Lori A
Lv 5
Lori A asked in Pregnancy & ParentingAdoption · 1 decade ago

Does anyone else feel marketing plays a big part in adoption?

Inspired by another question which got best answer chosen before I could answer, hum hum, you know who you are. (joking)

Does anyone see a connection between marketing and the way people view adoption?

I had stated in my answer to that question that marketing is a powerful tool and the industry has hired some of the heaviest hitters to do their talking.

I pointed out that Harley Davidson uses almost the same technique. People camp out for days to sign up for new model bikes. The hipe surrounding this is intense. There are long waiting lists to get new model Harley Davidsons and people are willing to pay top dollar for the priveledge of getting one of them.

I also pointed out that one person posted about the subtle coercion techniques used while she was going through an agency. She admitted that they started off talking about how selfless and wonderful surrendering mothers were, but by the time they were done, we were all crack whores who didn't deserve a dog let alone a kid. (adlibbing there a bit) but you get my point.

Marketing is a powerful tool used every day to get you to buy the latest Swiffer product, or Tides new scent, why would you not believe that adoption agencies would do the same thing? They are paying big money to have their message heard, they want the biggest return on their buck as possible.

Just because I'm a surrendering mother doesn't mean I don't understand a perspective adoptive mothers situation, I think it is the one area we have something in common. Empty arms are empty arms, and I understand that. I wanted nothing more than to be a parent.

So does anyone else see the connection? In 35 years, adoption went from costing a few hundred dollars with NO medical bills paid "gifts" to tens of thousands of dollars and "ALL" medical bills paid.

Do you really think their main concern is finding homes for children or just keeping themselves in business by using tools like pre birth matching? What a way to track future income, it's brilliant, but what does it really say about what they think of us, the people who use their service?

13 Answers

  • Sunny
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Yes, much about current adoption practices employ the most sophisticated sales and marketing techniques.

    Much of what is done to pregnant women considering adoption is what I (as a former sales/marketing professional) was taught in sales seminars for years.

    One of the MOST powerful techniques is "assuming the sale". If you use language that assumes you've made the sale, say a woman who might give her child to other people to raise, she'll feel that that the sale is a 'done deal' and there is no way to back out.

    With the agencies, it starts right away with referring to a pregnant woman as a 'birthmother' repeatedly.

    Source(s): Adult adoptee and family preservationist
  • 1 decade ago

    I think that agencies have turned children into a commodity. What do you do with a sale-able product? You advertise. You find better ways of having vendors get your product into your hands so that you can turn around a profit. You then find your market, and charge an appropriate fee for your goods and services.

    Children have become a commodity. They come in all colors, different genders, and varied ages. We all know that the younger they are, and the closer they are to the wants of the a-parents, the easier they are to "sell".

    I think that pre-birth matching and other coercive tactics keep the agencies with a "stock" of children waiting to be shipped out to the "buyers".

    I am not saying that every adoptive parent is like this. I know that there are some good hearts out there. I also know that there are some people who don't know the whole story behind adoptions. They may not realize that this child they now have in their family has another family who desperately wants to raise them, but they cannot because they were told that they were going to be unfit parents doing a disservice to the child they wanted to love.

    This is wrong. This is sick. There needs to be a major reform. It should cost nothing but court fees and other legal fees. There should be no profit on the sale of flesh and blood. Emphasis on family unity should be in the forefront of everyones mind.

    Source(s): Adoptee, mother of 5
  • SLY
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    The marketing angle started during the 1970's when the agencies and homes began to see a decline in their never-ending pool of saleable infants for adoption with the passage of Roe, and other laws that made it no longer legal to discriminate against pregnant women and single mothers in jobs/housing and education, and the growing acceptance for women who parented alone. As the infant pool declined, the profit margins did too. So, the agencies and the industry got together and used one of the purest marketing tools there was...the Focus Group, to find ways to increase their market share. They contacted women who had surrendered infants during the EMS/BSE, and asked them what they found the most difficult part was for them. Overwhelmingly, they found that never knowing what happened to their infants, if they grew up, if they were happy, if they even were alive, was the hardest thing for these women. So....voila! Open Adoption was born!

    This is pure market research. It continues today. Several years ago there was an ad in the papers in Chicago, Dallas and other markets. Same deal, different day. They wanted to talk to these same era women to question them about their input on adoption. They offered them $100.00 or thereabouts to talk, and held the groups in Chicago and Dallas as well as other major markets. The results of these focus groups ended up being the Birthmother, Good Mother that the NCFA came up with. They announce what their marketing strategy will be in there, and in their quarterly publication. In the one at the time that they released the BMGM they stated that they would be targeting families where someone had already surrendered an infant, since the door was already open, they would target people who statistically fell into the areas where they could possibly become abusers, even if there were no history of it, to keep them from becoming abusive. There was so much that was so very terrifying about those things, that anyone who read them had to have chills at the fact that they were laying out their marketing strategy right there in front of our eyes, and yet still people act surprised when they do exactly what they said they would do. There is no depth to which they will not sink to keep themselves earning a paycheck and there is no ethical component in business. Adoption is their business. And, it is just a business.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, they have very effective marketing techniques that reinforce the message that adoption is a wonderful concept that should never be criticized. They also have an arsenal of negative messages to discourage women from parenting.

    Just look at the messages that are repeated ad nauseum:

    Positive messages:

    -forever family

    -adoption is a beautiful, loving option

    -there are so many people who can't have children

    -there are millions of abandoned babies and orphans who need homes

    -you are giving a couple a wonderful gift

    -adoptive families are exactly the same as bio-families

    Negative messages:

    -young women who get pregnant are irresponsible sluts

    -most of the people in jail were raised by single mothers

    -young woman want to party instead of take care of a baby

    -young mothers always allow their boyfriends to abuse their children

    -it costs xxx thousands of dollars to raise a child

    -how will you finish school?

    -you can have another baby later, when you are ready

    These messages are reinforced in ads, news articles, interviews, etc. The adoption industry even has a list of "positive adoption" terms that they send to journalists. This keeps the message consistent across all stories and mediums which is why so many people parrot the industry-created adoption mythology.

    Another term for this is "framing." Framing keeps the conversation going in a desired direction, the direction that keeps the industry afloat.

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  • 1 decade ago


    i told lori just the other day..my amom said they DID NOT pay for her medical expenses. i cost a 'couple hundred' dollars (mom is in her 70s. memory is hazy) that was in 1972. tail end of the BSE.

    what the heck happened?

    others are right....open adoption was an 'improvment' on the system. bparents were finding it hard to stand by 'forever' without any knowledge. so TA DA!! we will let them have the option to still be a part of it all...WINNERS ALL AROUND!! but the laws dont enforce that. so in the long run...nothing has changed. gone is gone.

    its amazing how these people can prey on aching hearts. how they can exploit the ENTIRE parenting population. just so they can turn a buck. or tens of thousands of bucks....sick!

    tell me lori..did you ever think your kid could be considered a commodity at such a young age? just for breathing? i bet you didnt. not for a second.

  • 1 decade ago

    It goes beyond the agencies too. I read (but didn't finish, out of sheer disgust) "The Complete Adoption Book" by Laura and Raymond Godwin, and in the chapter about domestic newborn adoption... they actually suggested telling the mother all about their infertility problems and how a baby will complete their lives to "sway" the mother's decision. They also suggested telling the mother about the "gifts" they would give her. And to reassure her she was doing the right thing and she could have another baby when she was ready.

    If anyone thought they were doing their homework before visiting an agency and picked up this book would come in with these coercive tactics in mind because a book that earned a 4 1/2 star rating on Amazon suggested it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The industry is ALL marketing. Let people think that their are really children in need of homes (which their are, but from foster care, not from the agencies), and then they can charge more.

    Adoption is all economics, and like any supply and demand situation, the more demand the more increase in price.

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree 100%! That is why I am against getting involved in a such a delicate time in a woman's life and trying to take her baby! These agencies take advantage of a woman when she is most vulnerable. They do use use a lot of marketing to get their message across. They even pull the crap of "open adoption," which in some cases are not honored. The marketing is not just for potential adoptive parents, but even stronger for potential bio mothers! They make it seem so easy. After they give up their babies that's it! They don't even offer counseling or any kind of psychological help! SAD!

    Source(s): Adoptive(through foster care) and bio mom!
  • I agree completely Lori. I personally believe that coercion tactics could be considered marketing tactics and are all created in order to keep the industry under the control of those who are making money. There's no way that their main concern is finding homes for children when there is so much greed and so much money involved. It makes me angry as an adoptee to be exploited this way, and it makes me angry for first parents who are not given the education or resources to parent so that the industry can keep going.

    Source(s): Surprisingly self actualized adoptee who feels the adoption industry as it is exploits children more than it helps them
  • 1 decade ago

    Dear Lori,

    Marketing plays a huge part in almost EVERYTHING - ESPECIALLY business. The adoption BUSINESS is no exception.

    Marketing plays a part in almost everything we do. Ads are EVERYWHERE and they subconsciously and consciously effect the way people view things and make decisions. (Advertising 101)

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