Lately, a lot of traffic has been coming through my email inbox about the high costs of adoption. The specific situation being complained about was a sibling group and the fees were approximately $55,000.
Many people in the email forum were very upset about this number. I have to say, I am not surprised nor particularly offended by it. Here's why...
I can only speak for the agency from which we adopted our children. I have no other experience with any other agency and/or facility. That being said, the agency we used is a not for profit adoption agency. I have personally visited their offices in Tulsa, San Antonio and El Paso. The three office locations which I visited are older buildings, with out dated furnishings and aged office equipment. I can state from my personal observations that any money collected from adoption fees is not spent on buying the latest in technology to keep the offices on the cutting edge.
Let's do some math, it might help explain it a little more. Our agency has four office locations, again three of which we have been too, I am going to guesstimate each location employs a minimum of four employees. The agency does an average of twenty adoptions a year. Our adoptions cost on average $26,000. $26,000 x 20 = $520,000. The total amount $520,000 a year maintains four offices, pays the salaries of approximately 16 people (if they made $20,000 a year that would be $320,000), covers the travel expenses of those employees (I should mention when our sons were born in Dallas and El Paso, our social worker from the San Antonio agency was present until we were able to take the babies home), I would also assume any additional costs for the birth of the children that is incurred also comes from these funds.
I have to say looking at that simple equation above, it does not make us question where the money went. It is obvious that the agency cannot survive on adoption fees alone it relies on private donations as well.
So when someone is appalled by the amount we paid in adoption fees or someone makes an ignorant statement like we bought our children they in my opinion have not examined it very closely. All of that being said, I like everyone else wish it could be more affordable, but as I explained the costs are necessary. I would like to see more funding available for adoptive families to make it easier for them to pay the fees.
That's my soapbox for today.