“…I want my friend to know that making decisions will no longer be easy…That trying to fill the time that it takes to wait for a baby will become a major dilemma…that her answers to questions about the type of child she feels she can parent will be weighed against the fact that other families want a child like that too. However decisive she may think she is today, she will second-guess herself constantly as she answers these questions.” ~ From Adoption Will Change Your Life by Michele Fried (Please see “Adoptive Parent Educational Manual” for the complete text).
During Home Study classes, Prospective Adoptive Parents often ask “how many ‘profiling opportunities’ will we receive before we are chosen?” Profiling opportunities happen when the Adoptive Parent (AP) Social Worker matches the wishes and requests of the Prospective Adoptive Parents with the wishes and requests of the Expectant Parents (often called the Birth Family although the process often happens prior to a birth). When there is a match, the AP Social Worker will call Prospective Adoptive Parents who do match and ask permission for their profile book to be shown to the Expect Parents. Sometimes the AP Social Worker will profile without permission when it appears that the situation warrants a very quick decision (of which if a Prospective Adoptive Parent is selected, s/he absolutely could decline). Or, after getting to know the client, the AP Social Worker believes that the case matches what the client is hoping for. Depending on how often there is a “match”, this process may take anywhere from a couple weeks up to a couple years. In an informal survey, Adoption STAR asked Adoptive Parents and Prospective Adoptive Parents about the frequency and duration of this process.
Here is what was posted to our AdoptionSTAR Facebook Page and to our FB Groups:
At the Weekend Home Study Classes, Lynnlee is teaching potential adoptive parents about “profiling opportunities” through creative reenactment. She’s talking into the banana phone to participants. For those of you who received calls for potential placements, I received about ______ calls before a birth family chose me.
Sarah: I know it’s hard to wait, trust me I wanted to give up at one point, but once you receive that one call you’ll know instantly! I didn’t believe that either, until it happened. Stay positive & busy!
Jamie Lynn: We’ve received 5 calls so far but are still waiting for “the call.”
Meghann: I think we had a dozen-ish.
Sarah: I think we received about 10-15 opportunity calls before we received our call that changed our lives forever.
Jamie Lynn: We’ve rec about 15 calls. Still waiting.
Carrianne: We have had one call in six months. Still waiting.
Jessica: Call #4 was the winner for us, but it took a solid year.
Guenevere: We received about 10 calls in a three week period. I think we hold the record for shortest wait!?
Romeo: Our first (and only) profiling opportunity came 2 weeks into the waiting period.. and they were the birth family that chose us.
Brandy: We received at least 10 calls, no more then 15 (I think). We waited for a total of 19 mos., before we brought our beautiful daughter home!
Jennifer: 4 calls. One hospital stay that resulted in 2 very broken hearts and hope on the horizon. It has been 10 months.
Teri: First child: 3rd time was a charm. Baby number 2: 30
Lisa: Are you asking how many? 22! And everyone loved our profile who critiqued it. 26 mos later though we brought home the right baby for us, so all was as it should be. (I didn’t know that through the process though.)
Rebecca: 3rd time was a charm for our son, but we also met 2 birth moms and were not chosen. With our daughter we were profiled 9 times before her birth mom chose us.
Cheryl: I would say 10-12.
Jill: I think right now we are somewhere in the 20s. Here’s to hoping one comes soon that is the right call for us.
Susan: Ally was our third, I think. Cullen was number 7 or 8.
Julie: Don’t remember how many times profiled, but I DO remember the roller coaster. But it (adoption) was, and (as long as you hang in there) will always be a perfect ending!
Amanda: I think it was 9 for us.
Alyssa: 6… declined 1….
Anne: Declined all but 2 selected for both; first one fell through when birth family decided to raise their daughter. A couple weeks later our sweetpea was born
Jennifer: I think about 8
Laura: Ha, forgot about the banana phone. Can’t remember how many calls we got, only one really mattered.
“…I consider warning her that she will soon answer the telephone wondering, ‘Is this the call about MY child?’” ~ From Adoption Will Change Your Life by Michele Fried.
Read More about profiling and waiting: Message from the Adoptive Family Department to Prospective Adoptive Parents, Adoptive Parent Online Profile Registration, Advice from Adoptive Parents, Waiting Part 1, Waiting Part 2, 25 Ways To “WAIT”