Cost of Adoption
When we started looking into international adoption, cost was a significant concern. I have often heard the question, "If there are so many orphans around the world that need homes, why is the cost so high?" It's a great question and one that I used to have, as well. As we prayerfully considered adoption agencies, we felt called to use a Hague accredited agency. Hague accreditation was established to monitor orphanages and adoption agencies around the world to protect children from harm and human trafficking. Our adoption agency and the orphanages we work with in India are both Hague accredited. This has added to some of the cost and process of our adoption, but we feel this is important.
International adoption has two major parts, Home Study and Dossier and international registration. The Home Study is the first step. It includes a lot of documentation, interviews, references, background checks and paperwork. Through our Home Study, our agency ensures that we are emotionally, financially and relationally fit to care for an adopted child. We received education and help as we navigated some of the early questions of adoption (what country, ages and special needs we could accommodate). For the India program, we are concurrently working on parts of the dossier. The Dossier is the paperwork that goes to India. India and China process are similar in some ways and different in other ways. The India process requires a lot of notarization and is particular on wording and process of many of the documents. The Dossier is another significant set of paperwork including police clearances, references, letters, U.S. Immigration documentation and fingerprinting, physicals and financial reviews and certifications. Once our home study is complete, we submit it along with some of our Dossier documents to be registered in the system that allows us to be matched with our child. We then work on completing the remainder of the dossier.
Adoption fees for India adoptions are broken up into 5 major sections:
1. Home Study and Dossier Building: These fees are for social and legal services to help us complete necessary steps for the Home Study and Dossier. Our agency provides integral communication between agencies such as US Immigration, India's Center for Welfare and Adoption and other third party agencies. Our education and ongoing post placement support is also covered by these fees. Our agency has closely monitored everything we submit to ensure that it is culturally and politically acceptable to the Indian government. Immigration fees are also included in this first section. After completing an in depth application, we were fingerprinted at a USCIS processing center in Philadelphia. We were recently approved as adoptive parents to bring home a child from India. There will be a second part of this process when we are matched.
These fees total approximately $9,000
2. Carings Registration and Dossier Submission: CARA (carings) is the agency in India that oversees all international adoptions. Our home study and additional paperwork was necessary to submit our application for approval by CARA. Our dossier is additional documents required by the Indian government to be submitted. These fees are provided to our agency in the United States and to agencies in India to ensure our and our child's protection.
These fees are approximately $11,000
3. Referral: These fees are due at the time we committed to adopting a specific child. This is often referred to as accepting a referral or match. There are many fees associated with this step. The fees pay for the agency and legal fees associated with the matching process and securing this child's file and information for our family. This also includes consultation with specialists regarding special needs.
These fees are approximately $11,000
4. Travel Fees: These fees include round trip travel for Paul and I and one way travel for our child as well as accommodations and transportation, flights while in India. These also pay for guides while we are in India. We will always have an Indian guide on every part of our trip. This guide will help us with the legal process as well as help us to understand and deal with cultural differences.
These fees total approximately $15,000.
5. Post Adoption: India requires post adoption reports regularly upon our return home. This ensures the continual safety of the child and updates regarding the status of the child and our adjustment as a family. Some of these reports are completed by our social worker who will conduct in person home visits over the first two years. After that, the family provides written reports.
These fees total approximately $3,000
Our total adoption fees will range from $40,000-$45,000. We are so grateful for the services provided by our adoption agency. They will provide counseling and support to our adopted child and to our family until our child reaches age 18. At the beginning of this journey, we did not realize how invaluable their services would be. We are paying for services that help us navigate through the complexity of the process, while preparing and equipping us to care for an adopted child.
We worked really hard to apply for grants to fund our adoption last time. Approximately 50% of our funding was through grants. The generosity of incredible community, friends and family helped us with the other 50%. While we are overwhelmed with the magnitude of the financial burden-- as well as the other burdens that are part of this process, we are confident of God's goodness and provision that we will cover us in these months ahead!