Adoption - DOC

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                             Tiona Furin, Melissa Cowley, Marianne Ruff

Why is adoption so hard?

Today, adoption has become increasingly harder because there are fewer children available to
adopt and more couples looking to adopt. Some of the reasons why adoption has become so hard
are listed below.
          Increasing abortions
          No obligation to marry (instead single mothers are keeping their babies)
          More mothers keeping their baby - only 3% of unplanned pregnancies result in
          Increased desire for infants by adopting parents

Adoption Steps

Adoption can be a challenging procedure, so knowing in advance the steps you need to take can
be helpful. Below are twelve steps that most adopting couples must go through.

   1. Educate yourself and family
            The more you and your family know about adoption, the easier the process will be
   2. Decide what type of adoption you want
            There are 5 types of adoption from a domestic perspective: public agency,
               kinship, private agency, independent adoption, and international adoption
            Cost will vary depending of which type you select
   3. Investigate ways to handle expenses
            Adoption is expensive, plan wisely!
   4. Select an adoption agency, facilitator, or attorney
            You will need to choose some sort of professional to help you through the process
            Cost will vary depending on which professional you choose
   5. Complete an agency application
   6. Begin the homestudy process
            This is where the majority of your time will be spent during the adoption process
            Includes rigorous interviewing, in-home observations, paperwork, examinations
   7. Attend adoption classes
            This step concludes the long preparation process before choosing a child to adopt
   8. Be matched with or locate a child
   9. Prepare for your child’s arrival
   10. File a petition to adopt
   11. Finalize the adoption
   12. Post-adoption services and education

Types and Costs of Adoption

From a U.S. citizen’s perspective, there are five different types of adoption. The table on the
next page summarizes the cost ranges for each type of adoption. Domestic Public Agencies are
typically foster homes, and most children you can adopt will be older and often will have special
needs. Private agencies and independent adoptions cost more because someone is acting as the
middle person and doing the adoption work for you.

         Domestic Public Agency                           0 - 2,500
         Stepparent/Kinship                               1,500 - 2,500
         Domestic Private Agency                          4,000 - 30,000+
         Domestic Independent Adoption                    8,000 - 30,000+
         Intercountry Private Agency or Independent       7,000 - 25,000+

Domestic Costs

The cost ranges listed above are assessed based on what the adopting couple would pay if they
were pregnant. Typically, the adopting couple has to pay for medical expenses related to the
birth of the baby and hospital expenses for the birth mother.

Adoption costs also include a variety of fees: advertising, agency, homestudy, attorney,
counseling, and many others.

Federal and state tax credits are available to help offset the costs. However, when all fees are
included, adoptions can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $60,000. Make sure you know up front
all of your fees and expenses and budget your money accordingly to pay for everything.

LDS Family Services: Adoption

One agency that an LDS couple can go through to adopt is LDS Family Services. Their adoption
program includes an in-depth qualification process prior to couples adopting, adoption education
classes and support groups, and a wide range of adoption plans.

Adoption Plans

LDS Family Services has three different adoption plans listed below. By far, infant adoption is
the most popular. Non-disclosed Designated Adoption is adopting through a third party.
    1. Infant Adoption
    2. Non-disclosed Designated Adoption (NDDA)
    3. Special Needs Adoption

Infant Adoption: Steps

The three most important steps of infant adoption through LDS Family Services are below.
   1. Home study
           a. Includes a series of 3-4 interviews
           b. Paperwork
           c. In-home observations
   2. Adoption classes
   3. Support groups
Infant Adoption

LDS Family Services usually has an infant adoption wait time of 6-24 months, which depends on
the following:
            o Number of approved adoptive couples
            o Children available for adoption
            o Birth parents’ preferences
            o Adoptive couples involvement
Fees of infant adoption through LDS Family Services are generally lower than other agencies,
$4,000 to $10,000. Fees are based on 10% of couple’s combined gross annual income from the
previous tax year.

Infant Adoption: Requirements

Adopting through LDS Family Services requires more than other private agencies because they
want the couple to be worthy according to church standards. Some of the requirements are that
the couple be
     Married at least two years,
     Married to each other in the temple and maintain current recommends,
     Able to clear criminal background and child abuse registry checks,
     Able to financially provide for the child, and
     Given a positive recommendation from their Bishop

International Costs

Although many of the domestic costs are included with international adoptions, several added
costs exist when adopting internationally. These costs can add up to an additional $50,000. The
most expensive cost is traveling expenses (plane tickets, food, lodging, accommodations) to and
in different countries. A few of the unique costs of international adoption are listed below.
     Dossier: Personal Information ex: Marriage certificate, medical records, police records,
        etc. Adoption agencies can ask for a lot of information before you can adopt a child.
            o Filing fees: I-600, I-600A, Fingerprints, N-600
            o Immigration fees: This includes for you, your spouse, and your child.
                     Visa: application & issuance
     Travel expenses: The plane tickets alone can cost between $1500 and $4000 just for one
        person. Other travel expenses include food, lodging, and the ticket to bring your child
        home with you. Some countries require you to stay 2-3 months before you can go home.

Adoption Program Fees

Adoption Program Fees are another additional international cost. Below on the next page is a
table showing how the range of adoption program fees varying across different countries.
                                     Adoption Program Fees

                      Country                         Cost
                      China                           9,000
                      Ecuador                         7,500
                      Guatemala                       7,500
                      India                           7,500
                      Korea                          12,250
                      Mongolia                        9,000
                      Philippines                     7,500
                      Romania                         7,500
                      Thailand                        7,500
                      Vietnam                         9,000

What Costs Depend On

Costs of adopting internationally can differ depending on these things:
    Private vs. Independent Agency—different agencies have varying costs
    Court Fees—legal fees the country requires and paying lawyers to handle them
    Travel vs. Escort—if you do not pay to travel to the country where your new child is,
       you can pay for an escort to bring the child back to the U.S. for you; either way you pay
    Traveling Fees—this includes your accommodations while you are in the foreign
       country as well as airline tickets to and from the country for you, your child, and any
       others traveling with you. If you can find somewhere cheap, it will cost you less.
    Donation to Orphanage—a lot of orphanages require that you give a donation when
       adopting a child so that they can have funds to continue running the facility
    Immunization Fees—the U.S. requires immunizations for the child you adopt

Factors to Consider

A few factors to consider when adopting an international child are as follows,
    Laws of Country-Some countries don’t allow inter-racial adoptions, require extended
       visits, or require you work through an agency.
    Cultural Background-Your child may be treated differently when they live in the U.S.
    Sicknesses Typical of Country-many children in African countries have AIDS
    Behavior taught by Family/Culture-The older the child is when you adopt, the more
       likely they will have learned behaviors from their environment. Ages 2-5 are high
       learning ages. Other cultures teach children behaviors very different from what we
       would consider acceptable.
Websites with More Information:

LDS Family Services…………1-800-537-2229…………………1-800-ADOPT-HERE


Marianne Ruff is graduating this December in General Business Management. She hopes to
work in the administration department at a hospital. She is from Highland, Utah, where she has
been living all her life. She currently lives with her parents, older brother and younger sister.
She has two older brothers who are married with children and an older sister who is married.
One interesting thing about her is that she was almost scalped in a sledding accident as a child.

Melissa Cowley is graduating this April in General Business, and she hopes to work in a Human
Resource Department. She is from Idaho Falls, Idaho. She is the oldest of five children and has
two brothers and two sisters. She has a younger sister who is married with two kids.

Tiona Furin is graduating this April in Finance and is moving to California to work in the
Finance and Business Department at Northrop Grumman. She is from Vancouver, Washington,
but has lived in six different states. She is the oldest of four children, and has one sister and two
brothers. One of her big accomplishments is running the St. George Marathon twice in the past
two years.