December 16, 2009

Why is adoption so expensive?

Knowing that there are children who will imminently face life bedridden in an institution if they aren't adopted by the age of 4, you would think that it would be practically free to families who would love to take one of them in as their own child. But sadly that's not the case. It's not that there are money-hungry people taking advantage of people (well, there certainly might be, but most people do it for the love of the children). But there are just a wide variety of fees and costs and they quickly add up, and that is somewhere around the $20,000 mark (for adoption in Eastern Europe). This is a very rough breakdown of where that money goes:

$2k - Homestudy and associated costs (all adoptions require a homestudy)
$1k - I-600a and fingerprinting (government forms and requirements)
$8500 - Facilitation (for the people in the child's country who help facilitate the adoption)
$5k - 5 plane tickets (2 parents, 2 trips, and child 1-way home)
$550 - Visa and medical (required for the child so they can come to the States)
$3500 - $100/day  for lodging and food in country (2 trips)
$2k - Transportation
$1k - Other miscellaneous costs

Since Joel and I are pretty frugal already, I'm sure we could find a way to bring some of those costs down (especially in the travel arena - eat cheaply and walk or use public transportation whenever possible). But that is still A LOT of money, no doubt.

Reece's Rainbow, the organization we are hoping to go through, is completely non-profit and solely volunteer based. The founder, Andrea Roberts, was moved to help find homes for other children with Down syndrome after her son Reece was born with it. Andrea and a slew of other people work diligently to raise money that goes completely to the adoption funds of these children. So far, there have been over 200 adoptions through RR since it started about 3 years ago. Amazing!

So, as we are brainstorming how to raise this amount, any ideas and help would be greatly appreciated! After all, it is to save the LIFE of a child, otherwise I wouldn't dream of asking anyone for any help. Every little bit helps and collectively we can give one child a loving family! Please also take the time to look at other families who are hoping to adopt by clicking on one of the links to the right.

**On a side note, from my title, adoption isn't always expensive - adopting through the Foster care system can either be free or cost very little and there are lots of wonderful children here in the States who need forever-families!

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