After almost three years of waiting to adopt a baby, a Michigan couple has turned to Twitter to get their profile across.
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Rick and Erica Jones have been on a small local adoption agency's waiting list for more than two years. Unlike larger adoption agencies, their Berkeley-based organization doesn't have the financial means to extensively market their clients. Nor do Rick and Erika have the money to go through a larger adoption agency.
Before turning to Twitter, Rick says they followed the agency's suggestions to use fliers, newspaper ads, business cards and Facebook. None of those "traditional methods" got their case any traction.
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That's when Rick decided to turn to Twitter, asking celebrities and members of the media with large followings for retweets of the , from his handle @rjman48.
"Newspaper articles and flyers can never do what Twitter can do," Rick told Mashable. "Twitter's a way to reach thousands in a really quick way and get people to read our profile and help us adopt and start a family."
Since beginning his Twitter campaign in early May, Rick says he spends between three to four hours a day on Twitter reaching out to popular users.
Reaching out,promoting,when you're trying to adopt is a huge obstacle&undertaking during the process!Help us convey our message
— Rick Jones (@rjman48)
He's gotten some impressive retweets so far. Author Maria Menounos, Kate Plus 8's Kate Gosselin, Today Show host Al Roker, MTV Teen Moms, personalities from the Bachelorette and the Deadliest Catch, and current and former NHL players are among a number of Twitter influencers to spread Rick and Erika's story.
Morningstar Adoption Center, the Jones' agency, gets between 15 to 20 applications for adoption each year, and on average finds matches for half of them. Jane Weaver, director of the center, says that Rick and Erika are wonderful candidates, but the process of finding an adoption match can be like blind dating.
"I encourage our clients to spread word in any manner that they can," Weaver told Mashable. "I know very little about Twitter, but when people are interested in adopting we highly support them doing whatever they can."
Though Rick and Erika are still hoping to adopt, they've recently become certified Foster care parents.
Can Twitter help raise the profile of would-be adoptive parents? Let us know in the comments.
This story originally published on Mashable .