This guest post is by Paige Knipfer, an adoptive mother and adoption consultant.
I’ve been extremely passionate about adoption since we adopted our daughter years ago. I started to write articles and went through political training to advocate for improvements.
I felt I wasn’t making a dent or doing enough. If you ask anyone what I would do if I won the lottery they would tell you it would be to open a women’s center that provides correct information on ALL options, an adoption agency that provides REAL UNBIASED legal/counselling/post care with low cost fees, and a foundation to help those in financial need to parent or to adopt.
Once again I’m writing an article to help those waiting to adopt push for a better process.
I implore hopeful adoptive parents to push for ethics and to ask questions. You hold the power to make sure your adoption is ethical. Ask and verify that an expecting mom is getting unbiased legal counsel.
Ask and verify that she is getting unbiased counseling and post-adoption counseling. Ask who she is working with and get real examples of post support they offer. Do your research and due diligence before working with anyone in this sector.
If you are seeking adoption independently it is your duty to provide unbiased counselling, post care, and legal guidance along with expecting mom expenses.
Some red flags to look for (they may not always indicate an unethical place but are worth pointing out):
- They cannot provide detailed cost breakdown of fees
- They have race-based pricing
- They encourage closed adoption and will not allow direct contact.
- They select you for the expecting mom
- They may have had legal action taken against them (check reviews online)
- They offer vague answers or big promises
- They do not speak respectfully or highly of birth/expecting moms
Some other possible red flags are that staff don’t have personal experience with adoption or they only advocate for the hopeful adoptive parents. Bigger agencies should have a case manager for the expecting mom and a different case manager for the hopeful parents.
Since I haven’t won the lottery, I’ve started an adoption consulting company instead. It’s my way to improve on things and tap into my passion.
I want to help others learn things I wish I would have known when I first started the adoption process. I want to educate others on how they can advocate for better ethics in this industry. I want to be honest.
I want to include all parts of the adoption triad (the adoptee, the birth family, and the adoptive family) because we only harm ourselves and our adopted children by ignoring other voices in the triad. Never stop educating yourself on adoption and I implore you to LISTEN to adoptees and birth parents.
I hate hearing about families who have been waiting for years or about the scams couples have gone experienced. There are risks to adopting through both an agency and independently.
Originally when I started the adoption process I wasn’t a fan of consultants. I thought of them as another unnecessary cost to the process—as just another group of people trying to make money off hopeful adoptive families, and some consultants might be like that.
But I’ve learned so much the past couple of years and look forward to sharing my knowledge.
Paige Knipfer is an adoptive mom of two and an avid traveler (Semester at Sea alumni) who loves to share her adoption experiences. Learn more at Love Grown Adoption Consulting.
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