Many hopeful adoptive parents can feel overwhelmed by all of the information available about adoption and where to even begin the process. As a prospective adoptive parent, you may be wondering where to begin and if there are resources to help you at any stage of the process of building your family through adoption. There is one option that many people do not know about or do not consider and it is the option of using an adoption consultant to help you on your adoption journey. You can choose an adoption consultant to support your journey who meets your needs and preferences. One option is to use a Christian adoption consultant. Many adoptive parents who have built their family through adoption said the reasons to use an adoption consultant were many. Here are just a few of those reasons and benefits for using a Christian adoption consultant.
1. Why Use a Christian Adoption Consultant?
A Christian adoption consultant and the reasons for using an adoption consultant are, in general, personal for each adoptive family. Many hopeful adoptive families can feel overwhelmed even considering adoption and as they begin to research can feel stuck. Where do you start? There seems to be so much involved in the journey to adoption. You may be wondering as a hopeful adoptive parent how to find a good adoption agency or a good adoption attorney and even why you need one. Other questions that may be running through your mind include: how do you begin the process of a home study? How will you keep track of all of the documents you need to collect for the home study and the adoption? How will you get matched with an expectant mother? How will you handle the logistics of the adoption like traveling, if needed, or paying birth mother expenses for the expectant mother? This is often a lot of information and can be a lot to manage, especially if you work full-time, already are raising children in your family, or both! This is where an adoption consultant can be very helpful to you along the adoption journey. It can be even more helpful when the adoption consultant shares the same faith as the hopeful adoptive family. The process is often stressful and being able to have someone who has the same faith as you can give peace in the process.
2. A Christian Adoption Consultant is a Supportive Professional
Many people thinking about using a Christian adoption consultant want to better understand what an adoption consultant is. An adoption consultant is an adoption professional who provides support, consultation, and guidance for the adoptive family through the process of adoption. The adoption consultant can recommend adoption agencies or adoption attorneys for the finalization of the adoption if needed. The Christian adoption consultant should also recommend home study agencies for completing your home study and can help you understand all of the costs around completing your adoption. A Christian adoption consultant can also be an individual or an organization. They serve to support the adoptive family in the most professional way, but can also be part-counselor. This is where it can be important for a Christian hopeful adoptive family to have a Christian adoption consultant because families can have someone to pray with and speak about their faith during the process. It can give a sense of support and peace to many adoptive parents.
3. A Christian Adoption Consultant Has Advantages
It can be very helpful for hopeful adoptive parents to use Christian adoption consultants for a plethora of reasons. Many adoptive parents shared that the reasons they used a Christian adoption consultant had a lot to do with timing. Many adoptive parents, when asked why they used a Christian adoption consultant, shared that it was due to their desire to complete their adoption quicker than traditional agencies or adoption attorneys. With the latter two options, it was shared that it could take years for an adoptive couple to be matched with an expectant mother.
Christian adoption consultants often have relationships with many adoption attorneys and adoption agencies across the country and can help a hopeful adoptive family find an expectant mother who chooses them to be her baby’s adoptive family in a shorter time frame. It is important to understand that it is critical to have an ethical adoption without coercion, one which follows the applicable federal and state adoption laws. Adoption consultants can not guarantee a time frame for adoption, but due to their connections with adoption agencies and adoption attorneys, they can use that network to match you with expectant parents looking to make an adoption plan for their baby.
Christian adoption consultants can also be helpful if you are completing an independent adoption. This can be very helpful if you have already been matched with an expectant parent via an adoption forum, through your church, or from your network of friends and family. In these circumstances, it can be very helpful to have a Christian adoption consultant who can walk you through each step of the process of finalizing the adoption after being matched with the expectant parent.
If you are working with an adoption attorney, a Christian adoption consultant can provide the personal support you may have received from an adoption agency. The Christian adoption consultant you use can provide the support and counseling services that an adoption law firm or adoption attorney may not provide. Christian adoption services are often not licensed social workers or licensed counselors, so it is important to recognize that their services may not meet the standards of the adoption services provided by licensed providers or an adoption agency. However, they can offer the support you may need on your adoption journey as an adoptive parent.
4. What Christian Adoption Consultants Can Not Do, But Why You Should Still Consider One
One thing to remember, first of all, is that Christian adoption consultants are not adoption facilitators. Adoption facilitators support the expectant parents contemplating an adoption plan. Adoption consultants support the adoptive parents in the adoption triad. While Christian adoption consultants can and do provide wonderful support and advice, they can not provide actual adoption services involved in the legal finalization of the adoption. I look at adoption consultants as being similar to a doula in birth. They can support the adoptive parents during the adoption process, but they are not licensed adoption service providers.
It is important as you choose an adoption consultant, you choose someone who is ethical and who most likely has good recommendations from other adoptive families who have used their services. Just like adoption agencies and adoption attorneys, all Christian adoption consultants are different. It can also be important to find someone who matches your values and who you feel comfortable with as they will likely be a very personalized support person during this journey. It is important to understand that unlike adoption service providers, adoption consultants, whether Christian adoption consultants or not, are not regulated by any state or federal body. This does not mean they are unethical, it just means you will need to do your research. It can be difficult to understand what makes a Christian adoption consultant a good one, but asking other adoptive parents, viewing adoption forum boards, asking on social media, and reading reviews are all a good start in finding a great Christian adoption consultant.
Another thing to remember is that Christian adoption consultants can only give you support and information on your journey. They can not perform adoption tasks to finalize an adoption, but they can help you find licensed professionals to help you to complete the adoption placement in the expectant parents’ respective state.
5. Why Use a Christian Adoption Consultant Instead of Any Adoption Consultant?
One of the reasons to use a Christian adoption consultant could be due to values, faith, and ability to connect through faith during this life changing journey. Being able to pray with your Christian adoption consultant, talk about your faith, and share scripture on this adoption walk can be important to a lot of Christian adoptive families. Being able to have someone who supports you through this journey, can pray for you, and believe that God has a plan for you and your family through the gift of adoption can be very special. Adoptive families who use a Christian adoption consultant share all of the reasons outlined above as to why they chose to work with a Christian adoption consultant, but one of the big reasons was due to their shared faith. Jesus said “Be Not Afraid” and Christian adoption consultants support you through the joys, fears, sadness, expectation, and fears in the adoption process.
Christian adoption consultants can support you on your God-driven journey to adoption by helping you work with Christian adoption agencies if that is important to you. Or they can supply the needed faith support on this journey if you are using a non-faith-based adoption agency or adoption attorney. They can also help you find a Christian expectant parent if that is important to you. They can help you find licensed Christian social workers or licensed counselors specializing in adoption if you need those services. Adoptive families who had any experience using a professional Christian adoption consultant said that deciding to use a Christian adoption consultant was an important decision on their journey. Many of these families had a support system already, but no one could understand their adoption process the same way their Christian adoption consultant did. The Christian adoption consultant held their family’s hands throughout the journey offering support, advice, and access to professionals, this support helped to make the process of adoption not as overwhelming as they originally believed it would be.
Christian adoption consultants can work with the hopeful adoptive family for any adoption they hope to complete. They can help with an independent private domestic adoption, an international adoption, and even an adoption from foster care in your respective state of residence. Additionally, they can help you with your adoption profile and connect you with other Christian professionals along the way.
You can utilize or hire a Christian adoption consultant at any point in your journey; however, finding a Christian adoption consultant early in the journey can be for the best as you can have their advice and support along the way. You can begin your search for a Christian adoption consultant online or by asking other Christian adoptive families who have utilized the service of a Christian adoption consultant in the past who they found most helpful. You may find people in your church or even in adoption forums had wonderful experiences with adoption consultants and can recommend wonderful individuals or consultant companies.
Just like asking the right questions when you interview an adoption agency if you choose to use an adoption agency, it can be just as important to ask the right questions of your Christian adoption agency. First, being Christian can mean a lot of things to people. A belief that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior and He died for their sins and they commit their lives to follow Him, may be enough for your family in hiring a Christian adoption consultant. For others, they may want a Christian adoption consultant who has had pastoral training or Christian counseling background. Some adoptive families may want a Christian adoption consultant who is the same denomination as them or is particular faith like Protestant or Catholic. Others may just want someone who will pray with and for them throughout their journey; having someone who understands and shares their faith and hope in Jesus. Understanding what is important to you is often critical in asking those questions when interviewing Christian adoption consultants. It is also important to know how much their services cost if there are a la carte services to add on and how long the contract lasts. Some sign for one year or others have you pay month to month. It is important to know these costs and the scope of services up-front in the process.
Most of all, choose a Christian adoption consultant who makes you feel comfortable and supported during this beautiful journey to adoption. They can be there to pray with you, for you, and hold your hand during the most wonderful journey of your life.