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Old 07-03-2008, 11:16 AM   #1
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so how much does it cost really??

I have always wanted to adopt. And before we had our baby boy my hubby was totally game. Now we are financially frugal so i can be home. I still love the idea, but hubby seems to think the cost is too much when we could make one "for free." (HA! Are they ever free??!) I still want to adopt one day. So how much does it cost really mamas??

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Old 07-03-2008, 11:21 AM   #2
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Re: so how much does it cost really??

I wanted more kiddos but Dh got fixed...I hope one day he'll be game for some more though and we can adopt too...this is a super good question!!!
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:58 AM   #3
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Re: so how much does it cost really??

it can cost between 15,000 and 30,000 for US adoptions..possibly more if you are paying for mother's medical care, rent, clothes, food etc....of course it gets even more expensive when you are looking out of the country. You can adopt out of the foster care system for free....babies aren't too readily available though
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:22 PM   #4
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Re: so how much does it cost really??

how do you do the foster care system? is it like being a foster parent?
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:04 PM   #5
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Re: so how much does it cost really??

You can do foster to adopt, which is adopting children in foster care, whose parents rights have been terminated. The challenge is that often their are sibling groups that should be placed together, and there is a degree of risk because children can suddenly go to family who seem to appear out of no where. there also questions of what degree of special needs you want to deal with. But these are children who are in desperate need of "forever families" who can love and care for them, and the cost is very minimal. Your Department of Human Services or Family Services agency should have more information for you.
Hope that was somewhat helpful.
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:16 PM   #6
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Re: so how much does it cost really??

you can contact your local childrens and family services. They should be able to get you the info you are looking for. Basically though you go though a class and get the testing,/home study done. Then they have events in which the children that are available for adoption attend as well as you. If you do go this route make sure you are able to read teh childs file. Most of these children will have some sort of issues and you need to know before hand what you are willing to deal with and what you are not. It can be very rewarding though when it does work out.
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:11 PM   #7
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Re: so how much does it cost really??

how much is it internationally??
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:08 PM   #8
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Re: so how much does it cost really??

Actually, international and domestic adoption cost about the same. Adoptive Families magazine recently did a survey that showed the average is $20-30K
http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/articles.php?aid=1685

International adoption rules are constantly changing, and it is getting harder to adopt that way, for many reasons. (But the ? was about money, so I'll stick to that.) In general, your fees are known ahead of time and you can budget.

You can do a private, domestic adoption for under $20K. First, you have to be open. If you want a 100% guaranteed healthy white baby, then, frankly, you will pay more and wait longer. If you are open to different races, different health issues, etc. then your wait will be shorter and the fees probably will be less. It is not always the case that adopting a black child will cost less than adopting a white child. Some people assume or assert this, and it's not necessarily so. You can work with an agency who will work within your budget.

Many expectant moms (a woman isn't a birthmom until she places) don't want any expenses. Most medical is either covered by the woman's insurance or by Medicaid or the state's equivalent. Now, some women do need/want some expenses paid, and reputable agencies and attorneys will account for that money. (FWIW: We did pay 2 months rent for our son's bmom because she had to have an emergency C-section.)

As for foster/adopt - yes, it's monetarily inexpensive. The foster/adopt system varies greatly from state to state. When fostering, you must remember that you are a foster parent first. The goal is reunification with the birth family. That can be very costly, emotionally. Some states do place legally-free infants and young toddlers via foster/adopt, but some don't. It is entirely possible to have a baby for one year and not be able to adopt her.

I read what I think is very good advice: Don't foster/adopt unless you want to be a foster parent.

I hope this helps!

~Robyn
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:38 AM   #9
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Re: so how much does it cost really??

Okay, I'm not a huge fan of foster-adopt and I'm not convinced even being hit by a 2x4 would convince me to go down this path EVER again. That said, there's some serious misinformation about foster-adopt here. There is foster parenting and there is foster-adopt. If you are foster parenting, yes the child can leave. They can reunite with birthparents, or relatives can step forward to claim them.

However, foster-adopt is an entirely different situation. In foster-adopt, you only take children who are already legally free for adoption. You might take a legal-risk which means parental rights have not been terminated but will. Still, you can opt for only those who are legally free.

When we accepted our son's referral, the termination was scheduled but had not occurred yet. Since our state would not allow the transfer of a foster child and only pre-adoptive placements, we had to wait until he was legally free to bring him home. Termination took 4 months. The paperwork process to get him home after termination took 3 more months, but should have taken less than 6 weeks. When he moved into our home, he was a pre-adoptive placement. There is NO risk that someone will reclaim him, no risk that relatives will come forward. The only thing we have to contend with is the pain in the neck social workers who still come every other week to our house to check on him through this month, and then monthly until we finalize his adoption (hopefully next month).

That said, foster-adoption is not 100% free. We have in fact had to pay for things. We had to pay for a trip last October to meet him, as the case worker swore the judge wasn't going to terminate for an out of state placement unless we met him. We had to pay for part of our costs to pick him up this spring. The state paid for our hotel and airplane tickets. They messed up our hotel and we had to pay for the second night ourselves. We also had to pay for our food and rental car for pick-up. We'll have to pay for our own adoption attorney to finalize his adoption. The state will reimburse us $400 after we finalize, but that won't cover everything we've paid. All told, I think we'll come in under $4,000 for this adoption, but that's definitely not free.

The other thing about foster-adopt if you have the patience to see it through is that children from the foster-care system come with medical cards and adoption subsidies, in some states all children recieve them. In other states, those classified special needs recieve them.

MIL foster parents and has adopted 4 of the children she has fostered. All of hers have adoption subsidies and medical cards. And, she took 3 of those as infants and was the only foster placement for all 4 of them. The 4th came home at age 2. Our son has a medical adoption subsidy, which is greater than the standard subsidies. And because of his medical issues, his medical card is actually underwritten by the Federal government and not the state. That's REALLY handy for us because we don't have to go through the standard HMO nonsense our state adminsteres all of their state medical card programs under.

Beyond our foster-adopt, our international adoptions cost us $7,000 and $16,000 respectively. But, they were also special needs adoptions and came with adoption grants to the tune of $9,000 and $6,000 respectively.

If we adopt again, we're probably going to look into WACAP's Ethiopia special needs program. That should keep the adoption costs below $10,000, except I don't know what travel costs will run and I'm pretty sure ds#1 and I will travel to bring any new little one home. I've promised ds that while I won't return him to his homeland while a minor (too great a risk of getting conscripted into military service), if I went back to the African continent for another adoption, I would take him with me.
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Old 07-04-2008, 09:18 AM   #10
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Re: so how much does it cost really??

I've yet to hear of anyone that has had a "free" experience even in Foster to adopt programs. For International programs it depends on your agency and country program. I've had friends who brought their daughter home from Ethiopia and it was under $15,000 and I had friends who brought their son home from Russia and it was almost $50,000 (they had a placement go bad so they had multiple trips to Russia). I don't know about cost related to Private adoptions. There are grants/loans you can apply for once you're in the process too.

~Bren
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