Thursday, November 4, 2010

The cost

When you decide to adopt a child, so many things must be taken into consideration, including the cost. One question that I get asked a lot by people who are curious about our adoption is "Why does international adoption cost so much?" In a nutshell, international adoption, besides being a loving decision to bring another child into your family, is also a very complicated legal process. During the adoption process, the adoptive parents are working with a multitude of governmental and nongovernmental entities, including the adoption agency of their choice. Other entities involved include foreign governments, the US Department of State,  USCIS, the FBI and county and state offices. Criminal background checks are needed, in addition to medical and psychological evaluations of the adoptive parents. In other words, there are many people who spend a lot of time working to adequately prepare the legal procedures for the adoption process, and this preparation and times costs quite a bit of money.

People also want to know in real numbers what is the actual cost of our adoption going to be, so I am including in this post a brief explanation of our fees.

1. Our US Adoption Agency Fees                                                                          $7500 - $8200     
These fees include:
Formal Application-fee due with application
Home study-due at home study completion
Program fee/Administrative fee-due at home study completion
Post Adoption services-due date varies by branch

2.  Dossier & Post Adoption Reports Shipping Fee:                $200
Payable to Bethany Christian Services with dossier submission    
3.  Bulgaria Country Fee:                   8500 Euro ($12,077 USD)                                        
(Dollar amount varies according to current exchange rate) 

The Country Fee includes the following:
Review, translation, legalization, and submission of documents
Bulgarian Ministry of Justice and Court fees
Bulgarian Notary and Courier fees
Representation of the family to the MOJ, courts, municipal authorities, etc.
Child’s medical examination, medical tests, and consultations
Child’s passport, photo for passport, new birth certificate
Administrative and office expenses

4.  Bulgarian Travel Costs (two adults, two trips):            $8,200 – 12,200
            (this includes flights, hotel, etc.)

5.   Miscellaneous fees:                                                            $1,250 – 2,030
USCIS filing of orphan petition (I 800A)                                    $670
Plus fingerprinting ($80/person over 18 in the home)  $160
Dossier Preparation - in USA                                                 $100 - 400
US Embassy Bulgaria – Child’s Visa                                         $400/per child
Citizenship & Finalization (if IH-4 visa)                                 $400/per child (approx.)

And, of course, these fees do not include the cost of a notary, county certifications, apostilles, photo copies and several trips to FedEx. 

It all seems a little overwhelming doesn't it? It can seem that way when all you dwell on is the money, but this adoption isn't about the money. Yes, money is required to complete the legal procedures of the adoption process, but the adoption is not about money.  It's about a three-year old boy that needs a home, a family, a place to feel safe and loved. It's about a little seven-year old girl who has always wanted a little brother. It's about a mom who had a large whole in her heart waiting to be filled with  love for another child. It's about a couple that has been called to grow their family in the way that God sees fit.

God put adoption on our hearts a long time ago, even before our daughter was born. Rob and I talked about adoption so many times over the course of our first ten years of marriage. Our plan was to have two biological children and then the third child we would adopt. That was our plan, but it was not God's plan. He does have a sense of humor like that doesn't he? It's also funny how he began revealing his plan to me and how long it took me pay attention, but now our adoption gets most of my attention. And as far as the money goes, I believe that God will continue to provide.

In recent days, we have received several donations toward completing our fundraising puzzle, and we are applying for some more grants. Rob is also looking at taking another Saturday class for the next six months as well. In one way or another, God will provide.

Philippians 4:19
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

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