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Why use an independent international adoption consultant?

From Katie’s Blog:

“When we first started looking into adoption, I emailed back and forth quite a bit with a friends who had used an adoption consultant to help them as they adopted their daughter. I remember quite vividly saying, “I just don’t get it. Why would you pay extra money in what’s already a super expensive process to use an adoption consultant? Doesn’t that sound kind of dumb?” It really didn’t make any sense to me.

But as time went on, we needed someone to answer about a billion questions that we had about domestic adoption. I didn’t want someone’s opinion. I didn’t want someone who just wanted me to hire them. I didn’t want some random info off of the internet. I wanted someone to talk to that actually knew what they were talking about! I wanted someone that would care about us as individuals and to help us as we thought through what God was calling us to. Enter, T the adoption consultant

About a year ago, I thought that using an adoption consultant was just plain dumb. My thinking went something like this: Adoption is expensive and hiring a consultant is another expense. Why on earth would someone hire an adoption consultant? My thinking about adoption consultants has drastically changed. I went from thinking we’d never use one to not being able to imagine our adoption journey without one. Why? Here are some of the many reasons:

1) Decreasing the Risks
International adoption has many risks. It’s possible to lose a lot of money and experience a lot of heart ache if you choose to go with a country that is not actually working or who does not have the children you desire. An adoption consultant helps her clients sort through the level of risk involved with each situation and gives invaluable information to help adoptive parents make informed decisions in their adoption journey. She works primarily with 'safe countries'  that are adoption friendly and  allow adoptions to the UK. She has strong relationships with various agencies and attorneys who are already primed to support UK families.

2) Being totally prepared

If you are unaware of what it expected from you in your assessement and homestudy you may make a very costly mistake and not be approved. And adoption consultant can prepare you to the thinking of the social workers so that you understand what they are looking for and therefore you know how to answer them. So often families have said things in the wrong way and this has gone against them. Your adoption consultant will talk with you and highlight areas that you need to work on maybe even before your assessment so that you are fully prepared, The adoption assessment is a serious investment and you do not want it to go pear shaped, best to start on the best footing possible.

3) Avoiding costly time and money
There are 150 people involved in your international adoption journey. To manage your adoption smoothly you have to know who they are, when you need them and what do they need from you. It is all so much. But with an adoption consultant you don't need to figure this all out. The adoption consultant knows who is relevant and who is not, who needs to recieve what, where and when. Why waste time looking for a notary who has never done international adoption and who makes mistakes, when you can go right to the experts?

4) Significant decrease in wait time
Working with an adoption consultant means that you cut out most of the time you are on the internet doing research, spending hours, days and even months in dead ends. Why do all this work youself when somone has done it all, has connections with agencies, attorneys, notaries, immigaion lawyers. Has set up faciltators and lawyers in country who are all waiting to help you and who have been checked and vetted? Using an adoption consultant SIGNIFICANTLY decreases your adoption process.

5) Always being at the end of the phone

The adoption consultant is always at the end of the phone and she is invested in you and wants you to succeed. No question is too small or irrelevant. Also things change so quickly in international adoptiona and she has her ear to the ground so can keep you up to date and informed of any changes. She literally is with you all the way. 

5) Help from someone who is genuinely knowledgable AND really understands
The adoption consultant has adopted. She knows what it’s like to adopt because she’s been through the process. She is an incredible wealth of knowledge and information (which is great)! She’s helped TONS of couples adopt. But her knowledge is coupled with a heart that has experienced the joys and challenges of adoption. Because of that heart, she is extremely quick to respond to questions from her clients (no waiting weeks to hear from this lady!). Because of that heart, she is a constant encouragement and help to us.

5) Benefits that far exceed the cost
Yes, hiring an adoption consultant isn’t free. But in our opinion, the benefits to working with an adoption consultant have far exceeded the cost. In the grand scheme of adoption expenses, it really isn’t a lot to hire someone who will make a priceless difference in your adoption journey. We’ve received extremely helpful answers to countless questions. We’ve been connected to wonderful attorneys and agencies. We’ve been encouraged, supported, and prayed for every single step of the way. And we’ve been blessed with having someone who is really on our side (much like a midwife who coaches you all through your pregnancy, labor, and delivery).

To be really honest, we are getting way more than we paid for with the adoption consultant. And to think that I once thought that using an adoption consultant was ridiculous!

(Thanks to Katie and her experience of using an adoption consultant)

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