How is Adoption For My Child different from the other adoption professionals?
A year before my husband and I found AFMC, we were using a well-known adoption facilitator. It started off really well, we had a consultation with their director. He was similar to a used car salesman. He told us everything we wanted to hear!! The company sent over a contract, and without really looking it over, we eagerly signed it! In the moment, we were excited, and thought it’s just normal. There was a lot of “fine print” items we should have read. I highly suggest having an honest family or friend read it over. They will see things; you may look over. After sending a check (close to 20K), for their services, we were put in contact with the profile coordinator. She had both of us fill out information about ourselves, our family, our town, etc. … when we returned our information, she reached out asking (RED FLAG 1) if I would go by my middle name or change the spelling of my name? Why would she ask/suggest I do such a thing!?! She claimed it would protect us from the birth mom finding us after 10 years. We were told we’d be having monthly calls, so we’d find out how often our profile was shown and reviewed. These calls were very quick, and always seemed to be rushed. If we asked a question, there was never an answer. It would be “let me check, and I’ll get back to you two.” When we were first “matched” with a potential expectant mother, she told us that she didn’t choose us, she was told we were the ones that would be “a perfect fit”. (RED FLAG 2) We were told the EM chose the family. This situation fell through. Second “matched” EM experience … she was homeless and needed a place to live. (RED FLAG 3) The coordinator from the company told her “Go find a homeless shelter.” That situation also fell through. Third/Fourth EM experience … it was the same woman! (RED FLAG 4) We spoke to her for a couple weeks. Her name was so unusual, I found her social media. She was mocking the fact of not being pregnant, and how she was fooling families! We backed out. Within 24 hours, we were told a new EM had chosen us. Within a day, she was discussing information about us, that I hadn’t revealed. I quickly knew it was the same girl!! Why didn’t the company vet this girl? How did they not see it was the same IP address? We informed the company, and they wouldn’t respond via email (RED FLAG 5) … they would only speak to us on the phone.
After 5 failed matches/scams
I knew this facilitating company was not for our family. We have strong values and morals, and their actions were far off, from what they claim how they operate. About 9 months into our adoption process, I started looking at other companies. I watched how they operated. I interviewed with a few companies. I asked a lot of questions. I wanted to ensure we would not use a company, similar to the first company! After a few weeks of realizing majority of these facilitators/agencies all ran their companies in a similar fashion … there was one company that stood out, and in a very positive way! I was so hopeful with AFMC! I narrowed my selection down to ONLY them! The company was so transparent with every situation that was posted. They gave an estimated cost (and break down). If the EM is working with an agency. What the EM is hoping for in a family. If the EM is hoping for an open, semi-open, or closed adoption … So, you can decide if the adoption situation would work for your family.
We signed up with AFMC for 6 months. We immediately had amazing correspondence with Amy. She would answer ALL our questions and didn’t ever rush us. She is an open book and has a high competence for the adoption process. She knew exactly all the emotions we were feeling, and completely comforted us. We knew she ran her business, with high morals and standards. She has a passion for adoption and is there to help everyone. When we presented our profile, she told us how to enhance our information. She was very savvy with her knowledge. I can’t reiterate enough how authentic Amy is. The way AFMC differs from all other agencies/facilitators is how they operate the adoption process. They allow the EM and potential adoptive parents decide whether the situation will be best for their needs/wants. It’s not like others, where the facilitators choose, and don’t really give other options. Yet, agencies/facilitators claim the EM has full control over the families they’d like to place their child with. After our profile was complete, we were able to submit our profile, to any situation, that seemed like a perfect fit for our family. AFMC was honest and would tell us if the EM wanted a family without any other children or hoping for the family to be close to her. They never denied us to submit for a situation, but would gently remind us our family wasn’t what the EM was hoping for. Within the first month, we were MATCHED!! There wasn’t any doubt or questioning about the EM … Obviously, we knew the EM could choose to parent, but we knew AFMC did their part by letting us control our adoption and the EM control the family she wanted.
What we wish we would have known before our adoption process.
Speak to several agencies/facilitators. Ask questions about their company. Ask for referrals.
Have someone close, but not fully invested in your adoption to read over any contracts.
Take notes on EVERYTHING!! Keep a file just for your adoption process.
Keep calls to a minimum. Use email, so you always have a paper trail!
Work with a company and attorney who has similar morals and values as your family.
Do not fake it, to make it!
Be true to your EM. You never want to start a relationship on a lie or false hope. You want their story of you to be wonderful and not hurtful.
*Remember your future child may one day hear the EM’s side of their adoption story!
This is a HUGE step to expand your family. Don’t lose hope!
Good luck and God Bless!!
B&D – Twin Girls