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Old 07-30-2008, 09:53 PM   #1
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Some adoption questions for a newbe

Hi ladies,
Well my DH and I have been talking and we are really thinking about adopting our next baby. So I have a few questions.
First, where do I start? How do I find an agency?
Second what is the general costs? I know they are pricey so how much would we need to start the process?
Also what does everyone recommend, int'l or domestic adoptions?
TIA, and sorry if these questions have been asked to death.


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Old 07-30-2008, 10:02 PM   #2
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Re: Some adoption questions for a newbe

Check out your state's adoption agencies online. Check out prices from some of them and then look online for a couple international agencies and check out prices and services from them. For us it came down to money and what we felt about the people who worked at the agencies. We did domestic because the possibility of cheaper was there.

Don't automatically go for the largest or most "popular" adopt. agencies. Many times their waiting list is 18 mo to 2 years. It may be better to go with an attorney who can focus on you a bit (for domestic.) Smaller agencies can give you the personal attention you are going to want (and eventually, you will want it!)

That's all I have. Be ready for a roller coaster but one that is worth it in the end. Laid laid back.

Prices range but it's pretty expensive. We got a good adoption line of credit to use. Aaaah, debt. The adoption of DS cost us around $18,000 (travel, agency fees, attny fees included) but we didn't have to stay in a hotel room where we went. We think our second will be around $10,000 as we are using the same attny and she's cutting us a deal. But, that's a all honesty. I'd say have about $5 grand to start and that will get you going.
Married to a great man, Momma to Z (10/07) and L (8/08) We adopted both the day they were born domestically. We are potty learned!!!
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:37 PM   #3
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Re: Some adoption questions for a newbe

Thank you soooooooo much!!!!
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:52 AM   #4
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Re: Some adoption questions for a newbe

I'd say $5000 is a good number to start DH and I are just starting an international adoption, and we actually chose a bigger agency b/c we really liked all the humanitarian work they are able to do b/c they are a bigger agency. But, in spite of their size, we have still gotten GREAT communication from them. They answer all our calls the same day, and have been super helpful so far. The total estimated cost at this point is around $20,000 (we're adopting from Colombia), but we have family in Colombia that we can stay with, so that reduces our cost a little bit.

Also, the adoption loan (there are tons of foundations that offer this, some even are interest free) is going to be our life-saver...we don't have any other debt, so we calculated the monthly payment we can live with, and then when we get tax-refund from the adoption credit or any other large cash (Christmas bonus, etc.), we'll try to pay off more at that time.

Good luck in starting out...I also joined the adoption agency research group on Yahoo once we settled on international adoption. And then I called, called, called agencies and all the references they offered me. (I probably spent a good 4 months or so researching agencies during every nap time our DD took!)
Wife to the man of my dreams since 5/03 and mama to our beautiful DDs, Aliana 9/07, Avalon 2/09, & Kylah 7/10!
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:22 AM   #5
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Re: Some adoption questions for a newbe

on cost...
"Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody is watching"
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:53 PM   #6
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Re: Some adoption questions for a newbe

Research research research!

No one can tell you which is better: domestic v. international, foster v. private. Those are questions you have to answer yourself. There are, according to the book Adopting in America, by Randall Hicks, 12 different types of adoption.
Read BOOKS. Some ideas:
Is Adoption for Me? by Christine Adamec
Even if you KNOW you're going to adopt (like we did) this book has some great discussion questions, and tries to help you choose which type of adoption is for you.
Other authors to check out: Colleen Alexander-Roberts, Lois Melina,

Once you've chosen the type of adoption, you can decide if you need an agency or if you can use a lawyer or facilitator. In general, agencies offer the most support and are regulated, while facilitators aren't and don't provide much other than a match. Facilitators generally take less time between home study and match, but time isn't the most important thing.

Adoptive Families magazine is a GREAT resource! They've done surveys on cost, timing, and just about everything else regarding adoption. They have a web site.

As for cost, foster adoption is free most of the time, but can cost up to $5000. (Foster/adopt also comes with a higher emotional toll, IMO.) Domestic private adoption can be anywhere from $10K to $40K. The $40k is if you have failed adoptions and aren't able to recoup expenses. Most adoptions, whether international or private domestic, are about $20K.

DO NOT choose an agency that makes you pay most of the money upfront. Ideally, you'd pay a few hundred dollars in application fees, then pay for your home study (plan about $1K-$2K for that), expectant mother expenses (which your agency should work with you on, in terms of making a budget), and then nothing until the child is legally yours. We made the mistake of paying upfront, and then our "agency" basically left us high and dry.

I have some info on my web site:
rmcsquared . net / adopt . html

Other things to think about:
Are you open to different races?
Do you want a newborn, a toddler, or an older child?
What special needs or medical conditions, if any, are you willing to accept?

The forums at are a nice place too.

I hope this helps! I know it's overwhelming. To give you an idea... I always knew I was going to adopt. I never wanted/want to have bio kids. I was set on Russia for the longest time, but I have a health condition that made travel there risky. So, we looked at escorting countries, and looked at Ethiopia. Then DH said, "If we're going to adopt a black baby, can't we do that here?" And we could, so we did. I read for about 1-1/2 years, finally signing with our "agency" in May 2005. We were matched in October, and Jack was born in January.

I hope this helps!
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:22 PM   #7
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Re: Some adoption questions for a newbe

We just received a referral for a 9 week old baby from Ethiopia. The fees will cost between $15,000-20,000 including travel. We waited for 3 months after our paperwork was turned in. We will travel in November(Hopefully). You should definitely research all your options. There is no right way
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