Private domestic adoption is expensive. So is international. Why? Lots of reasons. But we wanted to clarify some frequently asked questions:
I thought adoption was free through the state?
Adopting through the department of social services is free. These are people who adopt out of foster care and/or get licensed through the state to adopt children who have already been removed from families due to cases of abuse or neglect. This is not the same thing as private domestic adoption.
Why not just adopt through the state, then?
Honestly, we need families for both. For example, Shepherd’s birth mother could not take him home from the hospital to raise him. This was for many reasons, but none of them involved abuse or neglect. That said, in order for her to legally place her child for adoption, a ton of legal processes have to happen. And attorney’s cost money. As they should, they are doing important work. DSS (the state) cannot open a case of abuse or neglect against expectant mothers who, for any number of reasons, feels that placement is the best option for her. In these cases, the adoption will incur fees. At the end of the day, with both private adoption and adoption through the state, both are dealing with children who need homes. Some who come from backgrounds of abuse or neglect, and some who don’t. Our familiar, in particular, has felt called to have our family be presented to expectant families who are considering placement as an option.
Are expectant mother’s getting rich off of these adoptions?
No. No. No. You may hear horror stories about individuals (criminals) who claim to be expectant birth mothers wanting to place, and then use loopholes and fraud to collect money from crappy agencies who don’t know how to do their jobs, but this is NOT COMMON. Private adoption expenses include: homestudy licensing fees, family profiles, medical bills and very minimal birth family expenses, and the LARGEST chunk goes to attorneys who process and finalize private adoptions. Do I wish this was regulated and/or cheaper? You betcha.
Shouldn’t you just wait until you’ve saved up money personally?
Maybe. But then we probably wouldn’t be able to have kids until we’re 60. We paid over $10,000 out of pocket for Shepherd’s adoption the year before we also had to save up for about that amount for a down payment on a house. This is where it all gets tricky. We know not everyone will align with our belief system, but we have stepped into adoption prayerfully two times now, and we know that while we have worked our tails off to save up, we simply can’t do it alone. The burden of adoption expenses can feel devastating. Stepping into parenthood with an adoptive child often means stepping into a TON of debt at the same time. Chris has already taken on as much overtime as he can to help fund this adoption, and I work 2 full time jobs from home.
Do agencies give you an itemized list of expenses?
The good ones do. We are confident in our choice in using a very small, local agency. I know many many adoptive families and it became clear to me through comparing expenses that ours has been shockingly low. Our agency with this pending adoption has chosen to partner with a local attorney, and this adoption will NOT involve a second agency. This is why our estimated expenses are about half of what they were with Shepherd.
Lastly, we thank every single person who has chosen to help us fund this. I know that we’re not completely there yet, but without you none of this would be possible. Thank you for your compassion and generosity as we prepare our home for this child.
If you would like to contribute to our adoption, we still need roughly 8-10,000 more. You can donate funds via paypal, our GoFundMe, or by buying a shirt. Links are below!