Whether you're a prospective adoptive parent or an adoption professional looking to make a name for yourself, you'll quickly find that networking in the adoption community is one of the first and most important things you'll do. A simple reference can go a long way for attorneys who want to make a name for themselves and a word-of-mouth recommendation is obviously highly valued among adoptive and birth parents who may be in such a stressful or anxious time in their life that the last thing they want to worry about is dealing with a condescending or rude attorney, social worker or facilitator. Often, adoption networking isn't so much about who you know or how much you advertise but the kind of services someone can provide with the most personable attitude. Although there's no right or wrong way to approach the adoption process, networking can help an inexperienced adopter save time or side-step possible scams or delays.
For professionals, having a lot of experience and a great personality is key. There are adoption conferences and forums through which people can gather to discuss adoption issues and express where they feel the greatest deficit and need are in the adoption community.
For the most part, advertising will go a long way. But learning the ins and outs is something that social workers and seasoned professionals know best. Befriending international adopters or those who have taken in a child with a specific disability, for example, can provide insight into a lifestyle that even many other adopters cannot relate to.