I can't find much of a breakdown out there on the internet. I know if we adopt from Armenia, for example, it will be $35-$45k, but I don't know what is due when! We are feeling really excited to start the process, but we aren't rich, and can't front that whole amount at once. Any ideas of what is generally due when?
Here is one example I found... http://travisandjennyadopt.blogspot.com/p/cost-breakdown.html
No personal experience but that looks normative for most of the families I have seen. I can ask around if you don't get any more answers.
A lot of agencies will have the information available on their website if you dig for it. I know our adoption agency does. Or they will send you the info in a packet if you inquire. For us, there are two BIG fees - the contract fee and the orphanage donation. We paid the contract fee a few months ago and will be paying the orphanage fee shortly. So they are definitely spread out a bit! It helps if you can save up some of the costs before you get started so that you can save during the adoption process, apply for grants, fundraise, and apply for loans if necessary.
Are you wanting to adopt a baby or a waiting child? That definitely influences the timeline and how fast fees come due!
I found an agency that is experienced working with deployed military families adopting while abroad (which we will be for 4 years starting next year!), and they gave me a timeline! For them it's $4k due when you sign up, $8k due a few months later (covers homestudy, paperwork, translations, everything until the referral), most of the remainder due when you accept a referral, and then one last payment when you get back to the States, which covers court fees to legalize the adoption here, and the post evaluations. The amounts of those last two will just depend the country we choose. So depending on how fast the referral comes, we may or may not have years to save up between the homestudy and the referral.
We are hoping to adopt a little girl born after June 2012 (so our bio daughter will remain the oldest). By the time the paperwork goes through for us, and we get a referral, that child could be 2-3 or even older. Or younger, I mean we would be open to an infant- but an infant is not a requirement for us. We would also be open to a young sibling set, with the oldest born after June 2012, and even a mild-moderate correctable special needs situation We are fortunate being in the military, if there are surgeries needed, etc, it won't be prohibitive. I'm not exactly sure how these things will influence our timeline. Part of me wants it to happen as fast as possible- and part of me hopes it takes time, because we can't afford to pay the whole thing too quickly!!
Does anybody know how those two factors- a young sibling set and mild/moderate correctable special needs- can influence the timeline?
I'm so glad that you were able to find an agency that gave you a fee breakdown! I think both of your factors (sibling set and special needs) will have the same effect - they will speed up your timeline. Because you're not looking for as young as possible with no special needs, you could get matched faster. Is looking at the waiting child lists an option for you? I know of lots of little ones that would fit your criteria, just not sure if waiting child lists are an option with you being abroad.
My husband and I are adopting from a waiting child list. We found our girl and went with the agency who holds her file. It took two months to complete our home study and request to be matched with her. We're about to submit our dossier and have been working on the adoption now for almost nine months. Once the dossier is submitted, we should be able to travel in roughly six months.
Congratulations on finding your girl!! That is so exciting, I hope everything goes smoothly and quickly, and you can get her home soon!
We are deploying next summer (for 4 years), so doing a homestudy before then might mean redoing it once we deploy. Even if we found a child quickly, any delays could throw a wrench in it when we move. And right now the age group we are looking for (born after June 2012) is still 0-18 months, which is pretty in demand. Once we move however, looking at a waiting child list is a great idea! I honestly hadn't given that option any thought. Was it tough to look through all those pictures and just pick one child? Or did you just know her when you saw her?
I'm fairly certain you'd have to redo a homestudy once you deploy. And updates can definitely be a pain. We looked into moving into a bigger house before our girl comes home but we'd have to update so much paperwork that we decided we'd rather wait to move until we're between adoptions.
I think you'd be surprised how many 12-18 month old children are on the waiting child lists. If you are interested, I can pass links to the lists I know about that advocate for younger children. It's hard in some ways; all those kids with no parents is REALLY sad. But we came across our girl's profile and knew that she's meant to be our daughter. :) We prayed about it before we started looking. The advantage of looking now vs later is that you can see what types of special needs are out there and which ones you would feel comfortable with, looking into ones you've never heard about, and talk to other parents about what it's like raising a child with a particular special need. I know for us, over time, our list of special needs grew because of research.
I would really appreciate that. Thank you so much.
I know what you mean about your list growing- mine is already evolving, just from the past few days. At first I was thinking only correctable special needs. But today I saw a sweet little boy who was deaf- and realized that I speak sign language (some, not fluently). And the other day I saw a man who was missing a few fingers. Which, how would that matter? And a coworker of mine a few years ago has epilepsy. She is a healthy, working mother of 2. All of these things would be listed as non-correctable.
It's like the world is slowly opening my eyes and heart to the possibilities. Or maybe I'm just paying attention for the first time?
Yes! This is exactly what is happening to us. As time goes on, as we're learning about various special needs and looking at profiles of waiting children, we're realizing "hey, we could do that!" Something we learned that might help you... keep a list of what you're comfortable with and add to it as you find needs that are doable for your family. The social worker has to include a list of what special needs you will accept. When she asked us for a list, we had a hard time coming up with one simply because we weren't sure exactly what needs are out there. We're now comfortable with mild to moderate cerebral palsy, something we weren't comfortable with before. It's not listed on our home study because we weren't thinking of that need before. If we had found a child with CP, we'd have to pay for an updated home study to include CP on the list. When starting the process for child #2, we'll make sure to include CP on the new list.
For waiting child lists, these are my favorites:
http://wonderfulwaitingkids.com - Lifeline's advocacy page. They update the list frequently and include a lot of details on the children waiting for families. This list has been most helpful for expanding our awareness level of the needs children have.
http://www.rainbowkids.com/WC/ - A compilation of waiting children from various agencies.
Both of the websites require that you sign up to view the children but they only send a few emails (notifying you of updates) and won't contact you to pressure you into signing with an agency.