"How Much Did Your Baby Cost?"

Many people are curious about funding adoption. It's usually the first question I receive: "Isn't it expensive?" It's as if there's a belief that you have to be very wealthy to adopt. Fair enough... there are a number of pop-culture representations of the benefactor rescuing a child. Daddy Warbucks comes to my mind (I'm an Annie fan), and I'm sure you can think of a few celebrity names from the headlines. If one more person mentions Brad and Angelina to me, my eyes might roll out of my head. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure they're lovely people. I just cringe at any suggestion that, becuase there are some expenses associated with adoption, it's an exhorbitant thing.

While the cost may be a big sacrifice-- perhaps one that stretches you further than you ever thought you'd go-- it's not out of reach if it is what's right for your family. Most stories of adoptive families I know, anyway, come from average American homes. Consider some of the things people spend money on which are considered relatively normal by the masses. Some people choose to drive nice, new cars and don't think twice about a car payment even though, while you're feeling like a big man in your ride, your "investment" is depreciating faster than you can drive. Some people choose to buy bigger houses in "nicer" neighborhoods when they don't really need the room. Some people choose to take vacations, easily spending thousands on flights, lodging, and entertainment. Weddings...thousands of dollars on a dress, some flowers, and a cake!!! And Lord only knows what some people are paying for shoes, handbags, and jewelry these days. Sacrificing any one of these would easily offset the funding necessary to bring a child home. I really don't mean to judge what anyone chooses to spend. I'm as guilty as the next guy. I'm simply suggesting that adoption isn't an extravagant thing.

Would we ask a woman who just gave birth, “How much did your baby cost?” Probably not. If we were genuinely curious, we might ask about the type of prenatal care or delivery she chose. I have friends who have chosen a variety of experiences for their delivery: in hospitals, with midwives, in hot tubs, with hired doulas, with drugs, without drugs, after fertility treatments, etc... I just heard someone talking the other day about a hospital that is now offering spa treatments to mothers after childbirth (for additional cost, I'm sure)!!! Somehow I don't seem to hear the same concerns over finances when when discussing childbirth... or maybe it's just me?I always remind people that you are not “paying for the child.” You are securing the support of the agency and/or the legal support you choose. Generally speaking, international adoption is the most expensive due to more a extensive legal process, more unknown variables, and travel expenses. Foster care adoption is least expensive and may actually provide financially to help support the child. Domestic infant adoption and special needs adoption are somewhere in between. Agencies match birth mothers with adoptive families, facilitate comfortable communication, and can lead clients as smoothly as possible through the process. The support of an attorney is necessary to make sure everything is made official by the courts. Just as medical care is vital to pregnancy, labor, and delivery, these services allow the fulfillment of adoption. Regardless of the manner in which a family is built, bringing children into our lives entails expense.

There are many organizations dedicated to minimizing barriers (like cost) so that more children may find families. For those considering adoption, Shohannah’s Hope is dedicated to “mobilizing the body of Christ to care for orphans,” offering grants and other helpful resources on funding adoption.

If any reader has questions regarding the stuff we learned along the way, please feel free to contact us at hakonshome@gmail.com. No need to reinvent the wheel. We'd love to share anything we've learned.