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#61 of 100 Old 12-17-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post
This is incorrect. I am not sure where someone would get the idea that babies have price tags on them.
This is referenced in lots of adoption literature. I assume it comes from averages. Sure you can adopt a healthy white infant and not pay a lot, but the average adoptive parent who goes into adoption seeking out a healthy white infant ends up paying more and waiting longer.
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#62 of 100 Old 12-17-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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Actually, I've read it here. Some programs to adopt minorities have lower fees than the more general programs.
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#63 of 100 Old 12-17-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post
There is no price tag on the child's race and health status.
That's oversimplified. Many non-state programs provide a reduced fee for "special needs" adoptions. This is an incentive in cases where it is not expected that many prospective parents will inquire about a child or group of children. What is considered a "special need" varies, but sibling groups, for example, may be part of a reduced fee program...and race and health status also definitely come up.

As ROM said, this is well-documented.

We have to look honestly at even the uglier sides of adoption.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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#64 of 100 Old 12-17-2009, 05:11 PM
 
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I was simply stating that it is not like you sign up and you're told, okay it is going to be $20k for a white healthy baby, and $5k for a unhealthy baby of another race. Which I did explain in detail. You pay based on what type of adoption you are doing.
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#65 of 100 Old 12-17-2009, 05:24 PM
 
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Sounds like the same thing to me. Program A costs $X for a minority child. Program B costs $X + Y for a possibly white or possibly minority child.
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#66 of 100 Old 12-17-2009, 05:37 PM
 
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If you call an adoption agency that has a reduced fee program for "special needs," and race is a factor in determining special needs...and you say, "I am interested in adopting a baby who is a racial minority. What are the adoption fees?" the answer is going to be different than if you say, "I am interested in adopting a caucasion baby." Wait times may also very well be different.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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#67 of 100 Old 12-17-2009, 08:46 PM
 
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If you call an adoption agency that has a reduced fee program for "special needs," and race is a factor in determining special needs...and you say, "I am interested in adopting a baby who is a racial minority. What are the adoption fees?" the answer is going to be different than if you say, "I am interested in adopting a caucasion baby." Wait times may also very well be different.
Some agencies reduce fees and some don't. It is entirely possible to adopt a healthy white infant out of foster care through the state for free and also entirely possible to adopt a child who is not white who has special needs for $40,000. My point was simply that the price doesn't correlate directly to the child's race and health status. I completed adoptions for an adoption agency for years, and my answer to families on the adoption fees would not have been different based on race as you stated. It would have corresponded to a number of different questions including what type of adoption they were interested in. Statistically, a white healthy child may end up being a more expensive adoption overall, but I would have some doubts about this as international adoption is the most expensive of all with a large number of children being minority and certainly not always in perfect health or on track developmentally. I agree with what polliwog said about the x plus y thing.
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#68 of 100 Old 12-18-2009, 01:21 AM
 
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I agree with what polliwog said about the x plus y thing.
But that kind of contradicts what you're saying... If I'm understanding Polliwog's post correctly...

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#69 of 100 Old 12-18-2009, 01:58 AM
 
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I think the idea of cost is being over simplified here. Of course, costs of adoption vary widely depending on if you adopt through the state, private domestic adoption or internationally. And then within those options, prices will vary depending on the program you choose.

We are hoping and waiting to do a private domestic newborn adoption. While researching all of these options, I found a couple of agencies that do consider children who are African American or part African American as harder to place, and so reduce the fees they normally charge in the hope of removing any financial barriers so that more people will be able to consider adopting that child. I have never seen an agency where Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, etc children fall into a "harder to place" category unless they have special needs. So, it's not like higher fees directly correlates to "healthy white baby" - the non-reduced fee is applied to "non-white" babies as well.

But, most of the agencies I researched don't even offer this. You pay the same fees regardless of the child's ethnicity. And most of the babies placed through private domestic newborn adoption are healthy. Of course, at most agencies, you can specify what ethnicities you are open to, and people certainly can choose to say that they are only open to adopting a caucasian child. In some cases, that may mean that they wait longer to be matched with a birthmother. Maybe it is unusual, but far more than half of the babies placed through the agency we are working with are caucasian (and healthy). I know of plenty of parents who were open to adopting children of a different ethnicity and were matched with caucasian children. According to the people we met through this agency and the people who work at the agency, there isn't a noticeable difference in wait time.

Also, most people who are involved with adoption would agree that an open adoption is preferable. Closed adoptions are possible though. Sometimes the birthmother wants that. I didn't come across any agencies that deal only with closed adoptions anymore (I wasn't exactly looking for them, though). Most will still work with a birthmom if that is what she wants - so you could end up with it. What I found is that an adoptive parent who wants that would most likely wait longer as most birthmoms don't want that - so finding a match would take longer. I have never heard of an agency that says it would cost more to have that kind of adoption, though.
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#70 of 100 Old 12-18-2009, 02:20 AM
 
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We focused our attention on private domestic adoption, so I am coming from that point of research.

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Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
..and you say, "I am interested in adopting a baby who is a racial minority. What are the adoption fees?" the answer is going to be different than if you say, "I am interested in adopting a caucasion baby." Wait times may also very well be different.

But, from what we found, this isn't entirely accurate - at the agencies we came across who offered these reduced fees programs, if you asked what the fees are for African American or part African American babies, the answer would be different than if you asked about babies of all other ethnicities than African American.
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#71 of 100 Old 12-18-2009, 02:37 AM
 
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But, from what we found, this isn't entirely accurate - at the agencies we came across who offered these reduced fees programs, if you asked what the fees are for African American or part African American babies, the answer would be different than if you asked about babies of all other ethnicities than African American.
Isn't that what Sierra was saying in the post you quoted? Or are you saying that the fees were higher for AA babies (and therefore opposite of what Sierra was saying)?

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#72 of 100 Old 12-18-2009, 03:33 AM
 
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Isn't that what Sierra was saying in the post you quoted? Or are you saying that the fees were higher for AA babies (and therefore opposite of what Sierra was saying)?
Kind of - but what I was saying is that it is more specific (and not the opposite and that the fees are higher). What we found was that any program that offered reduced fees was more specific than offering the reduced fees for all minority children - they were only lower for children who were African American. Which gets back to the idea that a "healthy white baby" is "more expensive" - it isn't only "white" babies who are not a part of the reduced fees programs. Even at the agencies that did offer reduced fees programs, children of all other minorities did not qualify for the reduced fee program. So you would pay the same fees not just to adopt a "healthy white baby" but also to adopt a Hispanic baby, etc (assuming the underlying health of all the babies). But, again, even the reduced fees programs don't seem all that common - I think I came across 2 or maybe 3 in all of my searching. Almost all of the agencies I looked at had the same fees regardless of ethnicity.
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#73 of 100 Old 12-18-2009, 03:28 PM
 
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Kind of - but what I was saying is that it is more specific (and not the opposite and that the fees are higher). What we found was that any program that offered reduced fees was more specific than offering the reduced fees for all minority children - they were only lower for children who were African American. Which gets back to the idea that a "healthy white baby" is "more expensive" - it isn't only "white" babies who are not a part of the reduced fees programs. Even at the agencies that did offer reduced fees programs, children of all other minorities did not qualify for the reduced fee program. So you would pay the same fees not just to adopt a "healthy white baby" but also to adopt a Hispanic baby, etc (assuming the underlying health of all the babies). But, again, even the reduced fees programs don't seem all that common - I think I came across 2 or maybe 3 in all of my searching. Almost all of the agencies I looked at had the same fees regardless of ethnicity.
Amen. This is exactly correct, as is what you said earlier. There isn't a higher price tag on white healthy babies period.
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#74 of 100 Old 12-19-2009, 12:42 AM
 
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I think something that maybe is not being explicitly stated is that in many areas of the country, children who are initially foster children and adopted through fost-adopt or adopted directly through the state CPS systems are often minorities and those adoptions are low-cost if not free. Where I am, these are definitely minority children and often with health issues if not also emotional issues (above and beyond the normal things an adoptive child may face). Perhaps the people who are on the other side of the fence in this discussion come from areas similar to mine--where these children are usually minorities. I realize it's not that way everywhere, though.

Having adopted a young child through the state, I am regularly accosted by people who are no longer able to tap the equity in their home to afford private or int'l adoption and are now looking to adopt from the state to reduce the cost of adopting. It's disgusting to say, but they are usually grilling me about the likelihood of getting a healthy Caucasian (they will often say they'd "consider" Hispanic, but ultimately a non-AA) infant and what that might equate to in wait time (and to be fair, I couldn't possibly have a clue: I don't work for the state in that capacity).

In that context, it certainly comes across as a healthier non-minority child being a higher cost as it would mean going private adoption (which costs significantly more).

So the actual programs may not run this way, but the process and the nature of the... I don't want to say "system" because it's not one system or another (so it's not like it's CPS' system or agency system), but I don't know what else to call it. The nature of the process, I guess. When you look at the bigger picture of the various ways to adopt, it could look like it is more expensive to adopt a healthy, Caucasian child.

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#75 of 100 Old 12-19-2009, 12:57 AM
 
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Taken even a step farther, special needs adoption, defined differently by each state, comes with adoption subsidies - more than free, you can actually be paid to adopt certain foster children. And race is specifically mentioned in most states' criteria for special needs.

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#76 of 100 Old 12-19-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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Taken even a step farther, special needs adoption, defined differently by each state, comes with adoption subsidies - more than free, you can actually be paid to adopt certain foster children. And race is specifically mentioned in most states' criteria for special needs.
Yes, it is more than free. Some children are coming with a $2000 stipend each month in addition to their MA card.

One criteria *can* be a difficult to place due to race, however, in the state in which I worked (and I assume everywhere as MEPA is involved which is federal), this only means Native American due to the increased difficulties with placement related to different legal requirements. A child being a race other than caucasian does not qualify them for this criteria alone.
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#77 of 100 Old 12-19-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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Some children are coming with a $2000 stipend each month in addition to their MA card.
I've never heard of a subsidy that high, though granted, few folks talk about subsidies openly. The only place I have known to give out really big subsidies is CA, and I thought theirs were still closer to the $1000 range.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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#78 of 100 Old 12-19-2009, 05:03 PM
 
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When you look at the bigger picture of the various ways to adopt, it could look like it is more expensive to adopt a healthy, Caucasian child.
Yes, it could. But that doesn't mean that what originally was stated that "it is more expensive to adopt a white healthy baby" is true. When you look at the even bigger picture to include international adoption--which is extremely popular, you are looking at always paying more to adopt than you would with special needs or domestic adoption and you are not looking at typically adopting "healthy white" babies.
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#79 of 100 Old 12-19-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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I have given many families subsidies that high. Many states do. These would typically be children with very involved needs...either physical, emotional, or behavioral. It is less common, but I would say probably 1 of 20 kids who I placed for adoption had this high of a subsidy.

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I've never heard of a subsidy that high, though granted, few folks talk about subsidies openly. The only place I have known to give out really big subsidies is CA, and I thought theirs were still closer to the $1000 range.
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#80 of 100 Old 12-19-2009, 05:08 PM
 
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Many states have caps on how high subsidy can be. In my state, it is the same as foster care stipends (even children who were formerly in therapeutic foster care.) It's extremely rare for a child to be eligible for a higher rate post adoption.

And yes, being a member of a minority group is a qualifier in many states. The information in this link may be useful: http://www.nacac.org/adoptionsubsidy/stateprofiles.html
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#81 of 100 Old 12-19-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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Good website. Many states have $2000 caps it looks like. My state had minority criteria listed, but it was NEVER ever used and I was told by the State adoption supervisor that it wouldn't be unless it was a Native American child with legal issues. Not that it means that is the case in every state. I noticed some states listed that but it had to be in conjunction with an older age as well.


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Many states have caps on how high subsidy can be. In my state, it is the same as foster care stipends (even children who were formerly in therapeutic foster care.) It's extremely rare for a child to be eligible for a higher rate post adoption.

And yes, being a member of a minority group is a qualifier in many states. The information in this link may be useful: http://www.nacac.org/adoptionsubsidy/stateprofiles.html
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#82 of 100 Old 12-19-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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Many states have caps on how high subsidy can be. In my state, it is the same as foster care stipends (even children who were formerly in therapeutic foster care.) It's extremely rare for a child to be eligible for a higher rate post adoption.

And yes, being a member of a minority group is a qualifier in many states. The information in this link may be useful: http://www.nacac.org/adoptionsubsidy/stateprofiles.html
Same for NJ--where I was specifically told (by two separate adoption workers for the state) that AA was a "difficult to place race". Perhaps this is something that differs by state based on what kind of children are lingering unadopted for extended periods of time in that state's foster system.

And we have some of the highest board rates among states, but even our medically fragile children don't get $2,000/month. Like Polliwog, our subsidies are tied to foster board rates.

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#83 of 100 Old 12-19-2009, 05:23 PM
 
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I am in the process of adopting my 2 therapeutic level foster kids. I am told to expect the monthly payment to be 1/2 if what I get now. Let's see - 1/2 the money, less support and services, no more respite... Is this really a good idea?

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Where are you seeing $2000 caps on that website. I opened quite a few states and didn't see anything close.

In my state it's the foster care rate unless the child has HIV/AIDS. Some kids are eligible for $2000 vendor payments but that's an annual thing, not monthly.

There's also a $2000 cap on adoption-related expenses (finalization) but that's not related to subsidy.

I'm on a couple of big message boards for foster and adoptive parents and I've never heard of anyone getting a huge subsidy unless the child was terminally ill or had RAD.
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No matter what state you are in, IMO getting a 2K/mo subsidy would be HIGHLY unusual...perhaps in a state or area with a very high cost of living, and only if you were adopting a VERY very medically involved child (child needing 24 hour nursing care) or a child with such severe behavioral issues that paying an adoptive parent that much would be cheaper than longterm in-patient care.

I think in most if not all states, children cannot receive more than the highest rate they received as a foster child. In some states you start at $0 and negotiate from there, in other states there is a pretty standard subsidy (in my state i believe that its automatic, whatever the child's FC rate is essentially what you will get.) In my state (MI) this amounts to about $400/mo for a basic level child and i think the max in my state is something like $850/mo and that would need to be specially approved. I assume you could get more on a very individual circumstance for special cases but its NOT the norm.

I just dont want anyone to get the impression that its routine for people who adopt from foster care to get anywhere CLOSE to 2K in subsidy each month. Its not. I know people with kids who have intense needs, such as RAD, medical issues, etc and they get closer to $200-400.

Also, many children that you would think qualify for subsidy do not. My child, adopted from foster care, is AA and has a maternal history of mental illness, and not only does he not qualify for subsidy, we didnt get reimbursed for adoption related expenses (""nonrecurring expenses") nor do we qualify for the special needs adoption credit. If i am able to adopt my foster son he too will get nothing unless i am also able to adopt his older sister, since she is over 3 they would BOTH get subsidy as they then would be a sib group with one member over three (she is 7.) Children under three do not qualify here unless they have alot of special needs.

If you are seeing that "most states cap at 2K" i think you may be looking at nonrecurring expense reimbursement NOT subsidy....most states reimburse up to either 1500 or 2000.

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#86 of 100 Old 12-19-2009, 11:19 PM
 
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Same for NJ--where I was specifically told (by two separate adoption workers for the state) that AA was a "difficult to place race".
Its interesting, because in my area there are TONS of AA kids in care, but also TONS of AA foster and adoptive parents. And i think most people are probably open to race as well. AA kids are overrepresented amongst waiting children in my state, but if the child is younger they usually place them quickly regardless.

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#87 of 100 Old 12-19-2009, 11:44 PM
 
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Funny how difficult it is for me to talk about the money part.

I now get about $1500/mo each for my 2 kids. They are the highest level of behavioral needs; I receive the maximum possible in my state for non-medical needs. I am getting ready to negotiate for adoption subsidy, and all the lawyers and social workers tell me to be happy if I get over $750 for each.

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#88 of 100 Old 12-20-2009, 12:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post
...Going into adoption with the mindset that you want nothing to do with the biological family is not even a close to ideal situation for the child who you would be adopting...
Did you read post 39?

If anyone is wondering where some of us get the crazy idea that it's less expensive to adopt African American children, here is the cost sheet from Gladney.

For African American or Biracial infants and toddlers, the approx total sliding scale cost is $11,100 - $32,100. For Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, and/or Native American infants and toddlers it is $26,500 -$46,500.
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#89 of 100 Old 12-20-2009, 09:46 AM
 
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Did you read post 39?

If anyone is wondering where some of us get the crazy idea that it's less expensive to adopt African American children, here is the cost sheet from Gladney.

For African American or Biracial infants and toddlers, the approx total sliding scale cost is $11,100 - $32,100. For Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, and/or Native American infants and toddlers it is $26,500 -$46,500.
But it's different today. The expectation for many of today's adoptions is that there will be some level of openness. And today's adoption children will know that. I wonder how many of those children, when grown, will be really upset that they could have known something about their birth parents but their adoptive parents declined.
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#90 of 100 Old 12-20-2009, 10:36 AM
 
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I have given many families subsidies that high. Many states do. These would typically be children with very involved needs...either physical, emotional, or behavioral. It is less common, but I would say probably 1 of 20 kids who I placed for adoption had this high of a subsidy.
That just blows my mind. Adoption subsidies are normally *less* than foster care subsidies, and when I was doing *therapeutic* level foster care, the most a child ever received was $1000.

My children have subsidies in the $300 range plus medicaid as a secondary insurance. The cash amount is barely enough to cover a couple therapies that aren't covered by either our health insurance or medicaid. There is much more we wish we could do for them, therapeutically.

I have a friend (who is not economically advantaged) who adopted two children, one as recently as five years ago. Both have numerous dangerous medical conditions that require a LOT of medical care (frequent hospitalizations included), and both have multiple special needs that require highly specialized care as well (including specialized schools). HIGHLY specialized. My friend's kids do not get a cash subsidy at *all.* They do receive medicaid, but that is it.

It blows my mind.

I appreciate the facts that others have posted in response to this $2000 claim. I don't think it is okay to throw around this dollar amount in talking about subsidies, as even in states that allow for that much, it apparently isn't the norm. It's very rare when looking at the country as a whole, and just shouldn't be allowed to set the tone of these conversations.

I think I am going to bow out of this thread for now. It is just so far from my experience of adoption, and I can't effectively converse at this point. I am reading some posts and feeling like we're on different planets. It's gotten off-topic anyway.

Be well folks.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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