One Family's Journey to Give a Child a Home
People think adoption is only for rich people. They may be right. All of the high-profile adoptions you see in the news are certainly by rich people. With the cost of adoption reaching into the tens of thousands of dollars, many Americans may feel that it is just simply out of their reach.
My family an I began the journey of adoption about five months ago. We knew that the journey would be a difficult one, but we decided to pursue our desire anyway. It has been quite a ride so far.
My family is by no means wealthy. I am the Senior Pastor of a small country Church in North Carolina. Our income is near the $30,000 dollars per year level. We live frugally, have no debt, and believe that we have most of what we need at this stage of our life...except more money.
The Financial Facts About Adoption
The fact is that adoption is expensive. Domestic adoptions and International adoptions can range as high as $40,000. The price of our adoption is estimated to be around $32,000. This is more than we make ina year's salary. Someone in the adoption industry told me that an estimated 40% of Americans will consider adoption, but only 2% will every act on that consideration. I have to believe that the cost is a huge factor in their decisions.
Why does it cost so much?
I do not believe that it should cost so much to give a child a home. If there are so many children in need of a loving family (and there are) then why should it be such a financial burden for a family just to be allowed to offer that home. Don't tell me that the cost has anything to do with making sure that children only go to the best homes. Does the government really believe that rich people make better parents? Have they ever watched the news? I am fully supportive of interviews and background checks on prospective families. These are reasonable expectations when you are considering placing a child into the home of a stranger. However, to charge tens of thousands of dollars, and then in many cases tell a family that they simply don't make enough money makes some people feel that adoption is only for rich people.
The fees for the adoption process are many. Some are large, and others are small. Background checks with your local county may be no more than $25.00 while the Home Study can be anywhere from $1800.00 and up. Then there is Immigration (international adoption), mandatory donations to the orphanage you are adopting from or some other adoption organization, court fees, etc.
I do not expect that adoption should be free. I want to make that clear. I fully agree with paying for the services of those whose job it is to "vet" the prospective family. These fees are reasonable. However, I believe that all fees not directly related to paying for the necessary services of an individual are nothing more than bureaucratic greed. Adoptive families are taking on a financial burden for the rest of their new child's life in many cases. They do so willingly. Why make it harder?
When Told You Don't Make Enough
After being accepted into the adoption program for the country we hoped to adopt from, my wife and I
were told that we did not make enough money to satisfy the Immigration Department requirements. We were about $3,000/year short in income. Never mind that we are debt free. What were we to do? We were faced with two options.
1. We could cut our losses and give up.
2. We could find a part-time job to make up the difference.
We chose option number two. I picked up a part-time job a couple of nights a week doing janitorial work. Why did we do this? I hate the money part of adoption. I hate that I know that some government (domestic or foreign) is profiting from this process. However, I do not believe that this is the fault of the children at all. Somewhere there is a little boy or girl who is waiting for a home. I work through the night for them. The truth is, that adoption is expensive. It is very expensive. Adoption requires dedication and patience on the part of the adopting family. However, at the end of it all is a child that needs you.
Is adoption only for rich people? Well, they certainly have an easier time paying for it, but no; adoption is not for rich people. Adoption is for anyone with the heart to make a difference and the will to do whatever is necessary to make that happen. If my children were suddenly orphaned and put into the system, I would hope that there was a family somewhere willing to walk through Hell to give them a loving home. That is what our family is doing now. Will you consider joining us?