Adoption 101: Why is Adoption So Expensive?
Found this post on the adoption blog site...I thought it is valuable to those adopting, questioning adoption or even against adoption...to know the reason it's so expensive.
Why is adoption so expensive? That is the million-dollar question. Some people will say it is because adoption professionals are making money off adoptions. However, many agencies are not-for-profit and seemingly have no reason to “rip off” hopeful adoptive parents. For example, I truly believe that Catholic Social Services is seeking to do what they believe is best for the child as part of a ministry for the Catholic Church.
However, even a not-for-profit adoption agency is incredibly expensive. Our agency, which is not-for-profit, had a base cost of $11,000 back in 2000, not counting any payments for the expecting mother (such as medical bills, food, or housing). If nobody is profiting and the expecting mother is not being “bribed,” then why does adoption cost so much money?
Here are some of the expenses that contribute to the cost:
- Advertising adoption services to expecting mothers and hopeful adoptive parents
- Rent, utilities, etc.
- Salaries of social workers and other office staff
- Literature for expecting mothers and hopeful adoptive parents
Does this add up to $11,000+ per adoption? It is hard to say from the outside, although I am sure the agency would assure us that they are not making a profit.
Our agency had additional expenditures that may or may not be included in other agencies' services:
- Expenditures paid toward anticipated adoptions in which the expecting mother ultimately chose to parent
- Facilitating communication between the birthmother and the adoptive family both before and after the adoption
- Hiring an adoption attorney for contested adoptions (such as a birthfather contesting an adoption at the 11th hour)
- Lifetime counseling for birthmothers who place through the agency
- Parenting classes for expecting mothers who choose to parent
- Private investigator fees to locate birthfamily or adult adoptee
Our agency provides all of these services free of charge, so somebody has to pay for them. The agency passes these expenses along to the adoptive parents as part of the adoption fee.
Knowing that our agency provides these additional services helped me to feel better about the adoption fee. However, many adoption agencies do not offer these services. For those who do not, I have no explanation for why the cost of adoption is so high.
As for international adoptions, you have two agencies that are charging for their services. You also have another country that might be using part of the fee to subsidize its orphanages or foster care system. A portion of the fee is going to be out of the hands of the domestic agency.