The Risks of Working with an Adoption Consultant
And How They Could Impact Your Future Family
Building your family is the most important thing you’ll ever do, and the professional you choose will make or break your experience during the adoption process.
We know this firsthand after years of working with families who have come to our agency saying, “We’ve already been at this for two years, and we wish we would’ve made a different choice.”
We don’t want this to happen to anyone, which is why we’ve created this guide.
One type of professional you might have heard about is an adoption consultant. Consultants are often compassionate and informative. They promise an easy process, low costs and quick matches.
But, adoption consultants can also add risks to your family-building journey.
Research and data analysis have determined these top 4 risks of working with an adoption consultant. These risks can mean the difference between finally hearing those words “mom” or “dad,” or continuing to wait for that empty room in your home (and your heart) to be filled.
You can schedule a free consultation with an Adoption Coordinator to learn more about these risks.
Risk 1: Longer Wait Times
A short wait is the key to fulfilling your dreams of starting a family. Based on years of verified data, it’s clear that prospective birth parents’ primary way of finding adoption professionals (and your adoptive family profile) is through Google.
Because of this, we know that more web traffic means a shorter average wait time.
If you’re speaking with an adoption consultant, you will often hear a claim that goes something like:
“You don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket. When you work with us, you’ll have access to our whole network of adoption professionals. That way, you’ll get a fast match.”
This sounds great, but there’s a problem: Most adoption consultants’ networks are made up of smaller professionals without any substantial level of web outreach.
While the idea of being connected to four or five professionals at once sounds great, the reality is that a family would need to join more than 25 agencies at the same time to come close to the level of outreach that American Adoptions can provide families.
Adoption consultants often sell the idea that your family profile will be seen by more people, but a careful examination of the data shows that this is not true. The result, unfortunately, is that hopes of a short wait that are dashed as the wait drags on and on.
Risk 2: Unexpected (and Higher) Costs
Adoption consultants are likely to give you the lowest cost estimate you will hear from any adoption professional.
It’s understandable why that’s so appealing. The costs associated with adoption can be daunting, and the idea of adopting for less is compelling.
But, there is that old saying about something that sounds too good to be true.
In most cases, adoption consultants provide families with an initial cost estimate that is an absolute best-case scenario. Your adoption process will rarely play out this way. High upfront costs can be challenging, but not nearly as challenging as high unexpected costs.
Clarity is the key to confidently completing an adoption as you fulfill your dream of starting a family.
American Adoptions’ fee structure shows you everything upfront, which means you can be prepared and successful. Adoption consults may give you an initial number that sounds a lot better, but this ultimately leaves you unprepared and set up for failure.
Risk 3: Lack of Accountability
Starting a family is the most important thing you’ll ever do, and the professionals involved in your process should be held to the highest standards possible.
Unfortunately, adoption consultants are not licensed in any way, shape or form. There is no standardized review, no method of accountability, and little pathway for recourse when a consultant acts unethically.
Going a step further, not only are adoption consultants and adoption facilitators unlicensed — but they are completely illegal in nearly all 50 states.
Most adoption consultants are based out of a very small handful of states where that operating model is still legal, although there are ongoing efforts in those states and at the federal level to outlaw unlicensed adoption services.
This poses a serious risk to families; one that we have seen cause a lot of harm over the years. You deserve more than someone’s word with a process this important. A fully licensed adoption agency can back up claims to ethical services with verified documents and third-party accountability. An adoption consultant can’t — and that can put the future of your family in jeopardy.
Risk 4: Increased Financial Risk
Because adoption consultants function by referring you to other professionals, there is no consistency across their network when it comes to risk protection.
Here’s what that means: You have financial safety with our agency because of the Risk-Sharing Program. Developed in response to recession fears after 2008, this program has collectively saved adoptive families more than $4 million dollars. It means safety, security and confidence for your adoption.
But, with an adoption consultant, your money is out of your control. Every provider has a different policy for refunds in the case of disruptions or other events. Most do not refund anything — they simply “roll over” funds toward the next opportunity.
In plain English, that means they keep your money.
Adoption can be a challenging process, and there’s enough uncertainty as is. We hate to see families make their journeys even more challenging by trusting an adoption consultant who promises ease but delivers stress.
The Alternative to Adoption Consultants
The good news is that you have choices. There are many fully licensed adoption agencies who operate ethically, and American Adoptions is one of them.
Whereas adoption consultants bring the risks of
- Long wait times
- Unexpected costs
- Lack of accountability
- Financial uncertainty
Your pathway to the family you’ve always wanted with American Adoptions can be
There’s nothing more important than starting your family. We want to help you overcome the challenges of the adoption process and welcome your baby home.
Click here to get our helpful guide for adoptive families and schedule a free consultation with an experienced adoption consultant, or call 1-800-ADOPTION today.
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