Why does it cost so much to adopt?
I've always thought money should be talked about openly. Maybe it's because I've never had any and it seemed only fair to openly discuss how much my boss was making and everyone down the rungs. Keeps people honest.
Naturally, there's a lot of curiosity around the adoption process. And now that we have a window into it I'd be happy to share what it costs and where the money goes. For better or worse. Note: this is one agency and other agencies and other programs cost differently.
Today we sent out a check for $6200. Split pretty evenly, it covers the cost of the social worker to inspect our home in a couple of weeks, the first adoption agency fee, and 3-post placement social worker reports.
- The social worker spends time discussing the reality of bringing home a child into our lives. What will we do when he is sick? Who takes off work? What day care is available in the area? Do you have a dependable car and license? Then she worries about safety. Are the dogs safely secured? Will there be a fence to protect Junior from toddling off into the river? Do you have fire extinguishers and fire alarms? Is your water safe to drink from the well?
- The adoption agency employs several people in charge of several international and domestic programs. They are like attorneys or real estate agents who know how the system works and how to move paperwork smoothly with the fewest hang ups. I am SO glad I don't have to learn this process on my own.
- After the child is adopted there are 7 post-placement reports. A social worker comes to check up on us and the child at home and discusses how things are going. Is the child safe? What problems have we encountered. She will help us resolve any of these problems. There are 3 visits within the first year, then once a year until he is 5 years old.
It strikes me that all people having babies ought to go through this process. We have already been to a two-day adoption seminar ($300) that educated us on common problems with adopted children - from identity issues, to whether we should keep the child's Ugandan name, to understanding our own expectations of this child.
The next chunk of change is due in a month for about $8-9000. SEND IN ORDERS FOR MORE PET PORTRAITS! This one will be a struggle.
Granted, our adoption is moving faster than most folks' because our baby is an infant. $3000 goes to the adoption agency to process our U.S. immigration paperwork. $5000 goes to pay for the orphanage to raise our child for 6 months until we bring him home. It seems to be a good orphanage. I'll tell you more about it later. Other fees go direct to the U.S. immigration folks...I'm not quite sure yet.