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Adoption Questions.... agency vs. lawyer, etc.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
If there is a better place to post this question, please let me know....(I only got one response on my last post so I'm not sure if I put it in the right place....)
We are Sooooooo confused and OVERWHELMED.....
never thought this would be so complicated...
We really wanted to get the ball rollling on this (we're 43 already) and my DH was all for it until he saw the cost of just the home study (we were quoted 1500) and how much personal information is required to give out..... So I'm not sure this is going to happen for us...
But firstmost on our minds right now is:

1. Is there a difference in cost with going from a lawyer vs. an agency? (We are signing on with a mission for matching so I'm not sure we'd need an agency or not)

2. What seems to be the true average cost in the U.S. for interstate adoptions? There seems to be so much variance in things I'm reading on the internet.... what is really the average cost for interstate adoption of an infant to say two or three years of age? WITHOUT foster care adoption and without severe disabilities?

3. How much weight do you think someone doing a home study would place on a bankruptcy that took place 13 years ago or the fact that we both went to therapy over 6 years ago for factors that no longer affect us?

4. Do all home studies ask for tax records for the last 10 years? (that was asked for a study that we set up but haven't had done yet)

If you can help me with any of these questions, it would be MOST appreciated.... any words of encouragement would be nice too.
post #2 of 9

I noticed that you do not want to consider adopting from foster care. Both of my sons came to me from foster care and I wouldn't change it for the world. Can you tell me why you aren't considering it? I can give you a lot of information about that, but unfortunately, I can't about lawyers or agencies. :(


post #3 of 9

I can't answer all your questions because I adopted older children out of foster care and I know infant adoption is generally more expensive and complicated. I know how intimidating the process can be, though, and how it makes you feel like your whole life is a specimen on a microscope slide. You can probably relax about the home study. I had more strikes against me than it sounds like you do and still got approved. I was also in therapy from 2000-2003 and presented it as proof that I'm willing to address issues when they arise. It's all in how you sell it! Lol. I would think that the bankruptcy was too long ago to be a factor in anything.


I think the reason you can't find out the real average price of an adoption is because it varies wildly. Not only will every attorney and agency have their own fee structure, but the more complex the process gets (failed matches etc.) the more fees can pile up.


If you can't get responses from people who've been through something more similar to your situation here, you might want to check out the adoption.com forums. I like the atmosphere here, but they have a larger group of adoptive parents and you may get more responses.


Good luck!

post #4 of 9

The amount of personal information they ask for is for the protection of the child. They want to make sure that whoever is being given the responsibility of raising a child will do right by that child. You don't have to be perfect, but you do have to be safe and reasonable. We did two homestudies. I had absolutely no respect for the agency that breezed through our information. The worker that did our certification was very professional. She probably spent 10 hours with us getting to know every detail of who we are PLUS all the phone calls and letters with/from our family and friends. That's how it should be.


We did a private domestic newborn adoption. We started with the only agency in our state that would work with non-religious families. We had so many problems with them that we ended up going private. The cost of the homestudy was $1,000 in 2008. Then there were the advertising costs, lawyer costs, etc. Frankly, we got away cheap. At the time we were able to get it all back on our taxes. I'm not sure what the law is about that any more.


I understand about not wanting to do foster care adoptions. Where I'm at they don't let you just do foster adopt. They expect you to do straight foster and if you happen to get a chance to adopt  a child that's all well and good, but they don't guarantee it. We didn't want to foster. We didn't want to take in a child only to see it leave.


My guess is adopting out of state will be very expensive. Not only are there the adoption fees, there's all the travel expenses.

post #5 of 9

How is today going?

post #6 of 9


Originally Posted by SundayCrepes View Post
Where I'm at they don't let you just do foster adopt. They expect you to do straight foster and if you happen to get a chance to adopt  a child that's all well and good, but they don't guarantee it.

You're in a place where they don't put the TPR'd children up for adoption? What do they do with them if the foster family they're staying with doesn't want to adopt them?


Sorry, that just sounds very strange and impractical to me.

post #7 of 9

Will the mission that is doing the match for you do the home study? Our daughter's birth family approached us. The first thing we did was go to a lawyer we found through The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.  For the home study, he referred us to a social worker he had worked with before who happened to be with an agency. 


A history of depression dosen't seem to be a problem in the US as long as you can show you've done something about it. I think people get that infertility and depression happen because of the etiology of the infertility or the frustration of not having a baby. 


For our home study no one seemed that quite that intereseted in our financial past. They just wanted to know what we had now and would be reasonably making in the near future. 


My state's bar association had a great website on adoption. I think you really need to talk to an attorney that has adoption clues. Everyone is willing to tell adoption horror stories but our went very smooth. 


post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 



I just know I would not personally be able to withstand the emotionality of having a child placed in my home in foster care and losing that child should he/she need to leave.  I've seen other families go through this and I know that even as a former teacher in the public schools I got far too attatched to my students.  It's just not for me, though I firmly support and admire those that can!

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

All of you, thank you.  I think we have decided not to go down this road afterall.greensad.gif


You gave great advice.....more than some agencies have given us.  But in just a week's worth of phone calls I am just more confused and frustrated.  My DH is very overwhelmed and fearful.  He's afraid of putting the money of a home study ($1500 - 2500) up front and not being approved, or it taking too long for a right match (we are already 43) and the adoption costing us more money than we can afford....we have a daughter applying for college in a year and another son who may do the same in 4 years.  And while some people say we may be able to get money back in taxes, there's no way to know that for sure.  And everyone seems to have different ways of doing things so that it's very very confusing.


no, by the way, the place in Ohio would not do a home study.  They are not an agency, just a mission who coordinates adoptions.  All legal work would need to be done away from there.  Plus the home study apparently needs to be done by someone local.  And everyone local seems to have a different and confuing way of doing this.  I, personally, would probably risk the home study money and do it, but my DH is not comfortable with it.  I have to respect that.  As much as it saddens me.  I really wanted another baby.  I guess I need to accept that's not what is in our future and just love and appreciate the children we do have.


Thanks everyone.

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