When you’re pursuing an adoption in North Carolina, an important part of finding the right family match is the Dear Expectant Parent letter. A Dear Expectant Parent letter is a letter that introduces you and your family to a mother who is considering adoption. It’s an important way to make a first impression when a mother is considering her options. When you sit down to write your Dear Expectant Parent letter, you may not know where to begin. Here are our 11 things to remember when writing a great Dear Expectant Parent letter from our North Carolina adoption attorneys:
1. Remember the expectant mother is still considering her options
You can begin your letter with “Dear Expectant Parent.” You can also begin your letter with a “hi” or “hello.” It’s important to avoid beginning your letter with “Dear Birth Mother.” The expectant parent who reads your letter is still considering her options. It’s too much too assume that she’s already decided to place her child for adoption.
Titling your letter to an expectant parent or simply saying hi or hello is a sign of respect. It shows that you respect the thought and contemplation that an expectant parent undergoes when they decide to place their child for adoption. As you write your letter, remember that the expectant mother who reads your letter is still deciding what to do.
2. Remember you’re writing to other family members too
In addition to writing to expectant mothers, you’re also writing to fathers, grandparents and even friends. The expectant mother who reads your letter is likely talking about her options with family members and friends. In addition, the father must also agree to place the child for adoption or you must pursue termination of parental rights. Fathers and extended family members are often part of the discussion process. As you write, remember that your audience includes expectant mothers as well as their family members and friends.
3. Keep it short
As expectant mothers and their family members read your letter, they’re going to make up their mind quickly. If they’re interested in your family, they’re going to ask lots of follow up questions later. For now, you want a Dear Expectant Parent letter that’s easy to read and a brief introduction to your family.
Forget what you learned from your high school English teacher. Your Dear Expectant Parent letter should be short and easy to read. Short sentences and short paragraphs are best. Don’t use a big word when you can say the same thing with a small word. Your letter should have headers and lots of open spaces between paragraphs. You’re not trying to win an essay contest; you’re just trying to be friendly and approachable. Make sure your letter is easy to digest.
4. Include Photos
Photos are a must for any Dear Expectant Parent letter. You want to show your audience who is introducing themselves. You want to show a family that’s friendly and welcoming. Don’t worry that you won’t look attractive enough or wealthy enough; expectant parents who read your letter most of all want to know that their child is going to be loved and cared for. They want to see you as well as hear about your family and your hopes and dreams for their child.
5. Keep it light
Adoption is a big decision. Even though adoption is a serious proceeding, your Dear Expectant Parent letter doesn’t have to be serious. It’s okay to write informally. Clear writing that includes humor can help you stand out from the rest and come across as friendly and approachable.
6. Include details about what makes your family unique
Remember that the parents who read your letter will also read other letters. It’s important to include information about what makes your family unique. If your family likes trips to the local library or going on kayaking adventures, include it in your letter. The expectant parent you’re talking to wants to imagine what kind of life their child will have with you. Details will help you stand out from the rest and show parents reading your letter what makes your family special.
7. Talk about your struggles
It’s okay to include information about your personal struggles. If you’re adopting because of infertility, it’s okay to mention it. If you’re adopting for other reasons, an expectant parent is interested to hear your motivations. Don’t assume that personal struggles are off-putting. Expectant parents want to know that the family they choose can work through adversity and handle challenges together.
The expectant parent who reads your letter has hopes and dreams for their child. They want to know that you share those hopes and dreams. It’s important to talk about your goals. Talk about why you want to provide a loving home for a child. Talk about your plans to help a child grow and discover their passions and interests.
9. Talk about the relationship you expect to have with the child’s mother after adoption
One thing that expectant parents have to consider is whether they want to have an open or closed adoption. Expectant parents who want an open adoption must find an adoptive family that’s open to the idea.