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Adoption Question?
Old 02-02-2017, 06:20 PM
  #1

My sister is beginning the adoption process.. she was telling me tonight about her fears. She's mostly nervous about the home-study process.. and cost. Anyone who's been through it.. what is the home-study process like and are there any cost exemptions/grants available? The agency they are going through is almost $39,000.

Anyone have any name of good books or any resources I can pass along to her.

She was right there with me .. during my pregnancy, birth and now.. with my children and I want to be there for her through this exciting but nerve-racking time.


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Old 02-02-2017, 06:40 PM
  #2

There are many adoption support groups.
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Long time ago
Old 02-02-2017, 06:58 PM
  #3

Adoption is nerve-wracking. I was in waiting mode 30 years ago. I didn't know it then, but my son was going to be born in another 5 days. I went through international adoption. The home study wasn't too bad. The social worker did the interviews and checked out the house and my finances. The international part was horrid. I hate paperwork, which is what I do a lot of as a special ed teacher. We had a class with the social worker, so made a lot of friends. Your sister could ask the agency if there are support groups or classes. I learned a lot about adoption and how to handle the idiotic questions and statements some people make.
Kathy
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Old 02-02-2017, 07:01 PM
  #4

Does her employer offer adoption assistance? Some offer $2,000 or so. There is also a tax credit available from the IRS for adoption.

There are TONS of adoption groups online - that might be a good resource for her if she wants to connect with actual people quickly.
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Old 02-02-2017, 07:16 PM
  #5

There is an adoption tax credit so she will get some of that money back...around $13,000 I think. Under the previous presidential administration, she would also be questioned and asked for further information on her tax return (in 2012, it was 90% of people who claimed the credit) or perhaps fully audited (in 2012, it was 69%) so she'll want to make sure she does her taxes correctly. I am not sure how the current administration will handle it. My husband's employer also offered $3,000 in assistance.

The home study process is not bad, in my opinion. Maybe that was because of our social workers. It is a lot of paperwork, jumping through hoops, putting gates up where you don't need them, providing documentation on every facet of your life, etc. But in the end, if you are reasonably okay, I think you pass. In post-adoption visits, you just give the agency what they need and follow their orders and they will be fine.

There are some unexpected things that can occur within adoptions so I would make sure they talked to a lawyer and knew the legal side of it in their state or if they are doing interstate. Every adoption lawyer we have talked to has not charged us.

I would also tell her to shop around and don't put all her eggs in one basket. There is no harm in giving a profile to a lawyer. There is no harm in talking to the local Christian adoption agency. Ours was a small, local Catholic agency that was mission driven so they charged us under the adoption tax credit (I think it was $6,000 placement and $2,500 for the home study.) Both lawyers were spoke to were under the adoption tax credit. There are organizations out there that are not as expensive and it never hurts to have those people in place in case they want to adopt again.

You also need to see who is most honest with you and be honest with yourself about what types of communication you want with the birthparents.

I would also say to tell everyone you know you want to adopt. You never know where that might lead.

Adoption is a wonderful experience. Both my boys came to us through adoption. They are my gems. I absolutely adore them. I recommend a book by Dr. Ray Guarendi (psychologist and father to many adoptive children) called Adoption: Choosing It, Living It, and Loving It. It is not a scary adoption book but is quite enlightening.

What a good sister you are! Just don't forget about her and keep cheering her on...especially on Mother's Day!


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Adoption
Old 02-02-2017, 07:35 PM
  #6

Not sure if your sister would be interested in adopting from foster care, but the cost would be much lower if not free. Just another option. Wishing your sister and your entire family a wonderful adoption experience!!!
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:17 PM
  #7

I wanted to comment on the foster care option as well. In many states not only is it very low cost to free, but free college tuition is offered too (usually they have to remain in the same state and attend a public college, for 4 years is fully covered).

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Adoption
Old 02-03-2017, 03:29 AM
  #8

Please have your sister ask her employer about adoption benefits. Your state may also give a tax break but it maybe after the adoption is complete.

The Homestudy can be nerve racking! Lots of cleaning beforehand! I remember for our first homestudy cleaning the bathtub and my DH says "She (the social worker) won't be taking a bath!" And he was right! She came to see us, not really the house! For our second homestudy our basement was flooded and again, her focus was on us and DS (who was 4 at the time).

I also recommend foster to adopt. Although my DSs are internationally adopted, my BFF has adopted 4 kids though foster care and given them a life that they may have not had.

Best of luck to your sister. There's nothing like that moment they place your child in your arms and you become a forever family!
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Yay!
Old 02-03-2017, 08:27 AM
  #9

I highly recommend Russell Moore's book Adopted for Life.
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Our Experience
Old 02-03-2017, 02:19 PM
  #10

We decided we wanted to adopt in May of 2014. We researched and selected a facilitator who had excellent reviews and worked on a national scale (which we thought would be helpful in connecting with expectant parents looking to adopt). We completed all of the necessary steps including payment and home study that summer.

The home study process, while it involved a lot of paperwork, was really painless. Our social worker was an adoptive parent herself and we had been warned that the questions are very personal so it did not come as a surprise. The physical study of our home lasted less than 20 minutes.

That being said our experience has not been overall positive. We waited two years without a single hint of possible match or placement. After waiting for 18 months we began to pursue IVF using donor eggs. Fortunately we were successful and I am currently 29 weeks pregnant today. We were allowed to freeze our contract for 9 months, which we have done.

We still want to adopt. Our contract is currently on freeze and the freeze will be lifted in June for a final six months. After that six months if we are not matched or placed there is nothing we can do about it. The kicker? We paid up front and will be out $20,000 in the event we have not been selected by a birth family in 2017.

This is a long way of saying, I would encourage your sister to possibly pursue working with an adoption professional or agency that does not require large fees up front.

We personally live in a state where foster to adopt is not an option (adoptions do result sometimes from the foster care system, but reunification is absolutely the #1 priority). For many reasons, depending on her preferences, it might be a very lengthy process and as in the case of ourselves and two other couples we know, adoption is not a 100% guarantee.

I hate that I am providing a glass is half empty perspective, but just wanted to share our experience.


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Old 02-04-2017, 08:27 AM
  #11

Thank you everyone for all the advice. I printed out the thread and am going to give it to her today at lunch. I don't know much about all the fees and different options but I know she sent the agency a list of questions last week and was nervous yesterday when I talked to her because they had not yet come back to her with answers.

I haven't mentioned to her the foster to adopt through the state only because I know they'd really like a baby for their first adoption.

I've thought a lot about offering surrogacy to her. If I didn't have lupus I'd do it in a heartbeat. It really breaks my heart that I can't do it for her.

My sister is a teacher too. I know my district doesn't mention anything in the contract about adoption assistance. I wonder if hers does.. is that were she'd find out?

Anyone know of any good forums for adoption?
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