Whether you are an expectant parent or hopeful adoptive parent, choosing adoption is a big decision. You have a lot to consider before starting the adoption process and will need someone to support and guide you through the ups and downs.
The support of friends and family members can have a huge impact on your adoption experience. Also important is the help of an adoption specialist.
Adoption specialists serve many purposes and fill many roles. They are educators, counselors and advocates for prospective birth parents and adoptive families. Their services include (but are not limited to):
For Birth Families:
- advising the birth parents about the emotional experience they will have, from finding a family to their hospital stay
- responding to the birth parents’ questions throughout the process
- educating birth parents on what it means to choose adoption
- providing financial and emotional support as needed
- helping them through each step of the process, from creating an adoption plan to choosing a family and forming a hospital plan
For Adoptive Families:
- answering all questions from the adoptive family
- guiding families through each step in their journey to growing their family
- mediating communication between the adoptive family and prospective birth parents
- providing advice about the financial aspects of adoption
- preparing families for when they get “the call”
Along with their official roles, an adoption specialist also plays the role of “friend”. The adoption process can be overwhelming and confusing at times. An adoption specialist can steer you in the right direction, ensure all your needs are being met, and provide reassurance along the way. They are a confidante and a cheerleader.
And most adoption specialists would probably say this is their favorite role to play — one they are privileged have.