After adopting our daughter 19 months ago, my wife and are in the process of now trying to adopt our third child. It is a very exciting and happy time as we look to add to our family.
*steps up on soap box*
But, as with most good things, there are a few, negative, head scratching parts of the process that just make you question people’s reasoning when it comes to such serious matters like finding homes for children.
I read a statistic the other day that said at any given time there are roughly 100,000 children that are in need of a home in the US alone. I’m not sure how many families there are who would be interested in providing a home for those children, but from my own personal experience there are far more than people realize.
However, as with most things in life, money becomes a huge factor.
Adoptions are not cheap and most people we know empty their bank accounts AND borrow money on top of doing so in order to bring just one child into their home. There is something really wrong with that. Perfectly capable parents that are almost begging to adopt a child, can’t in some instances because the price is too high.
Some agencies charges are flat out ridiculous and once you add on legal fees, medical expenses for the mother in some instances, and travel costs, adoption costs can range anywhere from 10-50K depending on a myriad of variables (which unfortunately includes ethnicity).
The government at one point helped with this cost through tax breaks, however last year the laws were changed and the amount of money adoptive parents would receive as a result of their adoption has lessened significantly.
One thing many people don’t realize is that those parents who’ve adopted one child generally would like to adopt more. Agencies know this and will often reach out to those parents with prospective cases. However, both sides find themselves frustrated because you have approved individuals wanting and able to give a child a home, yet cannot afford to do so.
I know people like this. In fact, my wife and I partially fall into this category. 19 months after my daughter’s adoption, we have not built up our savings to what it was prior to her adoption so our budget is lower than it was previously.
As a result, we’ve already had to remove ourselves from consideration of several cases because the agency fees alone were at the top end of our entire adoption budget. And because I have a good job (part of why we’ve been able to save back up what we have these last 19 months), the chances of us qualifying for a grant is pretty much nil.
I bring this up not because I want sympathy, pity, or your money.
I bring this up because we as a society should make up our mind about how important it is to find loving homes for needy children. We need to lower costs and/or provide better tax breaks to those households actively pursuing adoption.
I’d also like to ask that you keep those 100,000 children I mentioned earlier in your thoughts and prayers. I hate to think that some will miss out on a stable home life simply because no one could afford to give it to them.
*steps down from soap box*