Part of the front-end adoption process is establishing a budget. It’s not a set-in-stone thing but it is a ballpark thing. Agencies want to know, up front, if we can cover the fees associated with a particular situation.
Private domestic adoption fees range from $30,000 to $50,000. There’s a lot involved in that number: homestudy filing fees, background check fees, fees to cover a social worker’s time in completing a homestudy, attorney fees, court fees, agency fees, expenses for the expectant mom, and lots of other stuff.
We don’t have a spare $50,000. (We also don’t have a spare $30,000, either, in case you were wondering.)
We don’t have a ton of money saved. We have more now than a year ago, especially with me back at a full time job and us with two good incomes. However, we have debt, and our focus has been on paying that down – not on establishing an impressive savings account. That was part of why we never really pursued private adoption where we used to live. We didn’t have the income to even come close, not even for paying off any loans we took out.
Thankfully, our current situation is much different. We are used to living on one salary, so now that we have two we are moving quickly on paying things off. We’re also in a better position to pay off any loans we might take out.
We will be taking out loans. This will not be a debt-free adoption.
We’ve talked a lot about fundraising. That seems to be a thing potential adopters do. It’s not something we’re 100% comfortable with, though. Even writing about it makes me squirm. However, we’ve had a lot of friends and family ask what we’re doing, how they can help. Over the years, they just keep asking. And now we are at a point where we actually could use their support. So we did a shirt and posted “we’re adopting!” along with a link to the shirt.
The response was amazing. It wasn’t just people getting shirts; but it was the incredible notes of support, the “sharing” to their own accounts, the offers of further resources and support down the road. We were totally blown away. Suddenly, we feel hopeful. This is possible; this is doable. We have people behind us.
We probably won’t do much more “fundraising.” I can’t make any real claims about what will happen down the road. I just know where our comfort level is on asking for help and it’s already been surpassed.
But then, so have our expectations.
Kind of overwhelming. In a good way.