Monday, January 14, 2013

Difference between adopting with a lawyer, agency, and consultant

 ***Today's pictures have been brought to you by FAMILY VISITING!!!  YEA!!!!  My parents are here for a couple more weeks, my aunt and uncle are here for a couple more days, and we are soaking up every time they come over for visits!  :) 
 So people ask me all the time what is the difference when doing a domestic adoption in using an agency, a lawyer, or a consultant. 
 This question is a lot harder than it seems because there are many many differences between this agency and that agency, or this lawyer or that lawyer, and even between Christian Adoption Consultants and other consultants. 
 I am going to break it down though so hopefully you will see the main differences.  Adoption through a lawyer is just that.  Birth mothers sometimes approach a lawyer as opposed to an agency and ask them for profiles of families adopting locally.  The lawyer will talk to the family that the birth family picks and does the legal process and that is pretty much it.

The difference- a lawyer's office is not out to help you in that they do not typically offer counseling to the birth family or to you.  There are not as many guarantees because of this.  They also don't work with people outside their areas in most cases making it a limited selection for birth mothers and for you to be shown to birth mothers.  They don't do the homestudy (The paperwork necessary to start an adoption which includes background checks, in depth interviews on your life and your relations with others and any children presently in your home, and a safety check of your home.)- this has to be done by an agency or licensed individual who is able to do them. They may have very limited services when it comes to helping you further than just doing the paperwork for the adoption.

However, if you are doing an adoption through disruption, or the adoption of a relative, or a little one who happens to have some special needs, then usually a lawyer is fine because the "match" has typically already occurred.  So in those cases it is ok to use a lawyer.  
 If I had a wish it would be for a band of God honoring lawyers who would help adoptive families that would help cut down on some of the costs!  :) That would be more of a blessing than most  people know!  Because when you pay an agency they still have to have a lawyer do work for them- and that is where a large portion of each adoption cost is at.

**NOTE: Christian Adoption Consultants has been contacted by lawyers and we do have placements through Trusted lawyers!  We also do have a couple of lawyers that we work with that have volunteered great services to our clients with a fraction of the normal costs- Praise the Lord!
 OK so onto an agency.  An adoption agency is more than just a lawyer.  Some of them hire lawyers to be on staff, others have lawyers that they work with on a regular basis.  The agency SHOULD be counseling and meeting with the birth family several times throughout the process.  Taking them to doctors appointments, helping them with other prenatal care, and helping them connect to you as an adoptive family.  They are trained and educated specifically on how to help birth moms go through the process.

They usually have a lot more resources to help adoptive families as well.  So you can feel like you are more prepared for the process as well.  They can do your homestudy, connect you with birth families, and help with the entire process.
 The ONLY problem with an agency- well if they don't do their job, or if they have a lot of adoptive families and only a few birth moms- leaving adoptive families to get frustrated, and to wait for years.  There are some amazing agencies that do not do this and are very efficient.  But, most can not place all types of families.
 Christian Adoption Consultants:  Advantages are many!  We work with many agencies.  We have done our homework on connecting with these agencies.  Therefore getting you availability with more birth families!  Because we get such a wide variety of situations we know which ones are great matches for larger families (like mine).  So we can match many families a lot quicker (usually 6-10 months)!

We also walk you through the process.
Making a professional profile that will get your family noticed. (We also have families that do their own)
Getting a homestudy done- (what to expect, do you recommend someone in our area, etc.)
Talking with agencies- what questions do I ask?  What do I need to know before showing our profile?
How do I talk with birth families?
Are the feelings I am having "normal" for adoptive families?
How do you get through this process?
Where do I look for grants or no interest loans?
What are some websites I can use to raise money for my adoption?
What do I do when I meet the birth family?
How do I handle ongoing communication with the birth family?
Is there a website or books that can help me understand more?
Those and many more questions is why we are HERE! 
 You see we give you the best of all worlds and our only interest is helping YOU and finding a match that fits your family.  So we do our homework, ask questions, help you figure things out, and we are on your side :). 
 We (specifically) have walked this road.  We have a lot of experience in order to provide solid answers and when we don't have the answers we have others that we can contact to get those answers! 
 That is our job!  We want to see children find homes, but not just any homes.  Homes where they will be raised to love the Lord.  Homes where they will be accepted and loved forever!  Families that took extra time and care in knowing the process and more about adoption - so they could make the best decisions for their family! 
 Sometimes people say - well that is an extra cost.  Yep, it is, but it is also about a child/ren.  If I had to pick one thing to spend extra care and money on- I would pick my children every time.  Because houses, cars, money are things and stuff.  BUT A FAMILY IS FOREVER! 
 I hope that helps you out in figuring out the differences between adopting with a lawyer, and agency, or a consultant.  Just so everyone knows- I have had many many friends use all of the above avenues, and I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!  As a consultant we work with lawyers and agencies all the time.  Great ones!  By using the many resources we have we get to help a lot more people! 
 I will leave you to enjoy the rest of these fun photos from our family visits......
 Don't let them fool you - they are wrestling with grandpa and loving it! 
 Look at that cheeky face! 
 Jason making us a great dinner!!!
 Love you Aunt Jane!!!! 
 So glad you live close by :).
 Getting everyone seated takes some organization....
 Good thing we have a large table and a decent sized dining area! 
 Squeeze in everyone....pretend you love each other ;). 
 YUMMY!!  Pass the........
 We had to use an extra "table".....
 Hello Michael :). 
 Joanna looking at herself in the mirror with a blanket over her head. 
 Oh Elizabeth- you and your crazy expressions.......
 The adults playing Pass The Pig.  Oh yes we did!!!  And we all laughed and had fun. 
Then we got down to business and played Bible Outburst.  Whew- that is a good challenging game!  :)

**Note some of our blog page differences :).  We are sooo excited to soon add more features and resources for you to see!  And daddy blog....coming soon too!  :)


  1. Love this!!! Thanks for all that you're doing for our family...even now! You're a blessing!

  2. So, it seems like there’s no easy way if you’ll only pick one. Now how about adoption with a lawyer, consultant and an agency? I think that would ease things up. Anyway, thank you for clearing up the difference. I hope the information you’ve provided will help those who can’t figure out which way is the best to go in their adoption journey.

    Olga Becker @ Upton & Hatfield