Cost of Adoption
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Cost of Adoption
We are having an international adoption,and after a 4 yr
wait, have been matched with an older child. After 3 yrs
with no child forthcoming, the agency switched us to another
country. Our fees were paid for the first country and at
first, the director said we'd need to pay $1 K more to
update our paperwork for the new country. The billing has
not reflected this--we are essentially paying agency fees
twice (this doesn't include the amount to be paid to the
country of origin).
Have you or someone you know negotiated with an agency about
fees? Have you felt ''held over a barrel'' with your child
waiting? We have a meeting scheduled with the director, but
would like to hear your advice. Thank you.
Although I have not done international adoption, I have
done a domestic adoption and was really shocked to learn
that not only did I have to pay fees to my California
agency, but also had to pay fees to the out-of-state
agency as well, nearly doubling what we initially thought
we would pay. I never tried to negotiate with either
agency. Of course we knew adoption would be expensive, but
didn't think it would end up totalling quite what it did
(over 50K when all was said and done!).
Best of luck to you!
First, congratulations on your upcoming adoption! We adopted
from Russia in 2004, and it is wonderful to be on the other
I work for our agency now, so just want to disclose that. I
am a parent counselor, helping families who are in the
research phase make a plan, and choose country, agency etc.
So I have a good grasp of all the common programs and how
most ethical agencies structure fees, changing countries
etc. I'd be happy to speak with you (completely
confidentially, no matter who your agency is) and give you
some feedback. I'd need more detail to comment accurately,
but in general,and under most conditions, good agencies will
allow you to switch countries without paying the US agency
fees again. Again, I can't comment accurately unless I have
more detail, but that is the general expectation.
It's probably not a
good idea to quote me to your director:-)
Here's some great research and advice on adoption:
We adopted domestically for both of our sons, and found the
costs in-line with what's in their research. So, I assume the
international fees are similar to what they have listed.
My husband and I have been pursuing adoption for a long time now and still are
stuggling with how to finance the process. As I am older and anxious to get the
process rolling if any of you have suggestions on how to come up with the estimated
$20,000 for a US adoption we would love to hear your ideas.
eager to adopt
Have you considered adopting through your local County? I
adopted my son through Alameda county and it was all in all a
good experience. As you probably know, any adoption can be
stressful - actually any way you have a child can be stressful
and full of worries, but I was very happy with my experience. I
did not pay any fees at all. None! The only out of pocket
expense I had to pay was for my CPR certification, which was
refunded at the end of the adoption. Yes, there are young
healthy infants available. My son was placed with wonderful
foster parents at birth and stayed with them until I was matched
with him and brought him home when he was five months old. He
is now 2.5 years old and is healthy and thriving. I would
definitely adopt through Alamada county again. On another note,
do you know about the adoption tax credit available? It is up
to $10,000 (may be more this year). This is a credit, not a
I wish you a wonderful adoption experience.
If you are willing to adopt an older child, I would suggest you
look into foster care with a transition to adoption. I have
friends in Florida who adopted three boys they original had
acted as foster parents for. I don't know about California,
but Florida offers incentives such as free college tuition if
the boys stay in Florida for college as well as medical care.
My friends did not have the financial resources to pursue
regular adoption, but all their costs were covered by the state
because they were foster parents. Not to mention they provide a
permanent home enviroment to three wonderful boys.
Two comments for the person looking for help funding adoption. I
am sure you know both of these anyway, and I don't know the
details on either...
First, if you are willing to adopt from foster care, the cost can
be substantially reduced. Call the city/county.
Second, there is a tax deduction for adoption expenses. You still
have to front the money, of course, but it might be helpful.
I wish you all the best with your adoption quest. The way we
handled the finances was to adjust our tax withholdings, since
there is a tax credit (I think it's now around $14,000, which we
also set as our adoption budget) for adopting. We set that money
aside to pay for the adoption, and if the adoption hadn't come
through, then we'd pay it out in taxes and start over again. We
also arranged with family to advance us some money if the
adoption came through before we had enough saved up (which it
did!), as we could pay them back with this same money that wasn't
going to taxes. Obviously you might want to consult with a tax
person on all this. I'd also like to say it doesn't have to cost
$20,000. The organizations we worked with had sliding scales
based on income (if you are open to adopting children of color, I
highly recommend Pact in Oakland). And there's always
foster-adopt, where you actually may get PAID to adopt! Good luck
Happy Adoptive Mom
if you adopt through social services, there is no cost. that's
what i did, because i felt like that money should be used for
my future child's sake, not some agency.
i adopted a 9-month old boy, who had been in one foster
home since birth. he was drug-exposed in utero, but has no
problems now from it. he is healthy (except for asthma,
which so many kids have in this area), smart, sweet, usually
happy. he had hypertonia when he was younger (muscle
stiffness), but it went away.
i am such a happy mama now. he is 3, and starting
pre-school. i'm a single parent, and it has been a wonderful
Adoption can be very expensive. I think ours cost us $25,000 total by the time we were finished for a domestic newborn adoption. The only way we were able to afford is was to accept a generous gift of $10,000 from my in-laws and another generous $10,000 from my husband's grandmother. Financial gifts of $10,000 or less do not have to be reported on taxes if I understand correctly. I know it is so hard to afford, and is a big reason why we didn't adopt a second. By the way, if you are Jewish, the Hebrew Free Loan Association (I think that's the name) has interest-free loans. Best of luck to you!
one child adoptive family
I am a new mom of an adopted 2 y.o. from an international
adoption. We were approved for 2 children but accepted 1 to see
how things would go. We have been having a great time ,after
getting settled and now are thinking about adopting a second.
We are still paying for the first adoption but would like to
proceed with a second since we are still under approval.
Does anyone have any creative suggestions on how to raise
the money for a second child? We already know about the tax
Now we are looking for the up front money. If anyone has any
great solutions or can refer me to a good book or web site that
perhaps I haven't found that would be great.
Thanks for your help.
If you own a house, then a home equity loan or line of credit is
a possiblity. I don't think there are any restrictions on what
you can spend the money on, and (as far as I'm aware), you get to
deduct the interest because the loan is secured with your home.
Rates are very low right now and there are some good deals on
no-point no-cost lines of credit.
Try the Hebrew Fee Loan Association in San Francisco. I'm not sure how to
locate it. But you might look in the Jewish Bulletin or it might be part of
the Jewish Federation of San Francisco. I know they have given loans to
first time adoptive parents to complete an adoption, so why not a second.
Lita, an adoptive parent.
I think Hebrew Free Loan (in S.F.) had a program to loan money -
interest free - to Jewish families wanting to adopt. good luck
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