Who you choose to help you navigate your adoption journey is probably the most important step in the domestic infant adoption process. As we have discussed many times in past blog posts, we feel the best option for domestic infant adoption is to have someone guide you through the process, like we do at Purl. We are different from “consultants” – we focus more on education, preparation and strategy than consultants that are helping families in this space. We honestly don’t even like to be compared with “consultants”. So make sure you understand what role the entity you hire will play in your journey, and know that our services differ greatly from the popular consultants how there! We are amazed at how many families come to us after utilizing an adoption consultant in their first adoption and have a completely different (and better) experience with us with more guidance than just receiving a list of attorneys/agencies and sending you cases! And of course, all consultants operate very differently so make sure to do your due diligence before signing on and paying any fee.
It is important to select the attorneys and agencies you plan to work with carefully, no matter if they have been recommended to you by another person or professional. We always recommend connecting with an experienced adoption attorney in your state, as you will likely need them at some point in your adoption journey anyway, and they can be a helpful resource for identifying (or steering clear from) other local professionals. We recommend consulting with and hiring at least by the time of a match an attorney that is part of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, who have been vetted by their board and are experienced in these area (read more here on that from a California AAAA attorney we work with). We then encourage you do a lot of research on the other professionals you plan to work with (i.e. attorneys/placing agencies). We recommend joining adoption related private Facebook Groups, where adoptive families share their experiences about advisors, consultants, agencies and attorneys.
We recommend you understand how the professional works with expectant moms, including what types of resources are offered to them (options counseling, separate legal counsel, case management, post placement counseling/support) and when and how they are typically matching the expectant moms they work with. We also recommend you ask how many placements the professional typically does per year as compared to the number of waiting families they have. No matter how good or ethical an adoption professional is, if they have few cases and a lot of waiting families, you will likely never adopt through them. We encourage families to try and utilize a multi-attorney/agency approach where possible, working with as many experienced professionals as you can without spending too much high up front fees, as that will increase your chances of adoption in a timely manner. But know that it is a very crowded space right now and it is likely that an adoption advisor like Purl will likely be contacted if an agency/attorney needs more families or a specific type of family to show to an expectant mom, so you will be disadvantaged if you are trying to navigate the journey without that support. I also think the experience of an adoption advisor is invaluable to your journey, as well to help you navigate the complex adoption journey as ethically as possible. Hope this quick update helps as you decide who to work with in your adoption journey.