If you have decided to adopt a child, then you have made a very good choice. But just deciding to go for the adoption is the beginning of a very long and daunting journey. There will be various obstacles that you can find in your way. But before commencing your adoption journey, there will be many questions that will be going through your mind, for example, what is the procedure to adopt a baby? What all things will be required to adopt a baby? And the most important one, how much does it cost to have a baby? These are some of those questions whose answers you must know before embarking on the journey of adoption. So let’s look at all the answers one by one and clear your doubts so that you can comfortably adopt a child and can be awesome parents.
Different Methods Of Adoption
There are numerous methods through which you can adopt a child. The first option is you can adopt a child from an adoption agency. The second option you have is to adopt the child privately. You can also go for adoption through foster care or from other countries. Let’s look at all the options in details, and also about their advantages, disadvantages, costs, and risks.
Adoption From An Adoption Agency
Adoption agencies are the best options for the parents who want a healthy, U.S.- born baby. These agencies have their criteria for short-listing of the applicants; also, the restrictiveness may vary from applicant to applicant. Previously, the parents that were planning to seek the agency’s help had their names added to the list and were put on the waiting list until the perfect match is being found. But, today, the time has completely changed. Nowadays, the trend of openness has come, which means you can meet the birth parents, who have requested for their child to be adopted. The procedure involves sending of the few adopting parents’ profile to the potential birth parents, and from those profiles, birth parents can choose the one they are most comfortable with. After choosing the perfect match, the birth parents and the adopting parents get a chance to meet each other. There are options that the child can be given to the adopting parents immediately after the birth or after going through the foster care. As adoption agencies are trying to maintain openness in the procedures, so, if you want your process to be a closed one, there may be chances that your wait will be a longer one.
The various factors of adopting a child from an adoption agency are:
Cost Of Adoption
Adopting a child from the adoption agency may cost you between $20,000 and $40,000. In the amount, the charges for counseling for the birth parents and adopting parents, home study, foster care and medical expenses will be included, if required.
Benefits Of Adoption From Agency
If you are adopting a child for the first time and you do not have anyone with the prior knowledge of adopting a child, then agencies are the best source. These agencies will not only guide you step by step but also help you in providing all the services and payment of the fee. But still you can predict the fee, without the help of agencies.
Adopting a child from the adoption agencies may be time-consuming sometimes. As everyone’s criteria, the birth parents and the potential adopting parents are taken into consideration by the agency. Hence, matching of these criteria can affect the time and can make you wait longer. There are various cases when the birth parents change their mind of giving their child for adoption, and also there are some who change their mind even before the birth.
Adoption Of A Child Privately
Adopting a child privately is the other option for which you can go for. In this process, you can search for the birth parents by yourself or usually with the help of a lawyer. In one survey, out of 18,000 domestic newborn adoptions, at least half of them are adopted without an agency.
If you are planning to go independently for adoption, you can mail your resumes to attorneys or obstetricians or also go for advertisement in a newspaper’s classified sections. One more option you can go for is to create a personal biographical blogs or web pages to match your requirements with the birth parents. After an establishment of the match, birth and adoptive parents can arrange a plan to complete the adoption process, which also include ongoing contact and hospital stay if required.
The various factors that one may want to know while adopting a child privately are:
Cost of Adoption
Typically adopting a child privately may include various fees in its process. You may have to pay a legal fee of $7,000 to $10,000 for the birth parents and yourself. The medical expenses may be of approximately $7,500 and in the end your total expenses may cross $35,000 mark.
Private adoptions give you complete freedom to maintain the openness with the birth parents. It also allows you to control your search; moreover, you can have a direct contact with the birth parents and are not bounded by any rules and regulations of agencies.
In the private adoptions, it is almost impossible to predict the costs of the complete process. All the expenses like counseling, advertising, and the living expenses of birth parents can vary largely from adoption to adoption. As all the tasks you have to perform, so finding a birth mother can also vary. Also, if the birth parent gets a better deal with any agency, they can change their mind at the end moment also.
According to a survey in 2013, Americans adopted 7000 children from various countries. Most of these children were from orphanages in developing countries of Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia.
U.S.-based agencies are the one who handles the most inter-country placements and facilitate the adoptions in various countries. Each country has its policies on who may be adopted and who may adopt. The placing government bodies were the private orphanage, other social welfare group, foundation or a governmental body. It was preferable to most of the countries that to do the pick of the child; both the adoptive parents are required to travel the country.
Most of the children that were available for adoption in these countries were struggling with emotional problems, undernourishment, or developmental delays. A list of adoption medicine specialists that organized by the state is maintained by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Do keep in mind that if you are adopting a child from the different country, it may result in a cross-cultural unit or can become a transracial, because of which parents may have to bear special responsibilities.
Some of the major factors of international adoptions:
The average of cost of such adoptions is $25,000 to $50,000 or more. And these costs depend on the travel and other requirements that a country can ask.
Previously, the fees and waiting duration were predictable, but because of the changes in the adoption program, it has lessened its certainty. International adoptions are a perfect way for those parents who do not want to have a child from the birth parents. International adoptions have fairly routine matches and are processed in the sequence of receiving of dossiers.
In international adoptions, the process of paperwork by both the sending country and the U.S. government can be extremely troublesome. There may be times when you will have incomplete or erroneous medical information. If there is a domestic problem or a policy change in the sending country, the adoption process may get affected. In the majority of cases of the international adoptions, children cope up easily after adoptions, but there are some cases where children feel uncomfortable because of the larger time being spent in orphanages or other institutions.
Foster Care Adoption
According to a survey taken in 2012, approximately 52,039 “waiting for children” were adopted from the public foster-care system within the U.S. Foster care adoptions are handled by the state agencies. If you want to develop a child using foster care, you have two ways. Either you can apply directly to adopt a child in foster care or the other option you have got is to become foster parents first and then go for the adoption of the child.
The average age of children adopted from foster care is approximately 7.8 years, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) 2012 fiscal year report.
Some of the specifications of foster care are:
The typical initial cost varies between $0 and $3000. The initial fees can be compensated via adoption tax credit or federal reimbursement plan. The majority of the families will get the federal tax credit, regardless of the actual expenses.
As your most of the amount gets reimbursed, therefore, it makes your expenses almost negligible. You also get the ongoing subsidies of about $350 per month to fulfill child’s needs, which also include counseling and medical, tutoring and day care.
As you already know that the average age of children you adopt from the foster care have an average age of 7.8 years, because of this, these children may have mental, emotional or physical disabilities. Moreover, most of the state agencies are understaffed, the process
So, now you are well aware of the different ways of adopting a child and also about the various factors that may affect your adoption. Hence, if you are planning to adopt a child, research thoroughly, and then go for the adoption.