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What is Self-Match Adoption?

It has been a minute since we have showed up in this space; with the end of the school year for Christina and trying to connect on and with other websites, our time has been taken away from our personal site. However, in the last month, we have had many different conversations with people in our life and feel that an educational post might be warranted for our family and friends to really understand this journey that we are on.

We have learned so much in the last 6 months about this world of adoption. We have done our own research, met with adoption coaches, connected with other hopeful adoptive families on various social media and read a handful of books. At the end of all of that information gathering, what is left is that everyones road to building their family through adoption looks very different!

So what road are we taking? We have decided for our first year of waiting that we would attempt a self-match, aka independent adoption. Simply defined it is "pursuing the adoption process without the help of an agency" but there is a lot more involved in that. We are essentially marketing ourselves on various platforms; our website, matching sites like Ever Nester and Pair Tree, facebook, instagram and through our friends and family. I draw the line at TikTok, even though everyone says we need one!

The idea is to create content that get as many people engaged as possible through likes, comments, shares, hashtags, etc in order to get your profile seen by an expectant mother who is considering adoption for her child. As you can imagine, this takes a lot of time and effort (which is what you are paying the agency for) to get there.

It also can feel, at times, like you might be overdoing it in the eyes of your audience, but it is all about consistency, engagement and the dreaded algorithm.

We have loved that modern adoption includes websites like Ever Nester and PairTree that provide a structured space for matching to happen; I like to describe it as a dating app for hopeful adoptive parents and expectant mothers. The work of these businesses is quite amazing in their attempt to bring the adoption process into the 21st century, while making genuine connections and supporting all members of the adoption triad.

In addition to the work this road takes, it also puts you in an incredibly vulnerable situation and a sitting duck for scams. People are often shocked to find out that these scammers are not only in it for money (some of them not at all) but are motivated by the emotions of it all. We protect ourselves by involving an adoption attorney once it gets to that point; but until then, we have to be smart and keep our guards up in all situations.

So you may be asking yourself - why are they choosing this path? There are a lot of reasons for this. You may have heard that private/agency adoption has reached a cost level that is pricing out families who have more than enough means to support a child. Additionally, this increase in cost is not necessarily going to the expectant mother's care, which would be an understandable increase.

In addition to cost, the adoption process is incredibly personal and creates a connection between people, who otherwise would never meet, and this connection is meant to extend a lifetime. All the research says that some level of openness between the adoptive family and birthmother ends up in the best possible outcome for the child. It only makes sense to us to start this relationship, as soon as possible, without having a third party doing the communicating for us.

This may not be the kind of content that you are used to seeing from us in this space; but we felt it was important to address so that our friends and families truly understand what we are doing, why and how they can best help us.

Ultimately, the best way to help is to engage with our posts through likes and comments and the occasional share. We are going to do better about being clear on what posts we want you to share. On occasion, we will have a post that we are going to ask you to share widely, encourage your friends to share to reach the biggest audience possible! Also, continue to love on us, give us support and understand that this process is all consuming.

Don't worry, our next post will be more fun and possibly a nursery unveiling!!

With so much love - Christina

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