Do you know this?

There are approximately 18000 parents registered with CARA, while the number of children in the Government's adoption pool is less 1800.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Money Vs Mommy

Adoption Discussion # 10

Recently when I posted a Q & A on adoption tax credit, I answered a question about promoting free adoptions. Specifically to that question, I said that anything that is offered at no cost has very little value and fails to create legitimate stakeholders to have checks and balances in place. Cost of adoption need not just refer to one's treasure but also time and talent.

I would love to promote something called "No Fee Adoption" (NoFA) where adoptive parents need not pay a fee to adopt a child but they do have to spend a month volunteering in an orphanage where they have their child waiting doing anything/ everything the orphanage asks. I do not know if there would be many takers for such a model

I received an email privately by an American citizen that has adopted a child from India pouring out her heart on this issue of cost of aodption. I sought her permission to publish her letter (on this blog) which she graciously agreed. Here it is:
If parents want that child enough they will go to the orphanage and put in their time if they are able to. There are also families that have other children to care for and it might be hard to leave them so much while they have other children at home. I think it would be nice to give parents a choice of the tax credit or the free adoption. I am talking about both international and domestic in India. There would still be other fees to pay even if the orphanage does offer free adoptions. Sometimes for families the fees are just too mounting to even try. A month of volunteering might work for those who live in country but if we are including those out of country i think that is too much to ask that you would have to leave your family and/ or job for a month to help out in the orphanage when it is half a world away. If the parents are out of country you might be able to ask for two weeks volunteered time instead and they could also get the other needed paper work(embassy stuff) done in India while they are. This would give the child and new parent time to get to know each other, it would give parents a hands on their child's life in India and their schedule, the child could also be more comfortable with new parent before they whisk them away to a whole new world, so to speak.

Whether the adopting family lives in India or in another country I thought that was a great idea. lots of countries make you travel twice to your child’s country to finish the adoption. If it takes two weeks to come and volunteer and then maybe even a few days extra in country, I think that should be doable enough. When you adopt you do put a lot into it besides just money. You have to go through the home study, which totally invades your privacy (you don't have this with a birth child), you have to go through all the other legal hoops and paperwork and that is a lot too. Your emotional turmoil can be great, think of ALL the time you wait just to get that referral (and foreigners wait even longer) and then you have to put up with others and the social stigma that they put upon you, or when you try to fundraise and others can be mean to you about it or at the least unsupportive. It gives unfortunate opportunity for others to show that they don't support you or care enough to help out with your adoption, this is really hurtful to many families who reach their heart out to a child that they long for and the only thing is money standing between them and the child they long to hold. It is really hard when you can't easily save or just earn that money without it really hitting you hard. I know many families who would love to adopt but the cost is just too huge financially. Yes, they can afford to raise another child in their family, but just coming up with $20,000 plus the hidden costs is just way too hard for lots of people. We have insurance in U.S. to cover bio births, but what about adopted children?? There is no guaranteed money to cover the adoption. Yes, we do have the adoption tax credit and that is fine but there are some people who will not benefit from it if they don't make a certain amount. So, it really is not the answer for all and you don't get that money, if you do at all, until after the adoption is done. So, you are back to square one on getting the money for the adoption in the first place. The mountain just seems like too unattainable for many people. How many children will suffer because of it?? Would it make us appreciate adopted children less than bio children if they cost us less money? For me personally I don’t think it would. It is not about the money, it is about being a mommy to my child either bio or adopted. I would not love child a bit less if there was no cost to adoption. Adoptive parents go through so much more in an adoption that they would go through a birth of a child, even without the financial costs.

Some may even say that the labor mothers go through giving birth is so much pain that it makes us appreciate our children more, but I don't know if I really believe that. Think how many birth mothers who still have their children that don't care for them properly although they went through the physical pain to begin with??

As soon as my child’s adoption is finalized, I would LOVE to start another adoption but my husband says this time that he wants all the money up front so it is not so stressful for him. What can I say? I don't have that much money sitting around, so my heart just longs and a child just waits.

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