Blog// LGBT Adoptive Parents

7 Tips for Writing an Adoption Recommendation Letter

If you have a friend or loved one seeking to become an adoptive parent, they will need letters of reference. After their adoption home study is underway, many adoption agencies or adoption service providers request letters from those who are close to the adoptive parents. Individuals chosen to write these letters can attest to different elements of the adoptive parent’s character and interactions with others to affirm their abilities to parent a child. 

If you have recently been asked to write an adoption recommendation letter by a special person in your life, you will likely feel honored if not a little bit nervous to play such a pivotal role in a life-changing process. Remember, you were asked to carry out this crucial task for a good reason—because this person trusts you to attest to their ability to become an adoptive parent and welcome a child into their loving home.


We know you want to write the best adoption letter of reference possible, so we put together a list of seven tips to help guide you to write an exceptional, thoughtful recommendation letter for your beloved friend or family member.


Define Your Relationship With Them 

The social worker who will be reading your letter should understand your relationship with the adoptive parent(s). This portion of the letter should be short and to the point, but should explain your relationship to them, how long you have known them, and how often you interact with them. Including this information is a great way to open your letter of recommendation. After that, you can get into the relevant details about their character, values, and relationships that will illustrate why you are recommending them to be an adoptive parent.


Highlight Their Character

This person most likely chose you to write an adoption reference letter for them because you know them well and this presents an opportunity for you to highlight their character and attributes. Think about what qualities they have that will make them suitable for adopting and parenting a child. For example, are they nurturing, patient, and kind? If so, including this and other characteristics will allow the social worker to get a better idea of who they are and why they would be successful adoptive parents. You should also ensure you include information about their morals and values and why you think this makes them uniquely situated to navigate raising an adopted child. 


Keep in mind, the adoption agency and social worker will already have information related to their job and education on file, so your role is to really give good insight into who your loved ones are as people and what about their character will make them exemplary parents.


Talk About Each Person

If you are writing a letter for a couple, make sure you write about each prospective adoptive parent equally and highlight each person’s individual character, values, and interactions with others. You can also talk about how this couple works together as a team, what their strengths are as a couple, and how they balance each other out. This will allow the social worker to see each person’s individual strengths and how they complement each other as a couple.


Highlight Their Relationships with Others

A factor the social worker will be curious about is their relationships with others, including friends, family, and any children in their lives. This is also an opportunity to speak about their marriage or relationship. Something you can ask yourself is: do they treat others with the kindness, respect, and patience that you would expect an adoptive family to exude in their interactions with others? If they exhibit this behavior, you should definitely take time to highlight it. Putting a spotlight on their interpersonal skills allows the social worker to gain insight into the adopted parents’ ability to meet their child’s social and emotional needs.


Give Examples of Child Interaction 

A critical piece of information to include in your adoption recommendation letter is how the prospective adopted parents interact with children. This allows the social worker to gain insight from a third party about how they can successfully engage with children. Because this is so important, you will want to go into some detail about this aspect. 


Maybe they already have children and are seeking to expand their family. If this is the case, you can describe how they interact with their children and their parenting methods. This presents an opportunity to let the social worker know what their strengths are as parents and how a child’s life will benefit from being adopted into their family. 


If your loved one does not yet have children, you can highlight times you’ve seen them interact with children. For example, maybe they have babysat your children in the past or maybe they are your colleagues in an afterschool program for children or godparent(s) to your child. If they do not already have children, emphasizing how great they are with them will be a piece of critical information that the social worker, adoption agency, or adoption professionals are looking for.


Understand the Agency They are Working With 

Something you should do while brainstorming what you will write in your recommendation letter is to research the adoption agency or adoption service provider your friend or loved one is working with. This ensures you will reference the agency or provider properly in the letter and it also gives you the opportunity to highlight traits, morals, and values that define your loved one that also align with the organization’s values.


Ensure Your Letter is Professional

Once you are done writing the letter, make sure it is written professionally and formally. Avoid typos or grammatical mistakes. Take some time to review and edit what you have written. When reviewing something you have written, it is always helpful to step away from it for a short while after you finish so you can review it with fresh eyes. When you are ready, read it out loud to yourself a few times. Reading out loud helps you catch any mistakes or awkward wording and allows for a well thought out, professional adoption reference letter for your loved one that can help them through the adoption process. 


Be Honest & Descriptive
Something to keep in mind is that the purpose of the adoption letter is to be honest and descriptive as to why you recommend your loved ones to be an adoptive parent. Unless specified, there there is no length requirement as long as you convey why your friend or family member would make amazing adoptive parents. At the end of the day, you should be as honest and open as possible while supporting your friend or loved one by writing their adoption reference letter.


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