Why is adoption so expensive?
According to the American Adoption Foundation, the average cost of private domestic adoption in America is $43,000. That is more than we paid for our house! We averaged just over $21,000 for each of our adoptions but two of them were private adoptions which bring than number down significantly. As two working engineers with good-paying jobs, we still struggled through paying for all three, only managing it because of the help and generosity of our community. So why is adoption so expensive? There is that a lot that goes into that. Lawyers have to be paid, government documents have to be filed, with fees of course, and birth mom's medical expenses need to be covered. That must add up to a lot right? Well actually from our experience in both Simon and Gabriella's case all that added up to right around $10,000. So where is this other $30,000 plus dollars coming into the picture? The answer is agency fees. For Sebastian's adoption, we paid the adoption agency just over $30,000 in fees. More than the total cost of the two private adoptions put together. And that was not even the most expensive agency that we found during the process. I remember one agency in particular, who I will not name for legal purposes, had 4 different tier packages you could choose from. What that basically broke down to was the more you paid, the more of the time-consuming waitlists you skipped, and the more they would try to steer birth mothers to pick your profile over the lower tier members. Not to hold anything against that agency because the one very common theme that we saw among almost all the agencies was that the shorter their average adoption time period was the more the agency fees cost.
So how can they possibly justify that? Well, the sad truth of the matter is it just economics. This is going to sound harshly realistic since we are talking about human life, but trust me as an adoptive parent this is a very serious matter to both me and my wife. There are roughly 36 adoptive families for even one newborn baby placed for adoption. This creates a "seller's market" where supply is short and demand is high. People are literally lined, most agencies have a waitlist, up to adopt infants in this country. That unfortunately means that an agency can pretty much charge what they want because someone in that line will find a way to pay it. To make that matter worse these are not people with other options. Most families that turn to adoption do it because they are unable to conceive children of their own bodies. Most of them have tried for years using testing and medicine to overcome that fact. The average age of the couples in the three agencies we registered with during our adoption was 31, 33, and 34 years old. I never met any of them but I can imagine the many tear-filled months of disappointment prior to starting the adoption process. Trust me I can, we did it ourselves. We just didn't try as long. So these people desperate for the hope of growing their family will pay what it takes for that to happen. And as long as there are more families looking to adopt than there are babies to adopt, which I hope there always is a loving home for every child, I don't think that will change. Not to say that birth mother to adopted children are not loving. I would never say that at all. They have made the greatest sacrifice that anyone could ever ask of them by giving that child a chance at the best life it could possibly have. Especially, in the world we live in today, where it is so easy not to give a child a chance at all. According to the CDC , there were 623,147 abortions performed in the United States in the year 2016 alone. Anyone of those children could have been adopted by one of the loving families waiting for a child. I know everyone has their own situation and I won't say any more about that. But I will say this: One of my children was the result of a rape, and they are beautiful. One of my children was born from a recovering meth addict, and they are intelligent. One of my children was born from a mother that smoked and did opiates her whole pregnancy. She even tried to abort during her first trimester using Misoprostol, which is 85% effective. But by some literal miracle, they survived and their laugh is the best part of my day anytime I hear it.
So I am telling you there are other options, and each life is precious, no matter the circumstance. I hope this message finds you in good health and of a sound mind. I am just a confused father from Kansas wondering...
HOW DID I END UP HERE?