Chris recently wrote a post on his blog Walks in the Marsh about baseball being a business. As much as we fans love to think it's America's Game or just a game or our favorite game...it is a business and it's not only about winning, but it's about money.
As I'm sadly discovering - it's much the same with adoption. As much as we want to be excited and thrilled and overjoyed and all gooey and mushy by the prospect of increasing our family to Plus One and to hope that the people who are going to work with us through this process will feel the same way - ultimately, to them it is a business.
One of my colleagues mentioned this to me in one of my very first conversations about adoption (conversations with someone other than Chris...) She says, "I didn't go the adoption route to make lifelong friends with the adoption people and don't think that you will either. For them this is a business. You can't ever forget that."
And after yesterday...I see exactly what she means.
Chris and I had a phone conference with a law center that specializes in adoptive services. The conversation, while certainly pleasant enough, really drove home the fact that this is a business.
The consultant on the other end of the line was extremely pleasant, but also very business like in explaining all of the ins and outs and fees and processes associated with working with her company. We were referred to as "the clients" throughout the process and she made it perfectly clear that we are the priority in this process - not the birth mother. She talked about aggressive marketing and creation of profile web pages and being able to work in all fifty states because the center is not a non-profit and thus not limited by the same legal/financial restraints placed on non-profits. She mentioned that her center finalized 300 adoptions last year, compared to most non-profit agencies that can do maybe 15-30 adoptions in the same span of time. The fee "phases" were described in detail (and amazingly neither Chris nor I passed out at the amounts presented to us...)
It was a bit disconcerting.
If we choose to work with this law center, I have no doubt that they will be very efficient and we will become Plus One in short order. The consultant assured us that the average wait time is less than 8 months and if we opt for a child of any race that we could have our Little One in as little as 2-4 months.
And I'm confident that everything will be legal and very above board. There was much in the discussion about the legal packet they will prepare to make sure that we are in compliance with all of the adoption laws in both our home state and the state in which the adoption will take place.
And I'm absolutely certain that these folks will very happily take the large amounts of money from us that it apparently costs to add an infant to our family. ($5,800 if we want to specify gender!)
It feels kind of yucky to think about it that way, but for us to move forward with any kind of success I realize now that I'm going to have to adjust my thinking and just deal with it.
It is what it is...and what it is is a business.