How Erin Quick is Revolutionizing the Adoption System


June 2nd, 2022

20 mins 37 secs

Your Host

About this Episode

This month we have Erin Quick- CEO & Co-Founder of PairTree. She is the face of the adoption industry with her mission to disrupt the adoption system.

*I would love for you to go way back and tell us, what was your big dream when you were growing up? What did you think you were going to be? *

“I was convinced I was going to be an interior designer”, Erin replies. Erin says that she has always been left and right-brained. She loves the patterns, colors, and space, putting all of those elements together, and getting creative. She says when she got to college she learned that there were so many options that she didn’t even know existed.

Tell us about your career trajectory and how you ended up founding a company that's main focus is adoption.

Erin says she went to college and ended up dropping out her sophomore year and starting work in Seattle. She says, by luck, she ended up working in a marketing department and filling in for a co-worker while she was on maternity leave and ended up falling in love with marketing.

With intentions of going back to school, she got recruited into an ad agency and then got advice that she needed to go into brand strategy. She then got a job in brand strategy in San Francisco and later on moved to New York. She was there for about seven to eight years and then decided to move back to Seattle. There, no one was doing brand strategy the way she had been taught.

She then found a guy who knew everything about brand strategy and they founded a brand strategy firm in Seattle together and ran it all the way through 2019 when she then sold it to focus on PairTree.

What is the whole concept of PairTree? What is it and how did you get into it?

“The reason I got into it was because I went through it twice”, Erin says. She says one out of eight adults today are diagnosed with infertility and she tried everything to get pregnant. After spending three years trying and spending a fortune trying, and after her third miscarriage she and her husband decided to try the adoption route.

They thought that this route was going to be easier but then they realized it was three times as expensive, and took two years. They were in a lucky position and heard that you don’t have to use the conventional method to adopt and you can do it on your own. Expenses went down and so did the timeline.

They took full control and hired a social worker, a lawyer, and started to look for an expecting mom. Within weeks they met with a woman from Michigan and sooner or later her son was born and they flew back and picked him up. Three years later they did it again.

After going through it twice and having such great experiences, people started reaching out to them. They started helping other families in their spare time to teach them how to do what they did. She started looking into the industry and the market. With her brand background, she knew there was an opportunity for technology to make this industry more efficient and enjoyable. That was the seed for PairTree and the launching the first platform that has all the services a family would need for domestic private adoption.

What are the milestones in the adoption process and the services that PairTree offers?

  1. Connecting people to a licensed social worker

  2. Matching- like online dating with the main focus on personality matching

  3. Legal- PairTree has curated a network with the best adoption attorneys in the U.S.

  4. Support- most adoptive families concentrate on going through milestone three but, really after that is when it gets really hard. These families need a ton of support afterward so PairTree is launching this fourth milestone to help these families after the adoption process.

What is happening in the world right now such as Rode v.s. Wade, going to change the adoption industry?

Erin says, “It will for sure change the adoption industry”. She says if women now have three choices and it gets narrowed down to just two then the adoption industry is going to expect a big change. She says they are doing everything they can to make sure that the adoption process is easy for those women who are going to have limited choices now.

In your ideal world, what would this whole adoption process be like and some of the key aspects would you change?

Erin says, “well we are changing them!”. She also says mainly access, because the cost is so high not everyone has the option to adopt, some families go into debt trying to afford adoption. Also, the adoption system is primarily faith-based, so families can pick and choose who they want, and sadly a lot of LGBTQ+ families, single-parent families, and older families, arent allowed to participate in the process. Erin and PairTree and trying to overcome these challenges.