Over the years, many people have expressed to me their desire to adopt or provide foster care someday. It can feel awkward to ask questions pertaining to the process, family, and hard situations. That's why over the next three weeks, I'll be answering some questions readers sent me!
Today, you'll find answers to:
What's the first step I should take if I want to foster or adopt?
Is it affordable?
There are several types of adoption: private adoption, domestic infant adoption, international adoption, and adoption from the foster care system. Each type has differing expenses, and every scenario is different.
Both of our sons adoptions were done through the foster care system. The first time, we paid for an adoption home study, as our goal was adoption. With the home study fee, paperwork filing fees, background clearances, and other neccessary documentation, it cost about $2,500 (including our annual follow up).
$2,500 is easy to come by for some, but we did not have that much sitting around - and we were committed to not acquiring debt, so we did some creative fundraising and cut back on everything that wasn't necessary (no cable tv, no smartphones or internet on our phones, no eating out, etc.).
Becoming a licensed foster care parent is free. Training can be done through a state or private agency. In our area, I always suggest going through an agency, as we have appreciated having the extra advocates for our kiddos and family.
Private adoptions range in cost. The cost typically covers legal fees (attorney, court, and filing fees).
Domestic infant adoptions are typically 20K+. The expenses cover things such as agency, court, attorney, and expectant mother expenses.
International adoption varies by country and orphanage. In addition to the legal and agency fees, there will be the cost of travel, passports, and extensive paperwork filing.
So, long answer short: It can absolutely be affordable! In fact, if you become a licensed foster parent who chooses to be an adoptive resource, the adoption itself may only cost court filing and medical paperwork fees!
What are the steps needed to complete the adoption process?
What is the hardest part of the process leading up to adoption?
Waiting. Hands down, that was the hardest part. Granted, bearing every part of our personal lives for scrutiny by strangers across the United States was a little awkward, but the knowledge that it was for the protection of precious children made it easier to handle.
The waiting, however, caught me by complete surprise. There are thousands of children waiting in the foster care system for a forever family. We FLEW through the paperwork process and were approved more quickly than our worker had ever seen before --- and I was convinced that was evidence that God was bringing our kiddo home right away!
Only, He didn't. It was 18 long months before we met our son! As God often does, He used the most challenging part of our story to speak, and that is why I wrote "Don't Waste Your Wait: Embracing the Journey of Bringing Your Child Home." The book chronicles some of my blog entries as we waited, reflections on what God was teaching us, and practical ways to embrace the precious season of waiting before your child comes home! The book is available for purchase on Amazon here!
If you are in the season of waiting, or simply want to read more about it, you may find these posts helpful as well!:
An Open Letter To Waiting Families
4 Things Every Waiting Family Should Do
When Waiting is Hard
Next week, I'll be tackling some questions about the family! In the mean time, I'd love to hear from you, friend! Were there any questions you were hoping I'd answer that I didn't address here? Do you have questions relating to family and adoption?
Here you will find the musings of a homeschooling, work from home, adoptive Momma of 7! Adventures in faith, family, adoption, and training up a tribe to follow hard after Jesus are spilled into these posts --- most often written with a cup of coffee in hand. I hope you'll stick around a while and find something - more likely SOMEONE! - that brings you hope!
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