1/7/10

Adoption Update

You get what you pay for, but I just had no intention of living this way!” – Counting Crows

It is very late (3am) and I can’t sleep. Partially from this pinched nerve in my neck that won’t allow me to be comfortable and partially from something that is deeply troubling me.

Due to the fact that we have specific gender/health requirements for our second adoption, we decided to hire a special adoption consultant to hopefully help us locate an agency, who is working with a birthmom, who is carrying our son.

While inquiring about her services, she sent me the “only” full Caucasian boy she had on her list. He’s 6 months old. Healthy as can be. The catch?

The fees for this adoption would be $47,600.

We obviously had to pass, because if we had an extra 50K laying around, M wouldn’t have to drive my old car from college among other things.

But why? How can those fees be that high? How can that be ethical?

It broke my heart to know that this baby is waiting for a family, and no one can afford him. I can see some desperate family who so want to be parents mortgaging their house to adopt this child.

Why are the fees so high? I simply don’t understand.

Cost shouldn’t be a factor. The needs of the child should be the focus.

THIS SHOULDN’T BE A BUSINESS!!

But this brings me to the conversation I had with the consultant.

A little background: S’s adoption cost 28K. We decided not to use the same agency because the fees were increased to more than 32K. With all of the money we have spent on S’s hospital bills and health needs, that is simply too much. Way too much!

So I set about trying to find ways to make this adoption economical. I looked into grants, various loan programs and for agencies that didn’t charge large upfront fees to search for a child.

Don’t get me wrong, we are not destitute. We don’t want for much (well M really wants a Mercedes…but…). We own our home. We have one brand new car (and one old one – thus the desire for the Mercedes). We have been lucky to have not been affected much* by the economic downturn.

*except our plummeting house value which has made us continue to suffer the FL summers…but I digress…

I had given her a budget of 22K. (They don’t work with people who have budgets smaller than 20K) so I decided 22K would be the top end of what we could afford. Because you get back 12K from taxes for adoption, the total cost would be about 10K. I can live with 10K. I DON’T like it, but I can live with it.

But what the consultant said stopped me in my tracks.

She said, “I could probably find you a drug exposed baby for 22K, but if you want a healthy child with no drug/alcohol exposure – you’re looking at 30K minimum.”

Yes, you read that right. She really did say, “I could probably find you a drug exposed baby for 22K…” Seriously?

I politely explained that we were not interested in a child that has been drug exposed. ‘Not interested’ aren’t the right words…We’re not equipped at this time to handle another child with special needs.

If you can choose, why not choose the best start for the child that will be entering your family?

If I was able to create this little life and carry him myself, you can be certain that I’d do everything in my power to give him the best start. I would eat my vegetables, exercise and not even a Tylenol would touch my lips.

Just because we can’t create him, doesn’t mean that we don’t have the right to make some choices. And we are choosing the best possible start.

And don’t think I have forgotten that our ‘healthy’ child has racked up probably 250K in medical expenses over her 2.5 years, so anything can happen. We KNOW that. Trust me.

Given a choice, we are choosing the best possible start. End of discussion.

Now how do we pay for that?

9 comments:

Beth said...

I know, I know! Healthy guaranteed. Gender, little tricky.

Beth said...

Are you continuing with this woman?

newwife said...

Wow. We are going through the same thing here...it breaks my heart that there are kiddos here that we simply can't afford! Good luck, I will be saying a prayer that the right doors are opened, right connections are made or whatever else it takes to bring your son home!!
-Jen-

Lianna Knight said...

Girl...when you figure that out, you've got my number!!! I'm in the same boat...it is such a shame :(

Michele said...

I may be the crazy one here. 32k is A LOT don't get me wrong. BUT in the midwest, if a person doesn't have insurance the average cost for doctors appointments, ultrasounds, vitamins, etc and labor/delivery range around 18,000-28,000. (That total includes the 3000ish that is charges on a seperate bill for the baby while in the hosiptal) Obviously it varies depending on the type of delivery and hospital stay etc.

Luckily some companies out here will pay in adoption fees up to what they would pay for a normal pregnancy, so I know that has helped out some people.

Good luck with you search and may you find that "perfect" baby!!!

Anonymous said...

I see your desire to have a healthy baby, but I agree with the other person... the costs of having your own baby can be astrnomical, too. Unforseen complications happen. Healthy people dont always have healthy babies. And with pregnancy, it can be a roll of the dice for mom too. If you got pregnant, would you abort if you found out in utero that the baby would have special needs?? Something to think about.

I feel bad for all the unwanted "drug" babies.

N and M said...

Michelle,

A good friend of mine had a baby, a c-section, without insurance. The total cost for the hospital stay was about 30K.

The difference is, I have insurance. If I was able to get pregnant, the cost would be minimal - in my situation.

I've had years to adjust to being infertile. But I haven't had years to adjust to having to pay a high price for something I cannot create. Just frustrated.

And I'm not looking for the "perfect" baby in the slightest. I just want to have some control over the choices we make. Make sense?

There are always unforseen issues with kids.

Wendi said...

I wish you well on your journey. God has the exact right baby just for you... waiting is hard, not knowing is the hardest. I wish it was so much easier to give kids that need a home a permanent place to lay their heads at night. I know about 'difficult', being a foster mom kind of educates you quickly.

God bless you!

Michele said...

Rereading that yes I meant perfect, but should have been more specific.

I was saying "perfect," meaning exactly what you wanted - a little boy that fits your specific wants and familiar background. It was not meant in a bad way at all.

Again, I hope that all is going well in the adoption process and that you get good news soon!