| Mardie Caldwell has helped thousands of couples build their families through adoption since 1986. She has dedicated her life and career to helping both birthmothers and adoptive families find each other, providing a safe and hopeful future for children. She is also committed to adoption education through her internet talk show, Lets Talk Adoption and her new book, AdoptingOnline.com.
First Key to Adoption Success: A Desire to Adopt
• Resolve any infertility issues.
• Answer this question: Do you want to be a parent or do you want to have a biological child?
• Realize that adoption is not “settling for second best”.
• Communicate openly and honestly, be sure both of you are 100% committed to adoption and in agreement as to what you are looking for
Second Key to Adoption Success: A Good Profile
• In most cases, birthmothers will choose you from your profile - hard copy or from a website.
• Profile usually contains two elements: Letter to birthmother from you and photos of your life.
• Your profile should cover essential topics like life in your home, people in your family, pets, fun hobbies
• Photos should be clear, focused, and good quality, and should show your interests and lifestyle.
• Your profile should present you honestly and accurately, showing a birth mom what her child’s life will be like.
• Be prepared to send out a lot of profiles.
Third Key to Adoption Success: Qualified Adoption Professionals
• The key to choosing good professionals is research and learning more about what different professionals offer to the adoptive parents and the birth parents.
• Ask for referrals from your agency, facilitator, or attorney. Check references - BBB, Chamber of Commerce, Attorney Generals office.
• Ask for references of past clients and call or email them.
• Before signing with any agency, facilitator, or attorney ask these questions:
• How long have you been doing adoption work?
• How long is your average waiting period?
• How many adoptions do you complete per year?
• How much is does an average adoption cost through your organization?
Fourth Key to Adoption Success: Ability to be reached
• You need to be available at any time, whether by phone, fax, pager, email, or cell phone.
• If a BM can’t reach you when she goes into labor, she may think that you won’t be there for her child.
• If your professional can’t reach you for an urgent situation, they will move on to the next family.
• You have got to be both reachable AND ready! Commitment & Communication are vital.
Fifth Key to Adoption Success: Patience
• If you’ve been battling infertility for years, embracing adoption will take some time.
• Take this time to prepare yourselves, your home, and your family to accept this child 100%.
• Above all else, keep busy -- Ready the nursery, plant a tree and garden, volunteer.
• Take up a new hobby that you can still do after baby is born.
• Take on another job to help pay for adoption until the baby comes.
• Surround yourself with positive people.
• Remember, there is a baby out there for you!
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. is a Certified Open Adoption Practitioner, an award winning author of 2 adoption books AdoptingOnline.com and Adoption: Your Step-by-Step Guide. Mardie is also the talk show host of Let's Talk Adoption.com with Mardie Caldwell and the founder of Lifetime Adoption in 1986. She travels and speaks nationwide on adoption topics, family topics, infertility and writing. She has been quoted in and consulted for Parenting and Adoption magazines and has appeared on CNN, CBS, ABC, BBC, NBC, and Fox. Featured in Parade Magazine, Caldwell is an adoptive mother living in Northern California.