Thursday, August 2, 2007

Dear Lori (Part 2)

Dear Lori,

Just curious - and of course, you don't have to answer if you don't want to...obviously, it's your blog...anyway, here's the question...How much does it cost to do a local adoption?

Curious about Costs

Dear Curious,

I don't mind talking about the high finances of adoption. According to the always-accurate Internet, private adoptions range in price from $5k-$40k. International adoptions from $7k-$30k. And public agency adoptions from $0-$2k. Adoptions through our agency run about $20,000.

I'm sure you're thinking that you're in the wrong line of work. Wanna get rich? Start an adoption agency, right? Wrong. Our agency is non-profit. *Gasp* Yep, you heard right...they don't make any money. Then, where is all that money going? Okay, you asked for it. In true math fashion, here is our story problem for today:

With 3 offices in Oregon and Washington, OA&FS places on average 50 children per year. At $20k per adoption, they earn about $1.0m per year. They offer free counseling for all pregnant parents and lifelong counseling for all birthfamilies in addition to facilitating the adoptions and educating the public about open adoption. Based on the services they offer, their expenses include legal fees, operating costs, staff wages and benefits, marketing, etc. In wages alone, how many people could they employee if they paid on average $50,000 per year? (Put your calculator away, the answer is 20.)

Now I don't know how many people they employ or what they pay but I do know that $1.0m doesn't go very far in the business world. It's easy to see how $20k per adoption can still leave them coming up short. And to be clear, in case there are any questions, the birthparents aren't getting any compensation.

The good news is that there is a federal tax credit, for those who qualify, to make adoption more affordable. And my company is one of many that offers an adoption expense reimbursement program. For 2007 the federal tax credit is around $11k and my company will reimburse up to $4k in expenses. It's warms my heart to see government and business working to make adoption more affordable.

I hope that helps shed some light on the wonderful world of adoption financing. But when it comes right down to it, can you put a price on the happiness that a baby brings?



Anonymous August 3, 2007 at 12:15 PM  

No you can't put a price on it at all. So what happens to prenatal, hospital and doctor costs for for the birth mother or baby at the birth? I guess I thought for some reason that the family adopting covered that or part of that. Beth

Lori August 3, 2007 at 12:30 PM  

The adoptive family covers the medical care for the baby from birth. The birthfamily covers the prenatal and delivery costs. If they are uninsured, they can request help to cover those expenses. That would be on top of the $20k.

I believe some insurance companies are more supportive than others in covering the medical expenses for an adopted infant from birth. Some may not cover the child until the adoption is final which takes months. Ours is very supportive (praise God).

Anonymous August 3, 2007 at 2:33 PM  

Children are priceless, for sure! Thanks for answering my question. It's great that there is a tax credit and help from employers. Adoption has always seemed sooo out of reach because of the high costs, but with that help it brings it into the realm of reality.

Anonymous August 4, 2007 at 11:54 PM  

Hey Lori ~
As I'm sure you completely understand, I haven't been keeping up so well on your blogs. But tonight what a sweet treat to catch a glimpse of your remodel and now adoption! Whoo - hoo! My heart leaps for joy as I ponder the anticipation you must have. I am excited for you and Jeff - and can't wait to see what the future holds. My hubby is adopted, as are 3 of my precious nephews - and I believe adoption to be not just the next best thing - but even BETTER than sliced bread! I know God already has the perfect match planned for you. Congratulations my friend! ~ Celeste

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