adoption, to encourage others to think about and act on adoption, and to guide adoptive parents to a more relaxed, rewarding family life for all involved.

 I have read the book and highly recommend it because it’s a resource for those considering adoption, those who have already adopted and those in the mix such as family members or friends of adoptive parents. 

In this episode, Dr. Ray and I talk about what it’s like being the father of 10 adopted children. He shares his experience and answers questions about open adoption and his own journey. [...]

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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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Adoption book review: How To Create a Successful Adoption Portfolio by Madeleine Melcher

Posted on 23. Aug, 2014 by .


How important is your adoption profile? 

It is the biggest tool you have to help you get a quick match with an expectant mother. It is something we pin our hopes on to make the connection we need to build our family through adoption. Your adoption profile (also known as your adoption portfolio) can also be the most overwhelming part of the process.Adoption book review How to Create Adoption Portfolio

Now that my wife and I have been through two domestic infant adoptions (and currently starting #3), I know how difficult it is to create a unique, creative and successful adoption profile. In episode 19 of the Infant Adoption Guide podcast, we were able to chat with Madeleine Melcher, who is an adoptive mom, an adoptee and an author. 

Madeleine recently wrote the book How To Create a Successful Adoption Portfolio: Easy steps to help you produce the best adoption profile and prospective birthparent letter. She shares the secrets she has discovered over years of creating successful portfolios, profiles and prospective birth parent letters. [...]

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IAG 024: How to simplify and shorten your path to adoption with Amanda Grant from USAdopt

Posted on 13. Aug, 2014 by .


Want to save time, money and stress on your adoption journey?

Absolutely! We all would like that, right? Amanda Grant is our guest on the show today and she will tell us how to simplify and shorten the path to adoption. She is an adoptive mom and Founder/CEO of

Episode 24

Most people (for very valid reasons) can’t wait to start the process so they contract with an agency or attorney, sometimes going with the first referral they get from a friend or family member.

Amanda says that “far too often people realize that they might be partnered with the wrong professional for their adoption journey, after already having become financially and emotionally invested in that relationship. Our unique process makes sure that this doesn’t happen to you.” 

People often report that the adoption process took 2-5 years to complete. Much of that time was spent figuring out what questions to ask and filtering through the overwhelming amount of information to figure out what is relevant and what is trustworthy. This is what USAdopt does for you. 

If you haven’t heard of USAdopt, they are an adoption consulting service, not an agency or facilitator. They specialize in domestic infant adoptions by helping you simplify and shorten the adoption process through personalized help every step of the way. [...]

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Adoption profile stats – How many times has your profile been seen? Here’s why you may not want to know.

Posted on 15. Jul, 2014 by .


Adoption profiles are the most important way for you to get noticed by prospective birthmothers.

A great profile will lead to the all important match, which hopefully leads to a placement and realizing the dream of building your family. With the vast opportunities via the internet, hopeful adoptive families have more marketing options available than ever before.

Lots of matches are now being made from profiles being found online. With those facts come new information that can be provided to families: adoption profile stats. [...]

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Ask an adoption question #4: How do we not feel rejected & lose hope when waiting to adopt?

Posted on 27. Jun, 2014 by .


In today’s “Ask An Adoption Question”, Shelly talks about her struggle with waiting to adopt.

Hi, Tim
The hardest thing for me is the waiting. Every day that passes feels like I have been rejected by all the people who look at our 3 websites. I think I’m not pretty enough to be chosen, our pictures aren’t good enough. It was extremely hard to go through gathering all the paperwork and cleaning our home again preparing for our second home study. Feels like what’s the point – losing hope we’ll ever be matched.


Hi, Shelly!

Thanks for your email. I know the waiting part of the adoption process is the worst. My wife and I have been through tough waiting periods during both of our adoptions.

It just plain sucks – no glamorous words here. Waiting will test your resolve for how bad you want to become parents. There were many times that our hopes were running really thin. [...]

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