Saturday, November 26, 2016

About Adoption Consultants

. "One of the biggest fears of those wanting or thinking about adopting is the cost," says Executive Director of The Adoption Consultancy Nicole Witt. With this said, while adoption costs do add up sometimes you/your family along with your friends have to find unique ways to raise money to make adoption a reality.One couple, Heidi and Brandon, used the power of many to make adoption affordable. 

Heidi and Brandon along with family and friends threw a huge party that included an auction (Heidi's dad just happens to be an auctioneer), a silent auction, dessert and gift card raffles along with having tons of food and drinks for their guests.
The town donated tons of stuff for free (i.e. gift cards, rental houses etc.) and more than 300 people came to the party and auction in support. The couple made more than $18,000 in one day!  

I had a chance to interview Nicole Witt and Brandon and Heidi to learn more.

Executive Director of The Adoption Consultancy Nicole Witt:

What are the benefits of hiring an adoption consultant?

An adoption consultant serves as an unbiased resource for the adoptive parents giving them someone who they know they can trust and rely on throughout the process.  As a result of the education a consultant provides, the adoptive parents can approach adoption more knowledgeably,with less stress, and with a reduced likelihood of getting caught up in an adoption scam.  A consultant's contacts of agencies and attorneys help pre-adoptive parents to adopt more quickly and, often, less expensively.

How does an adoption consultant work with the couple and agencies involved?

In my consultancy, we start by having a series of training sessions with each family.  We guide them through their home study, profile creation, and agency applications.  We're in regular contact with all of our agencies and attorneys.  Once the families get activated with the agencies/attorneys, we get involved when there is a potential match opportunity to do a risk assessment for the family.  From there, we're available to them on an ad hoc basis for any support they need throughout the course of their match and placement.

What can parents do if they're concerned about the potential cost?

Most people who want to adopt don't have $40,000 sitting in their bank account, especially after expensive fertility treatments.  So they often cobble together the required funds through a variety of sources -- loans, grants, the adoption tax credit, savings, family contributions, fundraisers, personal cost cutting and extra jobs

Brandon and Heidi (Nicole's Clients/Had huge fundraiser):
Why did you decide to do an adoption fundraiser?

The cost for birth adopt is usually in the 40-50K price range. Typically families do not have that amount of extra funds readily available. We sure didn't. So fundraisers are a must. We chose to do the auction for several reasons. Heidi has worked at a private Christian school for many years and they had annual auctions to raise money, so Heidi had experience organizing an event like this. Also, her dad is an auctioneer! We live in a pro-adoptive community who is very supportive. We knew they would get behind our adoption journey and generously give to and serve at our auction. We invited 600 friends and had roughly 350 in attendance. These friends and families were over generous and we raised over 18K on that one evening!!!

What was the biggest surprise for you?

The biggest surprise was the fact that complete strangers to us heard our story and gave of their finances or items to sell at the auction! Also families who had previously adopted made sure to attend in order to welcome us in the "adoptive family"! Their heart for adoption caused them to generously give to us!
What tips do you have for other potential adoptive parents?
Our greatest tip to potential adoptive parents is: Adoption is hard, but it is WORTH it! Also, we highly recommend using Nicole Witt at The Adoption Consultancy! She stayed with us the entire process and was there to answer any questions that came up. Her aid on our profile book was invaluable and is what caught our birth mother's attention! She was very respectful of our Christian beliefs and used our desires to help her make decisions that were right for our family. Our last advice is to be willing to ride the roller coaster! Have a plan, but keep it flexible. Things will NOT go exactly as you thought they would, but usually that is for the better!!

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