Saturday, June 22, 2013

Why Does Adoption Cost So Much?

One of the questions we get asked all the time is, "Why does adoption cost so much?!?"  Many people have even asked us why we chose our agency instead of adopting through the State or even a cheaper agency.  These are tough questions, but we want to answer them in hopes that people can understand that this was not just a decision we came to overnight.  This was a decision that we put much research and prayer into making and I hope that this post may be helpful for understanding our journey and adoption as a whole.

Why We Chose Domestic Adoption:
We have a heart for both domestic and international adoption and plan to adopt internationally at some point; however, as we began the overwhelming task of researching adoption we found that domestic adoption offers clear guidelines and parameters (as much as possible) and we were able to find an amazing agency within miles of our home. We decided that for our first child we would walk through domestic adoption of an infant, and then see where God leads us in the future in regards to choosing a country or age for future international or domestic adoptions.

How and Why We Chose Christian Homes and Family Services for our Agency:
Back in the fall of 2011, we received an invitation in the mail to attend an event benefiting Christian Homes and Family Services.  David L. Cook,  the author of the book Seven Days in Utopia was scheduled to be the keynote speaker.  We had recently seen the movie based on the book and really enjoyed it, so we were excited about the possibility of hearing the author speak.  In addition, God had begun tugging on our heart about adoption, so we were also naturally interested in the event.  God used the event to speak to us in many ways and as a vehicle for nudging us to begin our adoption journey.

It was at this point we began to research the MANY different avenues for adoption.  This process can be extremely overwhelming, but if you are considering this process I would encourage to just begin searching the Internet and reading all that you can.  In addition, talk to people you know and spend lots of time in prayer over this decision.

We had already heard great things about the agency and were very impressed from the event we attended, but we didn't just stop there.  We spent hours and hours reading all that we could about all the different ways to adopt.  In the end, we chose Christian Homes.

We believe the history of the Agency speaks for itself.  I have included the history below (from their website - I have bolded some points that were important to us).  In addition, one of the things we loved about the agency was their incredible ministry to the birth mothers.  Yes, we could have chosen to go through the state (which is very needed form of adoption) but for us the birth mother is paramount and we believe shining Christ to her through this agency is another way we can indirectly impact her.

At our orientation, they were very upfront with us in saying that they are not the cheapest agency out there but they are also not the most expensive (they right in the middle).  They helped us to understand the costs involved and why they believed these costs were necessary and important to both the birth mother, us, and the baby.  To us excellence in ministry is very important and we believe Christian Homes and Family Services does that well.  Their history is listed below and then I have included the approximate cost of the adoption below that.

Our History

For decades Christian Homes & Family Services has been known as two agencies: Christian Homes of Abilene, a ministry originally conceived by the Highland Church of Christ in 1962 to provide foster care for young needy children; and Christian Services of East Texas, a ministry given life in 1975 by the Glenwood Church of Christ in Tyler also to provide foster care for children rescued from neglect and abuse.
In 1999, the two independent agencies, both recognized as 501(c) 3 organizations by the Internal Revenue Service, merged and in 2006, the agency began operating under the same assumed name, Christian Homes & Family Services.
Almost as soon as Christian Homes began operating, it discovered and began responding to a desperate need for maternity care for young women with unplanned pregnancies. For more than 50 years, Christian Homes has provided residential and community-based care for young women with unplanned pregnancies. Most often, the care culminates in the agency finding loving parents to adopt their precious babies.
When a young woman with an unplanned pregnancy reaches out to Christian Homes for maternity care, our goal is that through the ministry, her life, as well as the life of her child, will be transformed. We may arrange for her housing, either in our comfortable apartments in Abilene or in her hometown, and we may also provide her food, clothing, medical care, legal services, moral support, counseling, and if needed, foster care for her newborn.
Our Abilene foster parents stand in the gap for birth mothers and adoptive parents. Foster parents love and care for newborn babies who must leave the hospital before all the legal hurdles have been jumped and they are cleared for adoption by their new and forever family. Infant foster care is provided according to the same strict standards as is required by the State for all foster care provided for minor children.
For young children who have been removed by the State from the home they likely shared with biological parents or relatives but where they were abused or neglected, our goal is that a Christian Homes’ foster family will be the last foster home they ever need. Our ministry is to identify, train, and prepare loving, Christian couples to welcome young foster children into their home and to ultimately make them a forever member of their family through adoption.
Christian Homes & Family Services is governed by a 23-member Board of Trustees who for more than three decades has operated independently of its founding church congregations. The agency is served by a 21-member team of dedicated employees; five of whom have worked for the agency more than 25 years. All trustees and employees are faithful and committed Christians. The agency is licensed by the State of Texas to provide maternity care and foster care, and in both Texas and Oklahoma to provide adoption services.
Approximately 40% of the agency’s $2 million budget is funded by adoption fees. For the balance, the agency relies on the generosity of individuals, churches, sympathetic businesses, foundations, and sound investing of the dollars donated to the agency’s endowment fund.
Since 1962 Christian Homes & Family Services has placed more than 1850 precious babies and children into loving adoptive homes, provided maternity care for more than 2500 women, and cared for more than 1570 foster children.
Christian Homes Fee Schedule:
  • Pre-application -              $95
  • Orientation -                    $250
  • Application -                   $750
  • Home Study -                 $1500
  • Social Services -             $4,800
  • Marketing -                    $6,000
  • Match/Placement -         $10,000 - $25,000 (sliding scale based on income of adoptive family)
  • Parental Termination -   $1,500
  • Consummation -              varies

Approximate Total Costs -       $25,895 - $40, 895

Hopefully this gives you a better idea of why adoption costs so much and helps you have a little insight into this huge process.  We believe it is important to be transparent with people, as much as possible, about the process of adoption because that helps you to better understand how you can love and support us through this journey, but hopefully it will also give you a heart for caring for the orphans in some way as well.

We are all called to care for the orphans, but we are not all called to adopt.  You might consider helping to care for the orphans by supporting our family through prayer, donating your time or services, or donating financial resources to help provide a home for a child.

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