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Adoption Journey Case Study

Moving People Towards Heart Change

There are 112 million orphans in the world. That’s 14 New York Cities. Yet, adoption—a clear path towards healing for children in need of families—remains a conversation few have and is marred by myth.

To work towards solving this problem, FiveStone initiated and led an effort between Bethany, the nation's largest adoption agency, and two other like-minded organizations. The result was a two-year campaign that led people on an Adoption Journey.

Starting Question

What leads a person to adopt? How do we nudge a person along a path from awareness of adoption to advocate for adoption?

Our Work

Our engagement led to the development of a three-year campaign centered on sparking a conversation around adoption. We focused on research, design, and branded content.


Our first objective was to find out what caused some to exit the adoption process, while others continued through. We did this through a qualitative, ethnographic approach. Once that question was resolved, we returned to the field and looked to determine what types of content and tools would be helpful to those considering adoption, who have not yet taken steps to adopt.


Once research was complete, we designed a series of tools that would help families consider adoption. These tools included addressing common myths, creating a personal financial calculator to examine costs, and building a personal fundraising platform – the first of its kind. We then produced, directed, designed, and managed a two-year national campaign called The Adoption Journey.

Branded Content

For the course of the campaign, we concepted, produced, managed, and distributed content to the audience through a variety of mediums and communication outlets. This included an adoption blogger network, Twitter Q & A sessions, a live Google hangout concert, social media outreach, and a toolkit with over 40 resources for church leaders.


By all metrics, The Adoption Journey campaign was successful. However, the largest impact has been the ripple effect of the conversation the campaign started. Even though the campaign ended years ago, we continue to see the conversation around adoption going strong.

National attention around the campaign:

“Nearly every conference we’ve attended recently devoted attention to orphans, adoption, the fatherless, and so on. Church leadership conference Catalyst gave a major push to adoption as its main gathering in October ... The keynote presentation at Q (a conference for Christian culture leaders) focused on fatherlessness, with calls to establish foster-care ministries, support adoptive families, and build orphanages abroad.”

Christianity Today, July 2010

TV, Radio, Web

Adoption Journey experienced positive reception that included coverage in over 5,000 television, radio, and web outlets.

White House Invitation

The campaign team was presented the national Orange Leaders Award for “making a significant difference in the lives of families” and representatives from the campaign participated in a White House meeting on adoption.

10,000 Leads

We had a goal of generating ~1,700 contact leads at conferences. We generated ~10,000.

Loving Homes

And, most importantly, hundreds of children have found safe, loving, permanent homes.

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