Adoption Profile Book

When we chose to adopt from the USA, we were told that we would need a profile book about us that would be shown to prospective birth mothers/families. I love taking photos and make my own albums frequently. So, I thought this would be something I would do. We naively had the attitude of why pay someone else to do something I enjoy doing and do all the time.

However, once we got further into the USA system it became clear that we would need to hire a graphic designer. In fact, we were essentially required to and given very little choice in the matter. We were even told who to hire. I’m sure we could have searched further afield to find someone else if we chose to, but ultimately, we just went with the recommended graphic designer. (And of course, this cost is over and above the ones we were already expecting).

So, being the ever practical person, I wrote a pro and con list about my initial thoughts on hiring a graphic designer:


  • Graphic designers are not cheap. And for us, we have to factor in the US – Canadian dollar exchange rate. Really, at this point, we are just bleeding money.
  • Fear of having our book look mass produced. Will all the profile books look so similar that no-one will stand out? We’ve never even met her, will she really get the feeling of us?
  • Ease of making edits. Will it be easy to work with the designer to make changes? Will we be given the time to be constructive? Will our edits be incorporated?


  • The actual books are cheaper than using MyPublisher or Shutterfly. In fact, they are drastically cheaper for the quantity required.
  • The designer knows what they are doing. They know what attracts a birth family and what does not. They know which pictures will look best where. They know what colours will go best together.
  • Professional look and feel of the book. While we have still not actually held a book in our hands, the look is that of a professional product. And, I am confident that feel will be as well.
  • Stress free – if we are not making the book, we will not be agonizing over every single photo placement, color choice, etc. That’s the designer’s job and we’ll let the designer do what they are best at.

In the end, now that our book is finished, I have to say, hiring a graphic designer* was the BEST DECISION EVER!

While I could have put together our book, it would never have looked as good as it does! When I saw it, and read it, I actually had a tear in my eye on more than one occasion! As I looked through the book for the first time, word for word my thought process was:

This is real! This is it! Wholly F*!#, this is it!

The final book was not nearly as weird as I had expected. (I say weird, because the idea of making a multi-page book of us to show to birth-mother’s felt very salesmanish, and I was nervous about the entire experience).

Really we love the book. First, the colours were a bit of a twist on our preferred colours, but a really good twist. The shades that were chosen worked for us, and they complimented the photos really well. We were pleasantly surprised.

As we gave the designer more photos then required to choose from, so it was fun to see what photos were included. It was also neat to see how the designer broke down our dear birth mother letter into smaller snippets to convey the information in a much friendly format. Really, it was interesting to see how someone else portrayed our lives in picture and text. The designer did a great job breaking down everything and re-packaging it into something more manageable for the right audience. The end product is really easy to read and appealing to the eye.

To be honest, I have to admit that the process of working with our designer was slower than I would have liked, and sometimes the response times to my emails were outside of my preferences. That said, I do realize I was feeling so anxious to get the album done, so I was very sensitive to this. In the impatient context of an adoptive parent trying to cross off the last item on the to-do list, it felt like an eternity! I realize that our excitement is the result of a long adoption approval process and not the fault of the designer’s timelines, so I really cannot hold this against them!

All In all, the designer was professional and friendly. In a professional context the turnaround times for completing the book were decent and almost all the deadlines were met as expected.

And now we wait…

*To protect my anonymity, I am not linking to the designer we used. Should you want to know for your own adoption purposes, feel free to contact me via email –

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33 Comments on “Adoption Profile Book

  1. Oh I wish we could see the book! (I understand why we can’t). I bet it’s beautiful! I had no idea this level of detail went into these books. I’m glad you’re happy with yours!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am glad that graphic designer worked. I am not good at taking out pictures and I am terrible at layouts so I would appreciate a professional doing the book. I have gone on other websites for people looking to adopt and some look like home photos and others look like someone professionally did the pictures. The important thing is that the book has an accurate reflection of your personality and home. Glad things are moving forward for you. Good luck!


    • I think you are right that the book represents us, and how we live. It was really important to us that our personalities be captured so that the birth mom falls in love with us for who we really are. As for photos, I think almost all of our photos were ones we have taken or a friend took, actually I don’t think any where professional photos. We were told the trick is that the camera has to be a decent quality to make the printed book be high quality.


  3. Although I understand completely why it can’t be shared, I so wish we could see some snippets of the finished product! I bet it’s gorgeous and really speaks to the incredible family you already are! No doubt that a birth mother will find and love you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awe, thanks! In many ways I wish I could share it, but not yet. Maybe one day. 🙂
      I do have to say it really does represent us, and it was really important to us to hold true to who we are, and I think the book does that. So we are happy with it. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. It continues to amaze me how different some aspects of our adoption journeys are. For our profile book, it’s made more like a scrapbook vs. one that you would make on shutter fly. Being that I’m not all that creative, I think I’d prefer the graphic designer, lol. I’m so happy that you were thrilled with the end result!


    • I too am always amazed at how different the adoption process is depending on where you live and who you work with! It seems like every system is different, but the end goal is the same. 🙂


  5. I love those books 😊 my sister is a graphic designer and we got her to make our moms those books for Mother’s Day this year of us kids and now babies. Such beautiful keep sakes!! Andddddd….getting so excited for you 😊 😊 😊


    • I agree that’s it’s a nice thing for our child to have one day. A bit about our lives before them, and also about our hopes and dreams for them. We will get a few copies, but they haven’t arrived to us yet. our priority was getting them to the lawyer, I suspect ours will show up in the next few weeks. I’m excited to see the real finished product and actually hold the book in my hands. 🙂


  6. I too wish we could all get a little peak of the book! I’m so glad it turned out amazing and you were happy with the end result! I’m so happy for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mrs. Brooks! We are thrilled with the end result! And even more thrilled that we are now just waiting for the phone call. Maybe one day I’ll be able to share it, but not now as I’d be breaking some pretty big rules in my province about sharing our profile online.


  7. What a delightfully pleasant surprise! I am so glad that you had such a good experience for this aspect of the adoption process. Plus you get a cool book to show your future child(ren)!


    • Thanks my friend! I think you are right about sharing the book with our child – I think as a young adult it would be neat to see your parent’s life before you and all their hopes and dreams for you. I hope one day they will appreciate it, and if not at least I will. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sometimes, it pays to let a professional take over! I worked as a designer for years before I moved into a marketing position (and I still do freelance design work), and the one thing I always tell people about working with a designer is that good graphic design actually follows rules–like any other profession. It’s an art, but it’s also a skill. You’re trying to make someone WANT to read text and look at images, and designers spend years honing those skills that draw the reader in. For something as important as this book, I’m really glad you gave it a shot, and I’m even more glad that it turned out so wonderfully!


    • You are so right, for us seeing the final product done by a professional, we know that it was the right choice! There is no-way we could have created the same book that the designer created, and considering the importance of this book I’m glad we got it right! 🙂


  9. Ah yes, the profile book… we are in the thick of things with putting ours together. I actually considered saving this post for later because ours is causing me so much stress, but it is interesting to see different approaches! Our agency gave us a photocopy of someone else’s, and guidelines, and at our training courses there were several books at each table to look through of couples who had been successfully placed. There is a lot, a LOT of variety. So much variety that it makes it hard to figure out what’s “best,” but we’re figuring it out along the way. Our adoption agency has a profile book service that they offer, but we chose not to purchase that. Interesting that Shutterfly was more expensive than the graphic designer service. The whole thing makes me break out in hives. Thank you for sharing your process! Are you at the waiting point now, or are there more hoops to go through before you “go live?”


    • You are right, there is a LOT of variety! Some of the tips we were told is to only use recent photo’s, no cell phone photos as the quality is too low, include photos of you in your home doing daily activities, no wedding photos as they’d rather see the real you, include a photo or two of your pets, and the language has to be simple. Wishing you the best as you work on your book – it’s no small task, but at the same time it’s kind of fun to see your life in the book too.
      We are now at the real waiting point, our profile is live!! It’s scary to think that our profile is live, but it is and now we just have to sit back and try not to go stir crazy waiting for a phone call! 🙂


  10. * I know this comment doesn’t particularly fit here, but I wanted to be sure to share it with you in case you didn’t already know about it. Your story of losses is a poignant one and worthy of sharing as you have. Here is a link to a site about baby loss — mostly miscarriage, some stillbirths included as well with the women’s stories expressed how they were often dismissed in their feelings of grief.

    I didn’t know if you already knew about this site and/or wanted to contribute your own personal story or maybe it’s just another reminder that you are not alone in this abyss of pregnancy loss.

    THE SITE called Don’ Talk About the Baby:!voices/cswv

    Hugs <3,

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am so happy for you that the book turned out great! I too would love to see a picture of the book (could you blur the photos and text just so we could get a feel of a page or so?), but I also understand your need for privacy. *heart*


    • Awe, thanks Heather! For now we have decided not to share anything from the book as it’s against the law here for us to advertise our adoption online (this is also part of why I’m so anonymous on my blog). Maybe one day, but definitely not right now. I would so love to share it with the world, I’m pretty proud of it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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