Sunday, August 10, 2008

Adoption Dichotmoies Part II

There are so many glaring dichotomies in adoption I may just have to make this an ongoing regular feature of this blog. Please be sure to see Part I, and Gotcha Day.

Today's dichotomy is in reply to the many people who say that "I/we" use language that commodifies children, as when we speak of the "adoption industry" and the fact that the USA both imports and exports children for adoption. I have even been known to state that children are bought and sold, and surely the use of the terms supply and demand cannot be attributed to me alone!

Now, let's take a look at those attempting to adopt - and those encouraging them to do so. What are their concerns/questions about the process of caring for a child unrelated to them?

Adoption Q &A

Why adopt from Korea and China?The time between completing paperwork and taking a baby home is one to two years. In other countries, including the United States, it can be as much three years or longer.

Can you request a boy or a girl?Yes, though it depends on the country. In China, there typically are more girls up for adoption. In Korea, it's boys.

Do I have to travel to bring a baby home? How much time will I spend there?In China, you must go in person. In Korea, arrangements can be made to have the baby brought to the United States.

How much does it cost? Adoption fees and processing vary by agency and country. A general figure is up to $20,000.

There are half a million "hits" on google for adoption costs! Many of these pages express the following:

Adoption Costs and Financing Adoption

For many parents-to-be, one of the biggest hurdles on the road to adoption is finding the necessary funds. On this page, find tips for financing adoption, learn ways to lower travel costs, read about how other parents did it, and much more.

The above article includes a link to this information obtained from an Adoptive Families 2007 survey of costs:

Highlights of the adoption cost survey:

The majority of domestic newborn adoptions cost less than $25,000, while more than 75 percent of international adoptions cost more than $20,000. [Ed Note: these are all infant adoption, not domestic adoptions from foster care.]

The majority of adoptions from Korea cost between $20,000 and $30,000.

The majority of adoptions from Ethiopia and China cost between $15,000 and $25,000.

The majority of adoptions from Russian and Guatemala cost more than $30,000.

38 percent of domestic adopters had at least one "false start," in which adoptive parents worked with one or more birthmothers before a match that succeeded.

The majority of "false starts" cost less than $5,000. [Ed Note: This is because people CHOSE to pay finder fees to adoption facilitators]

When you look further into the breakdown of these fees, it looks like this:

Agency fees, attorney fees....

Birth parent expenses (Amount and type of expenses allowable for payment usually restricted by state law and subject to review by the court.)

Medical expenses (prenatal, birth/delivery, postnatal for mother; perinatal care for child):
    Low - $0 (insurance) High - $10,000 - $20,000 (depending on difficulty of the delivery, etc.)
Living expenses (rent, food, clothing, transportation, etc):
    Low - $500 High - $12,000
Legal representation: Low - $500 High - $1,500
Counseling: Low - $500 High - $2,000

Then there are International Agency fees, if you go that route:

Agency fees: Low - $10,000 High - $30,000

And, unless you consider your travel a vacation, you need to include:

Fees in the foreign country

    Travel expenses (transportation, hotel, meals)
    Foreign agency placement fee
    Foreign attorney legal and placement fee
    Foster and medical care for the child
    Use of translation and escort services by US agency representative in the foreign country
    Foreign court filing fee and document fees (birth certificate and adoption decree)
    Required "donation" to orphanage or agency
    Translation services and escort services
    Passport office fees

And yet - despite all of the SHOPPING and COMPARISON PRICING - adopters are "offended" - even indignant - at honest language that addresses the FACT that adoption is a "business" and children as "commodities"! My oh my!

Let us not forget that anyone who CHOOSES to spend these outrageous fees are NOT, as they wish to appear, helpless victims trying merely to help, save or rescue a child.

"Clearly, not everyone seeking to adopt is capable of parenting older children or siblings, typically the children who are most in need of permanent homes. However, the astounding fact is nearly forty percent of American adults, or 81.5 million people, have considered adopting a child. If just one in 500 of these adults adopt, all of the 114,000 children in foster care waiting for adoption would have permanent, loving families, according to a National Adoption Attitudes Survey." The Stork Market, p. 39

Talk about wanting your child and wanting to keeping your dignity, too! Can we all say: Adoption Dichotomy!?

Keep watching this blog for more Adoption (Let's Have it ALL, Both Ways) Dichotomies. Perhaps an exploration of God's role in all this??

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