Friday, October 19, 2012

Vlad Update!

This is not really about Vlad specifically but about this adoption process.

I don't know how many adoptable children there are in the world.  I'm guessing a few million.  They are either in some type of foster care or an orphanage.  Foster care families get some amount of money for each child they foster (government subsidized) and orphanages, for the most part, are government subsidized.  Meaning that we, the taxpayers, have this cost to pay.

I don't know how it all became this complicated.  A hundred years or so ago they actually took orphans from the big cities of the east and put them on orphan trains.  These trains would take the orphans out into the Midwest and West and stop at train stations along the way.  People would meet the train, look over the children and take whichever children they wanted.  There were no costs or piles of paperwork attached.  The new parents would just incur the costs of raising the adopted child (which is no small thing).  The government won because the costs of taking care of these orphans were lowered (which means that they needed less taxpayer money).

It is radically different today for some reason that I cannot fathom.  Here is a sampling of costs that we are spending on adopting Vlad.

Home study $2300
Mileage cost for social worker to drive to our home 3 times $111
Various mailings/overnight mailings  $150 so far
Ordering copies of vital records (birth certificates, marriage license, etc.) $75
Ukrainian facilitator (includes all government fee's, court fee's, etc)  $9,000
USCIS (U.S. Immigration including fingerprinting fees) $900
Airfare $5000+
Orphanage fee $1000
Other fees $2000 - $3000

For those who don't want to do the math it comes to around $20,000.  Now if you are doing a stateside adoption you can take off the airfare and Ukrainian facilitator but you have to add in the U.S. adoption agency costs, which are probably about the same.

Where did this all change?  There are so many children and because of the high costs and crazy amounts of paperwork prospective adoptive parents just walk away.  Because the adoption costs are just the beginning.  Anyone who is or has been a parent knows that having a child in your home costs money.  Food, clothing, activities, etc.

Wouldn't it be better for the millions of children to lower the costs and make it easier to adopt?  Wouldn't it be better for the taxpayers who are footing the bill for the foster care system (and orphanages)?  I know that for us we would probably adopt several children but we are having to work like crazy just to adopt one.   How many people out there would adopt if they didn't have to go through what we are going through?  How many would open their arms and their homes to an orphan if they could do it for a few hundred and a background check?

It's SIMPLY MY OPINION but I think we would have a lot fewer orphans in the world and a lot more children placed in their forever family! 

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