Last week I did a live Q&A Facebook session all about adoption. The questions that I received were fantastic! I wanted to share the video and a quick summary of the questions, because they are common ones that I frequently get asked.
As I’ve mentioned before, I LOVE answering questions about adoption! Let me know what questions you have. 🙂
1. Do you think you guys may still adopt down the road?
Let me give a little background for those of you that don’t know our current situation. My husband and I struggled with infertility for two years. During this time we were pursuing both infertility treatments and a private adoption. We were very blessed to become pregnant and are currently expecting our first child. A baby boy due in July!
But, the answer to this question is YES. Yes we are still planning on adopting in the future! Adoption is something we feel very strongly about.
2. Do you know how many babies are adopted a year v. older children?
This question is a little trickier to answer, because there are a lot of different adoption statistics online. Here is what I found:
First, I wanted to share some interesting numbers I found about adoption on the Adoption Network’s website.
Next, there was a survey done by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. It was done in 2007-2008, so it is a little dated. But, this is the most widely known and largest adoption survey in the U.S.
They did a survey to see how U.S. citizens were adopted. Either by foster care, domestic adoption or international adoption. Here are the results that they found:
- 37% Foster Care
- 38% Domestic Adoption
- 25% International Adoption
The numbers are split pretty evenly!
You can find more information about the survey on their website.
3. How much is it to initially start the adoption process?
The two main fees you will need to pay to get the process started are home study fees and agency fees, if you are working with an agency. The fees can vary greatly, depending on which route of adoption you choose.
Here are three different examples:
-Private adoption is when you don’t go through an adoption agency. So you don’t have any agency fees.
-Home Study- $650+fees for background checks, child abuse registry checks & medical physicals. (This is what we paid for our home study, but remember these fees can vary.)
-Utah based adoption agency. They have a four phase fee schedule.
-Phase 1- $3,721.50 (estimate), includes application, pre-adoption education, home study, background screenings & agency service fee
-Total adoption costs estimate- $23,000-40,000
Visit their website for more information:
-Nevada, Arizona & Utah adoption agency
-Premier Adoption uses a sliding scale fee. This means your fees are based on your yearly income. So if you make 100,000 per year, you are going to end up paying more than if you make 30,000.
-Application fee $450 + home study fee (which depends on your location)
-Total adoption costs estimate- $15,000-30,000
Visit their website for more information:
In summary, the start up fees for an adoption can cost anywhere between $500-5,000. Total adoption fees can be $5,000-50,000. It really just depends on the adoption process you choose and your unique situation.
4. What does the adoption process look like?
Here is a quick run down of the domestic adoption process:
- Decide what adoption process you want to go forward with. (Domestic adoption in this example. 🙂 )
- Complete your home study.
- Wait to get matched with a birth mother. You can do this by promoting yourself on social media and adoption websites. Or if you are working with an agency they will help you make a profile and present your family to potential matches.
- Get matched with a birth mother.
- Make adoption plans. For example: Are you going to have an open or closed adoption? What birth mother expenses do you need to pay?
- Travel when the baby is born. If the baby is born out of your state you will need to make plans to stay there for up to 2 weeks. This process is called ICPC. Which stands for Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. During this time paperwork will be done between the two states, so you can legally take the baby out of it’s current state and into your home state.
- Finalize the adoption. This will happen 6 months after the baby is born.
I know that’s a lot of information all at once, so if you have questions about the process let me know!
Here is a recent blog post you can check out for more information about how the home study process works.
5. I know you dealt with scammers, how can you avoid that? If possible?
Because we chose to do a private adoption we ran into a LOT of scammers online. When you go through an agency the chances of scammers are not as high.
Sadly, there isn’t a way to avoid this because the internet is widely accessible to anyone now. Especially when you are working to get your adoption profile out to everyone you possibly can. But there are a couple things you can watch out for to help keep you safe, if you choose to go with a private adoption.
First, it is OK to ask for a proof of pregnancy. If a potential birth mother reaches out to you they are wanting their baby to go to a good home. She won’t be offended if you ask for a proof of pregnancy or doctor updates.
Don’t send money directly to the birth mother. Have a “middle man”. In our case our lawyer was willing to work with the birth mother to handle what expenses needed paid for. You can pay the hospital directly for bills, or a mortgage company. You can also send a Walmart gift card for groceries. There is no need to ever send cash directly.
Watch for things like, someone reaching out to you and immediately asking for money. Or someone immediately wanting to place their baby with you, after talking for an hour or a short amount of time. Again, a birth mother is going to want her baby to go to a good home. She is going to want to get to know you before deciding your family is a good match.
I recently wrote a blog post all about adoption scams that you can get more tips from!
6. How do you keep hoping and be optimistic when it’s a long and uncertain road?
The adoption process is hard. There are so many uncertainties and questions you may have. That is OK though! There is nothing wrong with that.
Here are three things that I have learned:
First, don’t put your life on hold. Plan fun dates with your spouse. Have things to look forward to! Plan your family vacations. You can always cancel them if you need to, but don’t just sit around waiting for your adoption to happen. Continue to do the things that you enjoy.
Second, have a good support system. Whether this is your spouse, family or friends, surround yourself with those who are supportive of your adoption. If you don’t know of anyone personally, there are online support groups and Facebook groups you can join!
Check out my blog post all about adoption support groups for more direction on how to find the support you need. 🙂 Don’t ever feel like you are alone.
Third, it is OK to have a bad day! There is nothing wrong with getting your emotions out and being open about your feelings. Take the time you need to get those emotions out in a healthy way. Then you can keep moving forward with the adoption process.
I am SO GRATEFUL for all the questions I received for this first adoption Q&A session. I look forward to the next one! Again, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out! 🙂