First, I must admit that I am horrible about reading comments that people leave on my blog. Sometimes I see them right away and respond, other times I go a few weeks before I even realize that I have comments. Yes, I know I need to set it up so that I get notified every time I get a comment, I really should do that, I know.
Anyway, I had a comment on my last post and I thought I would take the time to post a blog about financing an adoption. Hopefully I can explain to everyone what Jonathan and I's take on "financing" an adoption looks like for us.
First, I should let everyone know reading this blog that to do a traditional domestic infant adoption (which is what we did with Mary Elizabeth), the costs can range anywhere from $12K-$35K. With our particular agency, the MOST you will spend is $22K but I have known others to spend upwards of that with other agencies. You will also find that other agencies will discount the fees based on the race of the child, health of the child and the likelihood of the child being placed. For instance, since a healthy white child is the most in demand, you will find that other agencies tend to charge top dollar for these children. Yes, it is sickening. That is why we choose Bethany Christian Services in Nashville. They charge a sliding scale fee based on each couple's income, NOT based on the child.
You pay for the costs of the adoption (formal application fee, home study fee, etc.) a little at a time until the big whammy which is the placement fee. The placement fee is due when you are placed with the child. The placement fee is the remainder of the set fee based on your income that you have yet to pay. For instance, if your determined fee is $18K and you have already paid in $4K in various fees mentioned above, you would owe $14K at placement. Yes, there are loans available to pay for this fee.
BUT, for Jonathan and I, we aren't comfortable with taking out a loan. Why? Well, there's a couple of reasons. 1. We are already parenting four children. The last thing we need is a fifth child named adoption loan. If we can't pay cash for the adoption, we personally feel that now is not the right time to start the process. 2. We are willing to work, and work hard, to save the cash for this adoption. We don't EXPECT people to help us, but if people WANT to help us, that is the reason we put the paypal link on the blog. We've had some people say, "hey, we don't have stuff to donate for a yard sale, but we feel called to help you guys out" so that's why we stuck it up there. 3. We don't want to be normal, and taking out a loan is normal. Is it bad? For us, yes...for you, it may not be...but when we welcome home Freeman #5 we want to be able to completely enjoy this child and not have a loan on our back.
Now, as for what happens if we don't adopt. We are keeping all the donated funds in a seperate savings account (that already has $210 in it! YAHOO!) If something happens and we can't adopt, we will refund every dime back to each person who has donated. On something like the yard sale where that can't be determined, we will donate those said funds to another family that is in the process of adopting.
I hope that I have helped answer some questions that some of you might have been thinking, but not brave enough to ask. Again, I am not saying a loan is bad, it just isn't right FOR US and we personally believe that God has given us knowledge, skills and the means to save the funds to bring our next child home!