If you’re curious about Christian Adoption Consultants and wondering if you should work with a consultant service to adopt, you’ve come to the right place.
We started our adoption journey in April of 2016. You can read our entire journey as well as all of my
I am asked frequently about our experience with Christian Adoption Consults and wanted to share my thoughts and official review.
What is An Adoption Consultant and What Do Adoption Consultant
I always explain that an adoption consultant is sort of like a wedding planner, but for adoption.
The consultant helps you in managing the adoption process.
They also help widen your reach when finding a match with a potential birth mom.
Consultants can do a variety of things.
From helping you through each stage of the adoption process to connecting you with agencies and lawyers who then connect you with situations from potential birth mothers.
A home study is still needed regardless if you work with a consultant or not but in working with a consultant prior to beginning the home study process they can recommend
Consultants VS Agency Approach
The “old school” way of adopting, was to choose an agency and then wait for that agency to find a match for you.
Agencies also tend to be very costly and can be smaller in their search perimeters.
That process can often take years and many agencies require exclusivity meaning you can only work with them and no one else.
For example, we live in Georgia. I called a local adoption agency and they explained to me that they ONLY match their adoptive families with birth mothers in the state of Georgia.
Consultants are not limited to just one agency or one state.
They work with multiple adoption agencies, multiple lawyers, several resources to help broaden the reach of your potential to be matched.
They connect you to an entire network of adoption possibilities.
It is also important to note that an adoption consultant is not the same thing as an adoption facilitator. Consultants simply refer.
They connect hopeful adoptive parents with agencies or lawyers who then connect them with an expectant birth mother or adoption situation.
Consultants never directly communicate with a birth mother nor do they do the matching between adoptive parents and birth families.
Having a consultant can help form your entire adoption plan and I looked at our consultant as an adoption professional whose input and advice I could trust and who was an expert in the field of adoption.
Christian Adoption Consultants also have several pricing packages and plans to choose from which can help in budgeting for the
Why We Chose to Work With Christian Adoption Consultants
I had phone conversations with a few agencies as well as a few consultants when deciding how to begin our journey through private domestic adoption.
A blogger I followed at the time had worked with Christian Adoption Consultants when adopting their baby so I learned about adoption consulting from her blog posts.
I then had a friend personally recommend CAC and even suggested working with a specific consultant on their team.
Having both of those sources mention the same consulting team made me feel like it was the right move for our family.
I called both Christian Adoption Consultants as well as another highly recommended group called Faithful Adoption Consultants.
I was drawn to both with their basis of faith and the idea of being called to adoption.
I had a nice talk with Faithful Adoption Consultants. Their prices were a bit higher than CAC.
They also were a little less comfortable with our desire to specify certain things in our adoption journey.
I was very comfortable with the consultant I spoke to at CAC.
I explained to her our feelings and hopes and she shared her personal walk with adoption, was very supportive in our reasonings behind wanting to adopt in the same race as our family, and made me feel very relaxed and at ease.
Deciding to adopt is OVERWHELMING, to say the least, and in speaking with her I felt like the process was going to be smoother and less stressful when having her by my side.
The Cost of Christian Adoption Consultants
Christian Adoption Consultants have multiple options available for hopeful adoptive parents to consider.
We knew we wanted to go the domestic adoption route but CAC also offers international adoption support as well as support for special needs adoption paths.
If you are wanting to adopt through foster care I’m sure they could put you in touch with someone who can help in that area as well.
Plans with Christian Adoption Consultants
Christian Adoption Consultants offer many plans to fit any budget. We started working with them in 2016 so the price points we were looking at then have most likely increased over the years since.
But this can still help give a rough estimate to those considering working with a consultant!
When we were deciding between plans for our domestic adoption we chose between four main options:
- The top tier plan includes consulting services, family adoption profile, and agency paperwork. The cost for this package at the time was just under $4,000
- The second package included consulting as well as agency paperwork (meaning the adoptive family creates their own profile book) and it’s cost was just over $3,000
- The third package was for consulting services and creation of family profile book (so the paperwork for agencies is handled by the adoptive family). It cost just under $3,000
Lastlythere was a package for consulting services only, meaning the adoptive family would handle the creation of their family profile as well as all of the necessary paperwork.
The Plan We Chose
We decided to use the third plan which included the consulting services as well as the creation of our family profile book.
Something I really appreciated in my conversation with our consultant was her honesty in discussing the best plan to suit our needs.
Knowing I’m a stay at home mom she felt confident I’d be able and capable to handle all of the paperwork side of things on my own, which I agree with!
However, I’m a SUPER perfectionist and I knew trying to make our profile book myself would not only be tedious and stressful but would also lead me to fear that when/if we weren’t chosen that MY book creating skills were to blame.
The profile book is what potential birth mothers see when deciding whether or not to choose your family to raise their child. I mean HUGE DEAL, right?
I felt it was best to trust the profile book
Additional Costs to Consider
Just as using a wedding planner is an added cost when planning a wedding – an adoption consultant is also an additional cost in the adoption process.
In our situation we were matched with a birth mother who was working directly with an adoption lawyer in her local area.
We paid the costs for our consultant and then paid the fees associated with using the lawyer and the additional adoption costs.
During our wait to be matched with a birth mother we also submitted applications and our adoption books with multiple agencies who were recommended by CAC.
Each of those agencies had their own process and some did require application fees to have our book in their mix!
Items You May Want to Purchase During The Adoption Process:
Our Wait Time with CAC
At the time of our signing on with Christian Adoption Consultants the contact with them was valid for 18 months. They also allowed for a break to be taken.
We started working with them in April of 2016 and had our home study completed by September of 2016.
My husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in May of 2017 and had already paid in full for our trip together to celebrate so we knew we needed to wait to have a baby in our arms until after that trip!
Christian Adoption Consultants were fabulous in allowing us to “press pause” on our contract with them from September until March. They allow up to an 18-month hold on their adoption services.
This time period allowed us to focus on fundraising efforts as well as get our home ready to bring
We opened our file to be “in waiting” in March of 2017. We presented to seven birth moms and the 8th one was our “yes” in August of 2017.
Our healthy, beautiful baby boy was born on December 1st, 2017 in Florida and parental rights were signed over to us on December 3rd.
Pros and Cons of Working with Christian Adoption Consultants
I have heard talks among people in adoption groups on social media that while a “pro” of working with a consultant is that families tend to be matched quicker, the “con” is that almost all of the situations involve drug use and babies who deal with exposure.
This frustrates me to hear and I hate that families are being deterred from even exploring the consultant avenue out of fear.
Having Realistic Adoption Expectations
I believe most hopeful adoptive parents enter into adoption expecting it to be a situation where a young, innocent teenage girl finds herself with an unplanned pregnancy. She’s healthy. She lives a healthy lifestyle.
But she’s too young to care for the baby and desires to find a family whom she can trust to love and raise her baby. Basically – the storyline from the movie Juno.
I’ll be the first to admit – my husband and I entered into adoption with those same thoughts.
And sometimes, that’s the case! But typically? It’s not.
Adoption comes from a place of brokenness and the reality is that most often mothers who are in the place where they are considering adoption for their unborn baby are not in a life situation that is best suited for that baby.
Our talks with our adoption consultant really helped to open our eyes to understanding and our hearts to be more open.
We went into the idea of choosing adoption with one game plan and ended up completely changing it.
We thought “we want a closed adoption”
And instead we have an open adoption.
We thought “Caucasian only”
And instead, we presented to several situations where the race was unknown or of a combination of ethnicities (our son’s birth father is part or full Arabic).
We thought “healthy lifestyle only”
And instead, we became open to exposures and understanding to the fact that most situations involve smoking cigarettes, at the minimum.
Our consultant is THE reason we were able to open our hearts and were able to truly fall in love with our son’s birth mother. She changed our lives. Our outlooks.
And I’m so thankful to our consultant for broadening my ideas of what was best for our family unit.
Our consultant also was very honest with me throughout the whole process.
She let me know upfront that our having three biological children would hinder some birth parents from choosing our family and that our wait time may be a little longer due to that.
We also had some tough moments in our path, my husband got diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis during our wait.
Our consultant was fabulous in reassuring us that his diagnosis would not prevent our adoption or change the course of our plans to add to our family.
The Presentation and Matching Process
A HUGE pro of working with Christian Adoption Consultants is that we were in constant communication.
I know many agencies do not tell hopeful adoptive families when their profile is being presented to a birth mother for review. They just contact the family once they are chosen.
While working with CAC we were part of every decision when it came to situations and presentations to birth mothers.
A lawyer or agency would have a situation that they’d share with the consultant. She’d then see that it was a situation that may fit what we were looking for and would contact us about it.
She’d give her thoughts on the situation and help guide and encourage us in our decisions of whether or not to present.
Even if it wasn’t a situation that fit exactly what our list included, she’d still often send them our way just in case we wanted to proceed.
We’d make the choice if we wanted to have our book shown to a birth mother or not. We had the opportunity to write a personal letter to each presentation. We’d then be notified during each step in that process.
When the birth mother picked up the profile
In some ways being hands-on in the entire process can be seen as a con. The debate about whether or not to present to each situation was emotionally wearing. The “no” after “no” was disheartening.
However, I’m so thankful we had that open line of communication. That we KNEW what was going on. That we had a say in each step of our journey and of the process.
I can’t fathom sitting and waiting. Sitting and waiting. And NOT knowing if our adoption profile book was even being presented!
My Thoughts on Working With Christian Adoption Consultants
Put simply: I HIGHLY recommend working with CAC.
Each step of the entire journey our consultant was truly there with me. Helping me.
Offering guidance and advice when I needed it.
Acting as a sounding board when I needed it.
Answering questions (so many questions!). Providing insight.
The book she put together for presenting to birth moms was beautiful and well represented our family unit.
The lawyer whom submitted the situation that ended up being our match was incredible too. We LOVED them and felt they were worth every penny.
Adoption is hard. It’s emotionally hard. It’s mentally hard.
But having our consultant made our journey a little less hard and a lot more rewarding.
Every adoptive parent says that they wouldn’t change a thing because every decision in the process led them to the baby that was meant to be theirs. And that’s so true.
But even outside of my personal journey and the incredible boy who completed our family, I’d still recommend CAC to anyone.
If you’re at the start of your adoption process or needing to change course a bit and considering other options I highly recommend giving adoption consultants a call.
I recommend having phone conversation with two or three consultants. I spoke with FAC and CAC. I actually spoke with CAC twice before deciding to work with them.
Ask all the questions, gather all the information and then follow your gut!