I have now talked to 3 of the references for this facilitator we are thinking of using. I've been trying to come up with a reason not to use her. I didn't really find one.
What T and I are truly worried about is not that this facilitator is good or thorough or ethical. I am certain about all of these things. Our concern surrounds birth parents. I want to be completely 100% sure that the birth parents get all the support and counseling they will need when all of this happens. If you work with a full service agency, the birth parents work with the same people throughout the whole process and things are slightly more stable. There is a specific process that the agency has done time and again.
With a facilitator, the birth parents rely on the facilitator for support. At a certain point, after the match is made the facilitator drops back and transitions us to an agency (or attorney, I suppose). What scares me is this transition. It may take some extra effort on our end do make sure the birth parents have the support they need at this point. I talked to one family that hired a local social worker to work with their birth mom to ensure proper support. This social worker knew the are and knew the hospital, and it really helped things to go smoothly.
The people I spoke to all had multiple children - two had multiple children via adoption. Not all children had been found via this facilitator. And every child's story is so different. There were complications even when they used a full service agency.
I've determined from talking to these people that no matter what, adoption is a crap shoot. You just never know how the situation is going to play out. You cannot predict. If I have an idea of how I think this is going to go, I have to get that out of my mind. And if a facilitator makes the match happen slightly more quickly, but forces us to do a little more work, the first time is the time to do it.
So, the conclusion that we have come to is that we are probably going to use this facilitator. It is a big commitment of money, but we're not sure what else to do. It has been three years since my first pregnancy. People are starting to have their second child since we have been battling infertility. It is time for this to end for us. I do think using this facilitator is a bit of a risk. But I have not been convinced that this is a risk we should not take.
Does anyone want to try to convince me not to do it?