Ever wonder why adoption costs so much?
Only 24 days left until K gets here!
Rosie is so excited. It’s almost all she talks about. It’s kind of all I want to talk about too. It’s all Tyler and I talk about.
I thought I should go ahead and gather up all of the info about adoption costs and requirements right now, just in case. Knowledge is power, right? Adoption from Ukraine looks to be a wild ride.
I read that you could adopt independently from Ukraine for much cheaper than using an agency. But it turns out it’s not that simple. Since Ukraine doesn’t hold kids for prospective parents someone else could adopt K while we are doing all the paperwork.
How terrifying to think you could give your heart away only to have your child snatched from you. That’s the way it works though.
If you use the adoption agency they have trusted, reputable facilitators who have a working relationship with the orphanages from the host program. This makes it more likely that you’ll get your hosted child. You can file a petition to adopt. That really doesn’t mean much, but it at least gives the orphanage director a heads up that you are coming. So it’s going to be important to use the adoption agency we’re working with for the host program. (Not to mention the social worker I’ve talked to is EXTREMELY nice and I would love her support.)
I got the entire cost break down for adoption from Ukraine. The agency sent me an itemized list. If you’re curious, here are the totals for each category in order of what we’d have to pay. You pay as you go, which is good.
Form I-600, Form I-600A, fingerprinting
$720 filing fee plus $85 per adult=$890
After that’s all done we can fill out paperwork to be approved for our adoption agency’s Ukraine program. Their fee is $4,500 and it’s due at signing of the paperwork.
Then we have the dossier fee. The dossier is your huge stack of paperwork (background checks, finger printing, those I-600 forms, etc.) that has to be sent to Ukraine and translated. That fee is $1,000.
Then the State Department of Adoption in Kyiv, Ukraine will send us a travel date/appointment date with them to come ask to be Karina’s parents.
I have no idea what we’ll pay for plane tickets. If we can get on a buddy pass from a flight attendant or gather frequent flyer miles, then our tickets would be cheaper. If not, for Tyler and I the tickets could be as much as $3,500. I don’t know what we would do about Rosie and Ada, if they would stay home with our parents or what.
Upon arrival in Ukraine the Ukrainian side of the adoption agency will need $8,500 in fees.
Then there are general travel costs. Lodging for up to four weeks, food, translator services, taxis, train to travel to K’s orphanage which is across the country from Kyiv, and misc. expenses. Plus costs for K’s visa, our passports, K’s medical exam at the US embassy, K’s one way ticket to the USA…!
All of that totals to an estimated $7,000 not including the plane tickets.
In Ukraine we have to wait for a court hearing with a judge to get approved to be K’s parents in her region. Then we have to wait a mandatory 10 days. After that we can apply for her visa and passport, which can take a week or so. Then we have to get plane tickets home.
Like, I said, wild ride! But worth it.
Now where are two poor people going to get all this money? If you’re wondering why adoption is so expensive, there you have it. All of the costs total up to around $24,000 depending on the cost of the plane tickets. $24,000 is a lot of money, but people buy cars for that much. Why not a child’s life and future?
On top of that, assuming we love K and want to adopt her, we would *have* to host her again for Christmas. Not only would we want her to be with us, but we’d also have her safe here…not being adopted by someone else. If we are able to get the money and everything works out then we would probably be traveling to Ukraine to adopt her sometime around February of this coming year. Very exciting. So we could host her from mid December to mid January, then fly to Ukraine to adopt her soon after she returns to the orphanage.
The hosting costs are $2,500 for her plane ticket and everything. Just tack that on to the adoption costs I guess.
We would hopefully be able to do some fundraising for her adoption. I’m going to start putting all of my money from photography towards it, though it’s no where near enough.
There are grants we will apply for. We’ll also probably be able to get a low interest adoption loan. I’ve looked at several Christian websites that offer those. So I think we could pull it off.
This is why it’s so maddening when people make the comments about how parents who fundraise obviously can’t afford to adopt. What average person has this much money just laying around to throw towards adoption? There’s a huge difference between paying for a child’s food, medical care, and housing vs. paying huge government and agency fees and travel to get them to your loving home.
So the first thing we’ll have to do is get the $1,500 for our homestudy and the $890 for the immigration forms and fingerprinting. I’ll start another chip-in fund if/when we decide to start the adoption process.
Of course it could be that when K gets here we find out that she just doesn’t fit in our family. We’ll have to wait and see.
Here’s the letter we sent out tonight for K. She’s going to read it on the plane. It’s the first time she’ll know anything about us. A friend translated it into Russian for me.