The Costs of Adoption

“Why is adoption so expensive?”

“Where is all that money going?”

“Is someone getting rich in this process?”

These are a few of the most common questions that we, and most adoptive parents, get used to hearing during the adoption process.

Adoption is expensive, it’s true. But there are legitimate reasons that it costs so much to adopt a child. On this page we hope to break down those expenses so that it’s all a bit more clear for everyone.

Also, if you are thinking about adoption but are scared because of the expense, hopefully this page will encourage you. We believe that God has called us to this adoption, and that when God calls, He provides. That may sound reckless to those who believe differently, but the fact of the matter is that people are willing to go to great lengths to buy expensive homes, cars, electronics, clothes, etc. Why not be willing to do the same for a child? He or she is infinitely more valuable than any material possession. So, be encouraged! If we can do this, anyone can.

That’s how we look at it. And so far, God has faithfully provided what we need. We expect that He will continue to do so, and have no reason to think otherwise. :)

And finally, we want to be transparent about our adoption finances, since so many of you have given so much and been so generous. We invite you to hold us accountable and ask questions. Thank you for partnering with us.

Here is the breakdown of the costs behind our adoption.

• Home Study & Post-Placement Fee: $3300 (PAID)
This fee goes to our local agency, Lutheran Social Services of the South. It includes our home study paperwork, interviews, home visit, and home study write-up, our adoption training sessions, and our post-placement home visits and interviews that will happen once we bring home our child. Basically, it pays salaries and admin expenses for the people who do all of this.

• Adoption Program Fee: $5250 (PAID through Abba Fund Loan)
This fee goes to our main agency, Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota (LSSMN).  It includes the processing and oversight of the entire adoption process. Basically, it again pays salaries and admin expenses for the people I’ve been emailing and calling with every little question and problem for over a year now, as well as their occasional travel to Colombia to check in with the program and gather info on children available for adoption.

• Miscellaneous Fees for Dossier: Total $2475 (PAID)
These fees were paid to third parties throughout the process of assembling our dossier.  Some of them will have to be paid again as documents expire or need updating. They break down as follows:

• Psychological Exam, Testing, & Report Write-Up: $600 (PAID to psychologist)

• US Citizenship & Immigration Services Fingerprints & Clearance: $900 (PAID to USCIS)

• Medical Exams & Lab Testing for Health Certification: $300 (PAID to doctors and labs)

• Fee for Dossier Documents to be Apostilled: $100 (PAID to TX Secretary of State)

• FBI Fingerprint Clearance: $60 (PAID to Austin Police Dept and FBI; will pay again in September 2011)

• Passport Photos: $40 (six each – PAID to Kinko’s)

• Documentation & Notarization Fees: $300 estimate (partially paid, to various notaries and offices)

• Fed-Ex Shipping Fees for Fingerprints, Dossier, Etc: $175 (PAID to Fed-Ex)

• Colombian Adoption Program Dossier Fee: $3000 (PAID)
This fee is paid to our main agency, LSSMN, and is then funneled through to their counterparts in Colombia. It covers the work they will do on our behalf in matching us with a child, travel support, translations, etc.

• Colombian Adoption Referral Fee: $3000 (PAID 10/24/2011)
This fee goes toward humanitarian aid in Colombia, including and specifically to the orphanages and foster care systems in place. We must pay this fee upon acceptance of a referral (when we are matched with a child). *UPDATE: We were matched with our little Luisa in mid-October, 2011!

• Fees to and in Colombia: $12,700 estimate (RAISED)
That number breaks down as follows:

• Airfare, in-country travel, food, lodging: $10,500 estimate
• Legal Services $1500 estimate
• Child’s Medical Exam, Passport, Visa: $700 estimate

At this point, the travel expenses and in-country fees are all that remain!

We are in the process of applying for grants toward the remaining expenses.

Please join with us in prayer that God will provide all of our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19) and please prayerfully consider donating to our adoption fund. Thank you for your partnership in bringing home our little one!