Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why Does Adoption Cost So Much?

One of the common questions we have been asked is "What is your adoption costing?"  I've never broken it down in the nitty-gritty detail.  But lets.

  • Homestudy $1500.00
  • Case Management Services to Placement Agency  $9500.00
  • Services of Foreign Country Agency $4000.00
  • US Customs and Immigration Service $890.00
  • Airline tickets for Trip #1 $2104.00
  • Postage for documents domestic and international $422.78
  • Notary and Apostille for Documents $155.00
  • US Doctor's Review of Referral Documents $550.00
  • Lodging and Food Trip #1 $1039.21
Total: $20160.99

***This total is before Trip #2, but lets guess that Trip #2 will cost as much as Trip #1.  Therefore, the estimate for the final total is $23304.20.

Are you surprised?  Too high?  Too low?

Well, the second question occasionally asked is..."Why does adoption cost so much?" 

Well, it is a legal process that we hope will be safe for us and our child.  During the process, we, or our agency operating on our behalf, work with many different entities: our county government, our state government, the US State department, US immigration, the Bulgarian government, notaries, medical personnel, social workers, lawyers, etc.   We have been engaged in the process for over a year and in that year many people have spent time preparing what is essentially a legal proceeding.  The last thing that we would want to be involved with is human trafficking, or to have our adoption be determined to be null and void.  So everyone involved has a part to play to be sure that our child is indeed an orphan, eligible to be adopted, and that we are safe people to become her parents.  As a society we really shouldn't want it any other way.

And the third question..."How are you affording it?"

(I don't consider this to be a nosy question.  I hope when it is asked it is because the wheels are turning on how someone else can adopt.)

Fortunately, no one asked us for one big check for $25,000.00.  Instead, the money is paid in smaller amounts over the course of the process, which for us has been over a year now.  We had $10,000.00 in savings that we used first.  For the second $10,000 we decided to open a personal line of credit in December.   We will make payments on that until it is paid back and the interest rate is lower than credit cards.  And then we just have a little bit left to cover;  through some fundraising, and then maybe over a credit card billing cycle or two and we will be done! 

And the final question, usually more pointed..."Oh, my, debt?!"

Yeah, so we are in debt.  But lets reflect for a moment.  I've been in debt before.  for college.  for cars.  for house renovations. for the house itself.  Sure mortgages are common, the cars were used, education is worthwhile, and renovations sometimes have to happen, but yikes, debt sounds bad.  Not something you just want to have laying around, I agree.  
'And for something like an adoption.'  'If fertility isn't an issue, why spend that much money?' 'That seems like too much...too frivolous...too radical.'  
Well, you can see our reasons  and then perhaps reach the same conclusion we did...of all the things we could go into debt for, this is the most worthiest of reasons.

My friends, adoption is redemption. It’s costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him.  ~adoptive father, Derek Loux