Monday, July 19, 2010

Question #3 Why does adoption cost so much?

Adoption costs can range from $0 to $40,000. The least expensive way to adopt is through the child welfare system, which is free except for the cost of your medical exams. Private domestic adoptions can range from $8,000 to $30,000, and international adoptions range from $10,000 to $40,000, Russia being one of the most expensive countries to adopt from.

There have been a lot of talks lately in the adoption community about reforms that are necessary to ensure that deserving orphaned children get families while loving families are not torn apart to fuel the adoption industry. Some have suggested taking money out of the equation altogether by mandating, say, a $5,000 cap per adoption. This seems like a pretty good idea to me not only because it would be so much more affordable for people who want to adopt, but it would ensure that only children who really need to be adopted are being placed for adoption. These are all points for another post, however, so back to the costs of adoption:

Ukraine adoption costs between $20,000-$25,000.

The general cost breakdown:

$2000 homestudy..(required for both domestic and international adoptions). This is where a social worker makes 3 trips to your house, interviews each member of the family, inspects your home for safety, reviews your medical exam, checks references, looks at your community resources, etc, etc, and decided whether you are mentally and physically prepared to care for the kind of child or children you are wanting to adopt. She then types up a 20 page report detailing every significant event in your life that led you to your decision to adopt.

$1000 I-600a and fingerprinting. This is required for international adoption only. It ensures that adoptive parents do not have a criminal background, and also requests that an alien orphan child become a US citizen through adoption.

$5000 airline tickets (would be more obviously if you adopt more than one child or take other children on your trip with you).

$8500 facilitation fee for first child plus $2,000 for each additional child....This is what we paid towards the people who handled all the adoption paperwork in Ukraine. It really seems like a lot of money but when you consider how many people are working for you it makes sense. These people did a lot of work weeks before as well as for the entire month we were in the country, driving all over the country collecting documents, birth certificates, translating, setting up appointments, making phone calls, driving us everywhere, etc etc. This fee also includes a donation which is made to the orphanage.

$4000 rooming and food (80/nt, 20/food/day) for 2 1/2 weeks then 3 weeks in country
$2000 transportation- in country, trains, taxi, etc.
$600 visa and medical

For more information on adoption cost comparison click here.

One thing I want to add, there are grant opportunities available, special low interest loans, etc. Some companies help with adoption costs, and don't forget the tax credit. So although adoption can be expensive, it is still do-able, even for average people like us!


Shelly said...

I knew i could depend on you to give me some facts! I don't know if i had ever told you but back about 6 years ago i was working with DHS for an adoption. I had told them up front that i wanted to adopt a girl. They did all the homestudies, we all had our medical exams, all paperwork completed and even had vet checks for all my animals. We get to a point where they start to show me photos and listing of children, and i explained once again that i wanted a daughter. They in turn tell me that i would have to get a bigger house to provide her with her own space. Which at the time i was living in Tulsa in a two bedroom house, but i just wondered why they didn't tell me this ahead of time. So i worked frantically to not only find a bigger home but to get my children into a better school district. I found my house i am in now, four bedrooms two bath in Owasso. And the whole time i am thinking of this adoption, well there was some mix up on my deed to the new home so i had to wait for my house for like 4 months! So needless to say by the time i moved in and settled, i went to speak with my caseworker and she told me that i would have to start all over!! It had been a little over a year, is that normal? She informed me that i had passed the time frame. I felt like she had just ripped my heart out!!
So now here we are 5 years later, i never went back to do it again. And i feel like i got the run around, so that's why i asked this question i thought maybe if i paid for an adoption it would be smoother but really one sounds just as lengthy as the other.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to answer this question! And as always: Praying for Joseph and Zoya to make it home safe!! :)

Anonymous said...

This is something I never knew either. Thank you for sharing this with us. I know your blogs must be hard to keep up with all of the activities going on. I know I appreciate and love them and hope they keep coming to keep us informed about the family and the newbies.. I love all the photos.
Love you all,
Aunt Sharon