I thought about posting what I wrote in response to the friend of a co-worker who asked for feedback on a facilitator, but it turns out I don't have a copy of the sent email. It essentially went like this:
- I'm glad you're thinking about adopting! It's been an incredible experience for us.
- This is how much we spent on our two adoption processes and what I think is reasonable (she had also asked about costs for domestic adoption in general).
- We personally shied away from facilitators. There are some decent ones out there, but these are my concerns about adoption facilitation.
- I don't know anything about that particular facilitator first-hand. I looked at her firm's website and a number of things they do don't line up with what are currently considered best practices, here's what they are.
- Plug for agency adoption as the best shot at a well-done adoption. Empathetic statement about how hard it is to pick one.
- Offer to talk more. Yay for adoption.
After reading all your comments, I do wish I had been more direct than I was about the lack of respect shown for all parties by that facilitator--not just in the quote I shared, but in the way their whole process is structured. I appreciated Megan's take for the way she connected it to the child being adopted, as I think that's something most prospective adoptive parents will take seriously:
I suppose I would encourage this person to read some books on open adoption and warn him/her that an agency/facilitator who does not speak with respect and dignity towards an expectant mother cannot, by default, truly respect the child. It's a difficult process regardless of how great your agency or facilitator or lawyer is, so you really want to find someone who is not out to degrade your potential child's birth family or DNA. You also want someone who is brutally honest.(Heh. "Brutally honest" is a good description of our most recent social worker. In a good way.)
I did hear back from the friend of the co-worker. She thanked me for my opinions and said she was going to follow up on one of my suggestions, but didn't say much else. I really do wish her well. I'm grateful I'll never be at that place again, trying to figure out the 150,000 options available to adopting parents with no personal experience to guide me. I wonder how many of us would make different choices were we able to start over knowing what we know now.