Carrot member spotlight: Eduardo's adoption journey

When Carrot members Eduardo and Tanya met in Brazil, it was love at first sight. They embarked on a whirlwind relationship spanning the UK, Brazil, and Canada before settling in Southern California. After they had their second son, they thought their family was complete. However, a church sermon in July 2020 made them realize that something was missing. Together with their two young sons, Christopher and Leo, the family decided to adopt a baby.

While discussing the idea of adoption, Eduardo realized the perfect solution was right in front of him. As an HR professional at Elastic, he was familiar with his company’s benefits package and knew that he had fertility and family-forming benefits through Carrot.

“When you think about benefits packages, it’s usually the big three: medical, dental, and vision. But at Elastic, we offer a lot: family-forming benefits, mental health benefits, and more,” Eduardo explained. “We conduct a lot of internal campaigns to keep these benefits on top of the mind.”

And Carrot was on the top of Eduardo’s mind at work that Monday. He signed in to his Carrot account and explored his benefit guide to understand how it could support his family’s decision to adopt. Not knowing where to begin, Eduardo scheduled a chat with a Carrot Expert to learn about the adoption process and his options.

Thinking back to the start of their journey, Eduardo and Tanya remember feeling overwhelmed and confused. “Adoption is a whole different world with a lot of different moving pieces. It’s hard to actually understand what’s going on and navigate the process,” Eduardo admitted.

But the couple felt instantly at ease during their initial call with the Carrot Expert. He shared that he not only had professional experience in helping families navigate adoption, but he also had a personal connection: his sister was adopted.

“The Carrot Expert wasn’t judgmental. He made us feel comfortable and shared a few different agency options. He even gave us a list of questions that we should be asking and things we should be thinking about as we selected an agency to work with. It made us feel like we knew what we were doing and that we were on the right track,” Eduardo reflected. After researching the options provided by their Carrot Expert, the couple chose to work with Vista Del Mar. As a Carrot partner, they provide Carrot members with discounted services and other benefits.

Embarking on the adoption process, Eduardo and Tanya described it as an emotional rollercoaster. “It’s a stop-and-run type of thing,” Eduardo said. “It’s a lengthy and emotional process, where you just never know what’s going to happen.” Adopting a child can take anywhere from six months to over a year to finalize.

Beyond the emotional toll, Eduardo and Tanya knew that the financial impact of adoption would be substantial. Private domestic adoption can cost anywhere between $30,000 and $60,000. Fortunately, Eduardo’s Carrot benefit included employer-provided funds to alleviate some of the costs. 

“Submitting my lawyer’s receipts and getting reimbursed was extremely easy and helped us a lot,” Eduardo noted. Tanya echoed, “It helped a lot because adoption is not cheap.” 

With Carrot, Vista Del Mar, and their adoption lawyer by their side, they completed their home study, filled out all the appropriate documentation, and we're finally ready to adopt a baby. Though Eduardo and Tanya wanted to move quickly through the adoption process, it took 18 months before they could bring their son home. Over the waiting period, they were let down by failed adoption attempts, had to navigate suspicious offers from potential birth parents from outside their agency, and answered daily questions from their sons about when they’d become big brothers. But with constant guidance and support from both Vista Del Mar and their lawyer, they waited patiently for the right match.

Their perseverance through the long and unpredictable process paid off when they received the fateful call on Friday. After a frantic trip to Target to pick up essentials, they drove to Las Vegas on Sunday to meet their son. They filled out additional paperwork to cross state lines, and by the following week, their family was complete. Christopher and Leo were finally big brothers.

In a full-circle moment, Bernardo’s adoption was finalized on July 19, 2022 — exactly two years after his parents heard the church sermon that changed their lives.

“Bernardo means the world to our family,” Tanya said. “Without Carrot and their partnership, I don’t think we would have been able to go through this journey and have Bernardo with us.” 

If you’re a Carrot member, sign in to your account to take the next step in your journey.

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