Wednesday, November 2, 2011

FAQ 3: WHY is adoption SO expensive?

This is a question a LOT of people have... and it's been a while since I've done a FAQ, So I thought I would go ahead and share. I feel like a lot of people, including myself 6 months ago, have the perception that there is someone somewhere getting rich off of international adoptions. The truth is, that's just not the case... at least not that I'm aware of... it is just a very expensive process. So here is the breakdown to where our pennies and nickles are going to be going for the next few months... If you have any questions about what any of the specific charges are about let me know in the comments and I'll do my best to answer it.


Stage 1 lasts 4-5 months, which is the estimated time from application (which was August for us) until being waitlisted which should happen around January and includes:

*agency application fee: 250.00
*NCFA Training : 175.00
*Home Study fees: 1,500.00(+)
*US Citizenship and Immigration Fee: 890.00
*Approval Fee: 2,500.00
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Total: $5,315.00

Stage 2 is from January until we get our referral, which averages 3-6 months:

*Passport photos: 20.00
*Passport x2 people (mine is still good, but Matthew's is expired and Ainsley will need one): 120.00
*Placement Fee: 3,000.00
*Orphanage Services Fee (1k/child): $2,000.00
*Lawyer and Court Fee (1st installment, 500/child): $1,000.00
*Fed Ex Fees (for shipping of Dossier): $300.00
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Total: $6,440.00

Stage 3 is due about 2 months after we receive our referral, when we travel to go get them:

*Humanitarian Aid Fee (500/child): $1,000.00
*Round Trip Air Fare x3: $3,000.00-$4,500.00
*Visas to Uganda: $100.00-$150.00
*Lawyer and Court Fee (2nd installment, 2k/child): $4,000.00
*Visa for children at US embassy (120/child): $240.00
*Medical exam for children at US embassy (500/child): $1,000.00
*One-way airfare x2 children (approximately 1k/child): $2,000.00
*Approximate Travel Fees (lodging, food, transportation, etc...): $2,800.00
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Total: $14,140.00-$15,690.00

Stage 4 is after we return home with our children

*Post placement and post adoption service fees: $650.00
*Court report for finalization of adoption: $200.00-$600.00
*Citizenship certificate (550/child): $1,100.00
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Total: $1,950.00-$2,350.00

Estimated Subtotal Costs: $27,845.00 - $29,795.00


When looking at these figures remember that many of these numbers are estimates. For instance, we aren't sure exactly what our in country expenses will be once we get there, it may be more or may be less. The cost of airfare is another variable that is difficult to accurately guesstimate. Also, as with anything in life it seems, there are unexpected expenses that pop up here and there. We already had to get an additional background check done by the FBI that we didn't know we were going to need that total cost us $66.00 ($15 per person for fingerprinting and $18 per person for background check).

So that's it... it takes a lot of time and a lot of money to bring 2 orphans into a family. But when looking at the cost Jesus paid to pay for my adoption into the family of God... it just doesn't seem so bad.

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