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The article touched my heart!! How wonderful of the community and co workers

Tracey

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When my first daughter was born we didn't have medical insurance. My in-laws gave us a heifer which we later sold to pay the medical bills. I am glad to report that after almost 40 years, our daught

Just wanted to chime in that my employer does not offer a paid maternity leave for mothers (adoptive or biological) either. Any maternity leave is taken with vacation time, and FMLA does not apply in

It is insulting to me that I have heard so much about potential/hopeful adoptive parents giving us biological parents money in order to make our problems go away. As if a lump sum of money is going to

Oh how incredibly sweet! I must say I got tears in my eyes also. I love it when communities come together like that.

:D

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What I can't figure out is why the family is being charged anything to adopt. Foster adoptions are usually billed to the state!

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  • 2 weeks later...
NOTE: FEE INCREASE PENDING. Due to rising overhead costs, Abrazo regrets that agency fees will necessarily be rising, as of 1/1/09. In a commitment to trying to keep adoption affordable for families of all backgrounds, our agency has not raised its program fees in the past five years, however, decreasing charitable contributions and increasing expenses require the raising of our program fees, in order to ensure the future of the agency. We will post changes here, as they are approved by Abrazo's Board of Directors; thank you for understanding the plight that private, nonprofit firms such as Abrazo face, as they struggle to remain fiscally healthy in the midst of a shrinking U.S. economy.
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Guest jenmcd

While this is subject is up, I wanted to let anyone who's interested know about this website. I recently met the executive director of this organization through my blog and did an interview with her. Though I did not apply to her site I do think this can be an excellent source of funding for maybe one of our Abrazo Families! I will note that she said at this time they primarily consider "first time" families for consideration, but do have high hopes to extend invitations to all families as the organization grows.

www.helpusadopt.org

A very very nice woman.

Jen[

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  • 2 months later...

The new program fees are now posted on the agency website (click here), for those who are still awaiting official acceptance letters admitting them into any of the agency's three programs. (Note: changes do not apply to those who have attended orientation prior to 1/1/09.)

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  • 1 month later...

Some would-be adoptive families are finding the current economy is hampering their plans, while others see it increasing the number of available placement opportunities: Adoptionwise, America is Feeling Effects of Nation's Economy. Given that domestic adoptions are still more cost-effective than international ones, Abrazo is not seeing any substantial downturn in its adoptive parent applications overall, and given that our agency always advises birthparents to not let finances be the ultimate determinant in any decision to place or not, we aren't seeing any incremental rise in placement numbers, and we have to say, under these circumstances-- we're okay with that, too. ;)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Interesting article in the Houston Chronicle, about Private Adoptions Becoming Too Pricey For Some.

The article also quotes a California facilitator who says she's seeing no decrease in Texas families seeking to use her services, which is curious, given that adoption facilitators are illegal in Texas?!

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The article also quotes a California facilitator who says she's seeing no decrease in Texas families seeking to use her services, which is curious, given that adoption facilitators are illegal in Texas?!

Funny because facilitators normally cost 3 times as much for less than services that you aren't really sure the birthmothers are getting or not. Why ANYone would use one is beyond me...especially ones out of CA...YUCK.

I have no doubt less people will be able to adopt, I have friends that have to put it off because of the 20% cut in pay everyone is getting at his company. Wether or not I think more parents are placing? Maybe...but I'm not sure I buy that it is a 3-fold increase. If they take away the 10,000 credit even LESS people will be able to adopt (including us).

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  • 1 year later...

Bumping this up...

Thanks for bumping this up, Susan! It gives some great ideas about how to appropriately go about saving a little extra money to put toward the adoption costs.

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  • 2 months later...

A few months ago, we wrote a note in our neighbhorhood newsletter and sent out a short email to some close friends letting them know that we'd be having a yard sale to help push fundraising efforts for our adoption and offered to pick up/haul off anything they might have after spring cleaning that they were going to donate. Instead of moving boxes, packing up the car, and unloading at the center, we offered to do all of that for them.

We had neighbors contact us who we'd never met before (a great way to meet your neighbors!!), tons of friends show an outpouring of support, and even people who passed along our note to friends-of-friends.

Everything we were given was immediately cleaned up, priced, and sorted. We filled up our guest room and garage until they were overflowing and finally made bright signs and posted them all over our neighborhood Friday night. Saturday morning, we woke up and started the sale at 7am. Our front yard, driveway, and entire back yard were FULL of organized sections of items for sale. We expected to close up shop at 1pm, but it was 3:45 before light rain started and we finally had to move the remaining items indoors.

It was a great opportunity to let our neighbors know there would soon be a new baby on the block AND a wonderful opportunity to talk about open adoption. It seems everyone knows someone who's been adopted. We were careful not to lead people to believe we were "saving" a baby, nor was this a "cause." This was just us - building a family through adoption and saving every penny we could to make it possible.

At the end of the day, we did the final $ count. We raised over $1,600 and still have enough items leftover - and enough people who gave us their info so that we could pick up their spring cleaning left-overs - that we can have yet another sale in a couple of weeks.

Consider the fundraising yard sale folks! It's a lot of work and your house will be a mess for a while, but if you make tons of colorful signs to bring in the biggest crowd and organize your sale well, you'll see the money roll in!! I couldn't be happier we buckled down and did this!! :D

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That's fantastic, Melissa! Did you guys advertise in the paper or just put up signs? I'm aiming for a yard sale in two weeks and am trying to decide whether the newspaper ad is worth it.

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That's fantastic, Melissa! Did you guys advertise in the paper or just put up signs? I'm aiming for a yard sale in two weeks and am trying to decide whether the newspaper ad is worth it.

I can see how a newspaper ad would have possibly brought people out from other parts of town, making an even bigger profit. It depends on the cost, but I bet the ROI is there. I'm going to look into it for our next one.

We did a Craigslist ad (only putting the intersection, not the address) and a Backpage ad (Memphis Flyer) as well, but they were only online ads - we didn't pay for print in the Flyer either. Lots of people said they saw our Craigslist ad. I made sure to make a short list of the types of things we'd have available.

We did have a posterboard up in the front yard w/ balloons on it that said "Adoption Fundraiser," which is what I think sparked so much conversation from people. People commented on 2 things: the bright signs that made them want to stop and the organization of the sale, which made it much easier for them to find things and buy more. We also haggled a lot, so people were coming back multiple times to buy more!!

Erin - good luck with your sale!! It's hard work, but such a great payoff.

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  • 4 months later...

I realize this is not about "financing an adoption", per se, but it certainly relates to the ignorant remarks adoptive families get from others about the adoption investment and a few other salient issues, so I thought we'd share it here: from the blog Single Dad Laughing, it's "How Much Did Your Kid Cost"? (Text appears below in case the link goes bad, because this is one piece we want everyone to read-- forever!)

Okay, here comes another "Single Dad Ranting" post. You may laugh, but hopefully only because you see the idiocy and carelessness of some people, bless their hearts. Please, though, this is something that I'm very serious about and I hope you'll listen in.

What do you notice about this photo? (Note: blog pictures a father and son of obviously different ethnicities.)

Hopefully you just see a father and son. Maybe you see a beautiful bond. Maybe you see love. Maybe you see two awesome human beings. Hopefully you don't see a Darn price tag hanging from Noah's ear or a child who will never know true happiness.

You see, today when I was at the store with Noah, somebody had the nerve to ask me, right in front of Noah, "how much did he cost?" And this was the second time somebody has asked that absolutely ridiculous and insensitive question to me; I know his mom has heard it too.

You may have noticed that Noah is of a slightly different race than his old man. He's a quarter Panamanian, quarter Jamaican, and half Caucasian. Noah is my son. Noah was adopted. Trust me, I couldn't pass on genetics to a kid this beautiful.

And since he was placed with us, his parents, I have learned just how insensitive the world can be to kids who have been placed through adoption. People don't realize how fragile the minds of young children are. People don't realize that wording things certain ways can hurt a child, and badly. And with that, I present to you the following list, all taken from personal experiences in the past three years:

Single Dad Laughing's Guide to Adoption Etiquette.

1. Never, ever, ever, ask how much a child costs. This includes the phrase, "how much did you pay for him?" First of all, it's none of your business. Second of all, if you're interested in adoption, research it through the appropriate channels. Speak with an adoption agency. Adoptive parents don't purchase children. They simply pay legal fees and agency fees. Just like biological parents pay hospital and doctor bills. Don't turn the child into nothing more than a commodity.

2. Never ask if a celebrity inspired the adoption. Believe it or not, Tom Cruise, Connie Chung, and Angelina Jolie did not convince me one way or the other in the biggest decision of my life. Are you serious?

3. Never ask "where is his real dad?" Forget the fact that it will hurt my feelings. How do you think it will affect my son's feelings to feel like I'm not a real dad to him? Adoptive parents are real parents. The term you're looking for is "birth mother" or "birth father".

4. Don't say things like, "as soon as you adopt you're going to get pregnant" when you find out somebody is adopting. First of all, there are usually many, many years of pain and financial burden strapped to infertility, treatments, and heartache. Do you really think that what you're saying will help them? Secondly, while it is funny when it happens, it's rare.

5. Never say, "why did she give him away?" Do I really need to explain why this one would hurt a child? The proper term is "placed". A birth mother and birth father place their child for adoption. And again, it's personal and none of your business, so don't ask if you aren't my BFF.

6. Don't say, "it's like he's your real son". This is similar to number three, but worthy of mentioning. He is my real son, Darn it.

7. Don't say, "do you love him as if he was your own?" Ummm... probably more than you love your little terror, that's for sure. And again... he is my own, Darn it.

8. Never say things like, "you're so wonderful to adopt a child". I am a parent. Just like anybody else with kids.

9. Don't start spewing your horrible adoption stories. "This one time, my friend's sister's aunt's dog's previous owner's niece adopted a baby and the real dad came back and they took the baby away after they had him for two years." First of all, it probably isn't true. Second of all, how would you feel if I told you about all the ways you could lose your child. Adoption is permanent. And in the extremely rare circumstances that something like that happens, it's not something you should spread because the hurt that exists for all the parties involved must be immeasurable.

10. Don't say things like, "is it hard for him to be adopted?" Well, it wasn't, until you asked me that right in front of him you freaking idiot.

11. I don't want to hear about your second cousin who was on a waiting list for twelve years and never got a baby. Granted, this one was much more annoying when we were going through the adoption process. Nobody wants to know that some people never get chosen. Show some kindness. Even to ugly people.

That's all I can think of right now, but I know there are more. Just be sensitive. Don't put your nose where it doesn't belong. Respect my father-son relationship for what it is and don't lessen it. Don't talk about my son like he's not even there or too little to understand. Or do, if you're okay with a swift kick to the face.

I understand that I'm not being super politically correct here, but I'm a little bit pissed off about what happened today. And understandably, so is the old woman I sent away in an ambulance. I know she meant no harm.

Dan Pearce, Single Adoptive Dad Laughing

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was doing a little online research to help a former client, and came across some resources that I thought others might find helpful, as well. (Please note: I am not personally endorsing any of these programs, as I don't know any more about them than I can read, but hopefully, something contained here may be of benefit to someone we know):

ABBA Interest-free Adoption Loan program: http://www.abbafund.org/howwecanhelp.htm

Gift of Adoption Grant program: http://www.giftofadoption.org/apply/whoShouldApply.html

Show Hope (adoption grants): http://www.showhope.org/AdoptionAid/AdoptionGrants/ApplyforaGrant.aspx *

God's Grace (adoption grants): http://ggam.org/apply/

National Adoption Foundation: http://www.nafadopt.org/how-we-can-help/direct-grants.shtml

Help Us Adopt Foundation (grants): http://www.helpusadopt.org/

Gotcha Gift Registry (enables cash gifts, etc.): http://www.gotchagiftregistry.com/

*This program has helped more than one Abrazo family adopt in years past.

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  • 3 months later...

Interesting program... it appears this is primarily a site for those doing international adoptions, but what a great idea: BOTH HANDS PROGRAM

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  • 3 months later...

CNN published a story today about an organization which Jenni J. just brought to our attention last week or so, whose website also appears in our post under this thread from last fall: Life-changing Grants for Domestic Adoptions

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  • 1 month later...

http://adoptwithoutdebt.com/

This book might be a good start for the "monies" that an adoption can cost. Adopt Without Debt :D Good Luck!!!

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  • 2 months later...

Just heard about a cute fundraising idea!

An adopting family purchased a custom puzzle of their pre-adoption family. They sold the pieces to friends for $10 each. The friends' names were written on the back of the pieces. When all of the pieces were accounted for, the puzzle was assembled and put into a frame with glass on both sides. That was put into the baby's room so the love could be shared for a long time to come!

You might want to modify the idea a little bit, but it's a good starting point.

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What a great and personal idea.... ;)

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Some more helpful information from our friend Patricia Irwin Johnston:

THE FINANCIAL IMPACT OF ADOPTING

Patricia Irwin Johnston

For the infertile, family building is expensive business! After several years of supplementing patchy health insurance coverage for medical treatments and then exploring options and finding loans or working extra hours needed to finance adoption, many adopters have not given much thought to the financial realities of parenting.

For those unprepared, money matters in raising a child contributes to the stress of adjusting to a new family configuration.

In the fall of 1995 the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food, Nutrition and Consumer Service issued a report predicting that in his first year alone a first child’s parents’ costs for housing, food, transportation, clothing, health care, child care and education, and miscellaneous (but excluding actual arrival costs–by birth or by adoption) would total $5100 for families with annual incomes under $32,800, $7070 for families with incomes between $32,800 and $55,500 and $10,510 for families with incomes over $55,500. Birthing him (but not including the costs of infertility treatments) might add from $4700 to $7800 to first year costs, and adoption costs might range from $2,000 to $20,000. Over eighteen years, the costs of raising that single child born in 1994 will range from $100,290 to $198,060. With college thrown in, plan to expend over $100,000 more. And remember, these are 1994 and 1995 estimates. Additional children don’t double the costs, but additions to the family certainly don’t slide in without financial impact.

While awaiting your child’s arrival, plan to spend time focusing on the family finances. Consider this “nesting behavior!” The following issues need advance-of-arrival attention:

* A will. Many single people and childless couples have not drafted a will, but the arrival of a child complicates inheritance issues and necessitates planning for guardianship should parents die. Your adoption attorney may be able to help you draft a will or refer you to another attorney aware of potential adoption-related complications–and there are some in some states and provinces.

* Insurance. Contact your health insurance provider far in advance of Baby’s arrival in order to make the transition smoother. Only the state of Arizona decrees that adopting parents’ insurance must cover a birthmother’s prenatal and birth expenses, and even that law islimited to those employers who are not self-insured and whose insurers are based in the state. Federal law, however, doesmandate the coverage of your adopted child under the same conditions as if he had been born to you, however claims staff areoften poorly informed about this. You will find it less stressful to anticipate their confusion and educate them in advance of Baby’s arrival.Singles, while aware of a need for disability coverage, often have seen no prior need for life insurances. Childless, two income couples may have felt that disability and life insurance were unimportant. But parents need to plan for their family’s financial well-being should they become disabled or die, leaving diminished family income and/or urgent child care, health assistance, and homemaking needs over a child’s growing up years.

* Housing. While stories of babies cradled in bureau drawers are the heart of family legends, babies quickly need space and “stuff.” Before Baby arrives give thought and begin to plan for your family’s future housing needs–living space, play space, safety, schooling, etc. A downtown condo may not work as well for a family with a toddler as it did for dual-career couples. Your transethnically adopted child must grow up in a neighborhood and school system where he will feel included and respected. Moving with a baby is much harder than moving only adults, and, if your child will have spent any time before arriving with you in interim care or in an orphanage setting, his need for consistency demands that you impose no unnecessary future moves upon him in his first year. Before Baby arrives, adopters should consider whether making a move will be necessary within the first two years of his arrival.

* Transportation. Babies need car seats; car seats need their own seatbelts. Either parent must be able to safely transport Baby at a moment’s notice. That two-seater sports car may not be appropriate family transportation once Baby arrives, and two door cars can be particularly inconvenient when struggling to strap a little one safely inside.

* Employers and income. While you wait, be sure to let your employers know that you are expecting. Explore issues such as available leave time, availability of a dependent care account (which lets you use pretax dollars to pay child care expenses), how to adjust your paycheck to reflect appropriate deductions. Does the employer provide for parenting leave which is not part of the medical benefits plan? (Federal law mandates family leave for employees of firms of over 50 employees.) If so, the leave must be available to parents by adoption as well as to parents by birth. If parenting leaves are not possible and another form of leave cannot be arranged, will you be able to take accumulated vacation time on short notice? Are there adoption reimbursement benefits? Increasingly, large corporations are adding this type of benefit, which is relatively inexpensive but public-relations-positive.

* Setting up short and long term expense funds. In the short term new babies are so expensive that it makes sense to change the family budget during the year before your baby’s arrival to create an early-expenses savings fund to cover unanticipated medical and adoption expenses, extended parental leave or job changes, etc. Over the long term you would be wise to plan from the beginning of your child’s life with you to save small amounts steadily in anticipation of his post-high school educational needs. Can one parent stay home or work part time? Two parent families should explore the possibility of one being able to leave full time employment to become a full time parent. Not only is it in any child’s best psychological and physical interests to spend his first year or more in the full time care of his parent rather than by even the very best of nannies or child care providers, but for some families financial realities will determine that when expenses of a child (including his food and clothing and medical expenses as well as hundreds, and often thousands, of dollars in day care) are added to the clothing, food and transportation costs already there, one parent’s job actually costs the family money rather than adding to its income. Single adopters have fewer options, but some have found ways to accumulate extended vacation or leave time in advance, to work from home, or to budget for part time employment. How to manage loss of income? Save carefully during the year or two before your child arrives. Also explore moving to smaller or less prestigious quarters for a while, driving less expensive cars, and reducing recreation and entertainment expenses.

* Day care. If you will be returning to work shortly after your child’s arrival, think about child care long before baby arrives. Choosing in-home care providers is a complicated process. Many infant care centers and family day care providers have long waiting lists. While it may be impossible for you to predict exactly when your child is “due,” some centers will be flexible about trying to provide a space for you if they know about your pending adoption.

* Unanticipated Adoption Expenses. Some adoption-related expenses are difficult to predict accurately. A newborn’s illness or a birthmother’s complications may increase birth-related expenses. Foster care expenses may rise if birthparents need more time to be certain. Counseling sessions for your child’s birth parents are important and can’t be predicted in advance. The need to stay longer than anticipated in order to deal with local bureaucracies may increase travel expenses in international adoptions. Prospective parents may find that they money they have spent in anticipation of a specific adoption may be lost when a birthparent has a change of heart. While in limited instances “adoption insurance” can be purchased to help with some of these unforeseen problems, and home equity or credit card loans may provide a cushion, while you wait, you would be wise to sock away into a special account as much money as you can manage to save. Believe me, if you don’t use it on the adoption, you’ll find many opportunities to use such savings to your child’s benefit as he grows!

Additional resources:

How To Make Adoption an Affordable Option

Adoption Benefits ToolKits for Employers & Employees

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