Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Phone Meeting with Adoption Network Law Center

I know that we've pretty much decided to go with Adopthelp, but my husband and I set up a meeting with ANLC which took place this morning. We still think we're going to use Adopthelp, but I thought I'd discuss both companies..Should be helpful for others considering these two law firms.
Today during our meeting I learned a few things about ANLC...First of all, I brought up the negative comments that I came across during research (failed adoption concerns, lack in communication after being matched, and costs). I completely understand the fact that this law center does 300 adoptions a year and with those kinds of numbers, there are going to be people that are never going to be satisfied. I'm complete a people pleaser and even I've ran into that problem in my business. Sometimes, even if you bend over backwards, there is absolutely nothing that you can do. Don't be mistaken, ANLC did not give me this as an excuse; I was actually the one that mentioned it. What impressed me is that they were completely aware of the comments and are currently working on resolving those issues. I was somewhat taken aback by this, because I thought that maybe I would take them completely off guard by bringing up this situation. ANLC has actually come under new management since a lot of those complaints were made and they have been striving to better their company. As for the failed adoptions, many people were complaining about having to pay more or not recieving a refund. I have to admitt, I'm not concerned about the refund, because if we do experience a failed adoption, I will try again until I have a baby! They did explain to me that the only extra fees that adoptive parents will be responsible for on the second go around would be birthmother expenses. This is actually understable, because it is a fee that is consumed and the money just can't be given back. Aother common complaint was communication issues. ANLC explained to me that they use to have a seperate adoption counselor for the birthmother and the adoptive parents. The breakdown in communtication came because the birthmother counselor was disconnected from adoptive parent counselor. They have now changed this policy and now the same person is in charge of both the birthmother and the adoptive parents. Communication is now a lot smoother. Last concern....Pricing. They require a few fees. The first payment is for mainly advertisement and goes to ANLC to begin the process and that fee is $14,500. There is a phase two fee that goes to the law firm for matching expenses which is $9,800. The other fees involved include birthmother fees (around $5,000), lawyer fees (around $10,000), and the homestudy (preformed by another company; around $1000). So that makes the grand total just under $41,000. EXPENSIVE! I aksed about any other hidden cost or anything else that we can possible pay for and Kelly with ANLC told me that the only possible cost is travel expenses.
I know that I haven't had a formal meeting with Adopthelp, but the reasons that I've pretty made decision with them is quite substantial. During my initial conversation with Adopthelp, they did tell me that cost are going to be between $25,000-$30,000 and that includes everything. Also, they mentioned that their success rate is 92%. Although ANLC has a high success rate, it is 89% to 90%...Not much lower, but lower. And even though, I understand about the negative comments with ANLC, Adopthelp has SOOOO many postive comments! When people are upset they will tell the world, when people are happy they will say nothing, but when people are blown away they will post positively. It wasn't exactly what people saying about ANLC that made the difference, but it was what people were not saying that swayed me.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Announcing Our Law Center

After a TON of research and disappointment we've finally decided on a company that we want to take care of our adoption. Drum roll, please.....The winner is Adoptionhelp Law Center!
I couldn't feel better about our choice. Every review that I've found is glowing, they have an A+ rating with the BBB, and their adoption success rate is 92%. They are a national adoption law firm based in California, so they work with birthmothers from many different states (meaning relatively fast match time). Their fees are in between $25,000 and $30,000 and that includes EVERYTHING, even the homestudy.
I'm so glad that we have finally gotten over this hurtle. Now its time to move on to the fundraiser phase. We have decided to put together a family garage sale, a small banquet fundraiser in Belton, and a larger elaborate fundraiser in Austin. We also have thought about a fund raising poker tournament and a Chick-Fil-A fundraiser. We'll see how everything goes!