Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Adoption Costs

I've had a lot of people ask lately about why adoption is so expensive and why the prices vary so much. Here's some basic information on the costs of adoption.

Adoption costs vary on each individual situation, but in most cases there are general ranges that agencies adoption fees fall within. We believe that every child, regardless of ethnicity, is a gift from God.

Agencies have to lower fees on certain children because they are harder to place based on their ethnic background. Typically, couples that are adopting in the US are primarily Caucasian and they request Caucasian children. There are twice as many Caucasian couples trying to adopt as any other ethnicity. Therefore the demand is greater for Caucasian children. There is a great need for couples open to African American or Bi-Racial children. Again, we feel that every child is valuable and a precious gift from God.

Agency Fees- this is a big one and can vary so much depending on if the agency is large or small, profit or non-profit, along with other variable based on individual situations.

Typical agency fees include the following expenses:
• Application fee due upfront, prior to match
• Birth mother’s living expenses (rent, utilities, basic toiletries, maternity clothes, travel expenses, groceries, and basic linens)
• Social service fees (birth mother’s counseling, transporting the birth mother, etc.)
• Birth mother’s medical expenses (this is not required in cases where the birth mother is covered by Medicaid)
• The baby’s medical expenses (consult your health insurance company- many plans cover adopted children from birth) *make sure to acquire your temporary custody order from the agency
• Legal fees
• Administration and advertising fees
• Interstate compact fees
• Finalization fees (in most cases- check with your agency to find out if finalization is included in the agency fee.)
You will receive a written estimate of fees from your agency at time of contract and a complete fee discloser at finalization.

Additional fees to be considered include:
• Travel expenses
You should plan on an approximate stay, in the state, for 7-10 days for the Interstate Compact paperwork to be approved. This will allow you to cross state lines to travel home. The approximate stay may be longer if the child is born over a weekend.
• Home Study fees and post placement fees
Check with your home study agency for a schedule of fees due before and after placement. In most cases, you will need between 1-6 or more post placement visits which are not likely included in your initial home study.
• Finalization (if not included in agency fee)
Make sure to check with the agency, in regards to finalization and post placement visits. You will need to know if they will finalize your adoption, and how many post placement visits are required. If the agency does not finalize for you, you will need to finalize in your home state. Attorney fees for finalization can range from $750 - $3,000.

I encourage anyone who has a heart for adoption to not be put off by the costs, but to really seek the Lord for provision and to ask Him to make a way. His heart is for adoption! There are many grants, loans, tax credits, and fund raising opportunities out there to help off set the cost for you.

If your interested in reading more about how God provided for our adoption CLICK HERE.


Sean The Red said...

Thanks Tracie.

I think this is an important step. Understand WHAT the costs are is the first thing to do.

It is hard to be stuck in the middle of this kind of topic without taking some heat. Im analyzing a lot of this, and thinking through it, but I recognize where the responsibility lies.

A lot of people will have a gut level reaction of shock and offense. I think it is helpful to realize the adoption industry is a very broken, and messed up syatem, that some faithful people are trying to work in until there is better ways to handle this.

I dont want anyone to take issue with your post and think you are the one directing these costs. You are simply reporting.

Fun with Fairchildren said...

Thanks for the info. This is really helpful. You are such a blessing to all of the people you are working with and I feel really safe knowing how much you care about adoption. Seeing you with your adopted daughter and hearing your story was inspiring!!!


sarah true said...

I really appreciate the detailed blog. I passed it on to others in my community. It is a little less overwhelming to see it broken down like that. What truly helped me was your story of adoption. My faith was increased by reading it, and God's faithfulness washed over me. Thank you.