“A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective.”
~ Irving Penn

You’ve entered the Matching Process portion of your adoption journey. The application has been submitted. You’ve had your first phone call or in-person meeting with our agency, and have established the beginnings of a beautiful relationship. From here, things will start to get more real, for your next step entails building your profile book. What is this exactly? Put simply, it is a collection of images and stories that shows who you and your family are secured into a book. This book, then, will be presented to a potential birth mother.

There are a variety of ways that you can go about creating your profile book as a prospective adoptive parent. We are happy to share some of our recommended resources below. Just be sure that if there is any shipment or delivery involved with building your profile book that you double check all the dates. You don’t want to miss your important submission deadlines with your agency.


With Shutterfly, there are three great, affordable options to build your profile book. Each package is described in detail, and includes prices. First time users are subject to a promo discount. Returning members can find other discounts available through signing up for email notifications.

Shutterfly permits you to personalize your profile book anyway you want. Through having the freedom to choose, moving or resizing images, you can create a photo book that best reflects you and your family. Depending on the package you choose, Shutterfly offers an extensive inventory of backgrounds, layouts and other embellishments to further polish your collection of memories. Captions and descriptive text are also included within each option.


For those who envision more of a scrapbook, Canva offers a package for that. In just a few clicks, Canva promises to help you produce a memorable photo book. All templates and layouts were made by designers, making it easy for you to publish a professional-looking scrapbook. It’s all free of charge, if you choose to use your own images. However, if you decide that you want to implement something in the Canva library that isn’t free already, prices start at $1.

This online resource is very user-friendly, and has Design Tutorials for those less than familiar with how to build your profile book. The drop-and-drag technique and step-by-step directions prove an amazing guiding hand, too! To get started, all you need to do is create an online account and select the Scrapbook design.


If you feel a photo book software will put a damper on your creative energy, go the extra mile. Buy or download a copy of Adobe’s Photoshop, and build your profile book from scratch. With this program, the sky’s the limit. Millions of designers and photographers use this software when they are editing and reshaping their images. Just be sure that you stay true to yourself, and don’t fall through the rabbit hole of fantasy or confine yourself inside a template. With all the options inside the Photoshop world, it’s easy to get lost and make your family suddenly appear as something you aren’t.

So, when you are knee-deep in the 3D artwork possibilities and all the other fantastic aspects of Photoshop, remember to only add personal touches to give your profile book the best quality. Brighten the colors and smiles, and bring out all the fun energy in each memory. Fix any smudges or tiny things like that. But, don’t stray from the truth. Prospective birth mothers want to learn who you are, not who you wish you were.

Bonus Tip

While you are building your profile book, consider even printing out an extra copy to share with your son or daughter later in life. Especially when you decide to talk to them about adoption.

Building Your Profile Book

No matter what route you take — have fun! Be creative! This is your time to shine, and show any potential birth mother what kind of a person you are, and what you see in a future family. Don’t hold back. Remember that your profile book is the first glimpse she will have of you, so make it count. First impressions go a long way. Be memorable and stand out! Before you know it, you’ll be getting a call taking you to the next step in your adoption journey, and bringing you that much closer to having your dreams of parenthood realized.

Adoption Choices of Colorado

For more information on adoption please contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or phone 303-670-4401.

Support Adoption Choices

CrowdriseAdoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.

However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.

About the Author

Rachel RobertsonRachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.

In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.

When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.

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