So, you’re seeking an expectant mother who has chosen the path of adoption? Whether you’re working with an adoption agency, adoption professional, attorney or doing everything on your own, you need to ensure that you can easily be reached, especially through your own adoption outreach efforts. Your contact information should be included on every means [...]
So, you’re seeking an expectant mother who has chosen the path of adoption? Whether you’re working with an adoption agency, adoption professional, attorney or doing everything on your own, you need to ensure that you can easily be reached, especially through your own adoption outreach efforts. Your contact information should be included on every means of outreach such as websites, written correspondence, business cards, ads, etc. However, the specific contact information to include may vary for each piece of communication you develop. For example, you may choose to include every means of contact on a business card, but for an outreach postcard, you may focus primarily on your website address and telephone number.
Here are the advantages (and some disadvantages) of various means of contact, minimizing barriers to expectant mothers contacting you:
If you have an adoption profile website, it makes it extremely easy for expectant mothers and those supporting her to review information about you 24/7. They are able to look at your site in the privacy and comfort of their own home (or location of choice) and at their own convenience. A website address is a great first step for an expectant mother to take, so it should always be included in any ads, mailings or postings. Once an expectant mother has decided she would like to further communicate, you should have a number of ways to begin direct contact, including e-mail address and telephone number at a minimum.
Another way to be found and relay information online is through social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace. You can set it up similar to a website or at a minimum have additional photos and information about your life. For Facebook, once you get 25 people to “Like” you, you can secure a unique address such as www.facebook.com/yourname. That address can be used much like a website address.
Even if you don’t have a website, an e-mail address is an easy way to contact you. The expectant mother is still able to maintain some anonymity while gaining some additional information. This is an easy contact source, especially if she is shy or is seeking a high degree of discretion. Be careful not to use your work e-mail address so you don’t get into any trouble with your employer or you reveal too much information about yourselves until you’re ready. You can easily set up an e-mail account from a variety of providers at no charge to you. Just be sure you check your e-mail frequently or have it forwarded to an e-mail address you do check on a regular basis.
You want to easily be reached by a telephone number that you will answer most times of the day; many people don’t like to leave a message or don’t want to leave a number to call them back at. A cell phone number is a good choice since you can take it with you at all times. A great feature on some cell phones is to set up automatic call forwarding that will forward the call to another number if you don’t answer it after a certain number of rings; this enables you to automatically forward it to your home or work number if you don’t answer it in time. Many landline phones allow you to forward calls also so you can forward calls to where you’re physically at, but be sure you remember to unforward it when you return. It’s ok to list multiple numbers as long as it doesn’t get too confusing or overwhelming.
You can’t count on the fact that an expectant mother will be in your neighborhood or even in your area code. There’s a possibility that making a long-distance phone call may be enough of a deterrent that she won’t contact you at all. To minimize any resistance or potential cost to call you, it would be a good idea to get a toll-free number in which she can contact you. You can get toll-free telephone numbers that start with 800-, 888-, 877- or 866-. Thus the caller won’t have to pay anything, and you will only pay for calls made to that number. You can easily get a toll-free telephone number by searching “toll free number” online. There are a variety of inexpensive plans to fit your specific needs.
If you can receive/send text messages, you can indicate that. While it limits the amount of information that can be exchanged, it still can initiate communication but should not be relied upon as a primary way of initially contacting you.
When figuring out what contact information to include, you basically want to provide ways in which the expectant mother can reach you on her own terms, in a way when there needs to be some anonymity, at a convenient time for her, at no cost to her or in just the most comfortable way for her to start communication. We aren’t suggesting you have to have ALL of the aforementioned communication paths in place, but we just want to encourage you to think through how you can easily be reached when the time comes. We wish you all the best!
For more ideas on ways to make your adoption outreach effective, you can purchase Teeny Peanut™ Insightful Adoption Ideas ebook which is available at www.teenypeanutdesigns.com.
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