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Adoption Tips from a Financial Planner Who Has Done It

Adoption Tips from a Financial Planner Who Has Done It

| January 28, 2020

I recently attended an adoption presentation from a CPA, financial planner, and adoptive mother Trudy Turner.  She made the case that learning more about adoption and how it impacts finances makes sense. 

There are 135,000 adoptions per year in the U.S.  59% of those are foster care, 26% from overseas or international, and 15% domestic. 

There are 153 million orphans worldwide; 123,000 of them are being waited to be adopted each year in the U.S., and 4300 are removed in Texas annually before age one from their homes.  The majority of the 123,000 waiting to be adopted age out of the adoption program and go on their own without families. 

It's expensive, both the adoption process and of course raising a family.  There are emotional costs to consider, as well. 

Dave Thomas’s foundation is one of the best resources on adoption if you're interested in learning more statistics. 

Adoptive families don't have the same nine months of waiting for the baby to come.  Yes, the process could take a long time, but finding out that you're on the shortlist, so to speak, can take days where you have to make a decision, and that can mean a lot of quick changes. 

Why adoption?

  1. Infertility.
  2. Divorce.
  3. Personal cause and calling.
  4. Waiting too long. In her case, she just didn't have any eggs left.
  5. People that are forever single.
  6. Blended families.
  7. Family situations, including addiction, incarceration, abuse, etc.

When you want to adopt, you have to pick what system.

  1. The private agencies.
  2. Public agencies/foster care.
  3. A private attorney.

Then you have to pick the location, whether domestic or international and if international and you want to get the tax credit, they have to be Hague accredited and a Hague country? 

Definition: Hague Adoption Convention - is an international convention dealing with international adoption, child laundering, and child trafficking in an effort to protect those involved from the corruption, abuses, and exploitation which sometimes accompanies international adoption


You have to go over financial needs.  The state funds Foster care at $0 to $3,500, and private adoptions can easily run from $20,000 to $50,000.  International adoption is more expensive often because it requires one week to two months spent in the country with the process. 

The process for adoption includes:

-The interview, which in her case included a somewhat unsettling call from the FBI. 

-An intense application process with letters of recommendation and a financial assessment. 

-Home study.

-A family book without specific details about why they should choose you, so it's usually the birth mother that picks

-“Go time” and get the checkbook out. 

When they were adopting, they were told by well-intentioned people not to tell the home inspectors, for example, that they ever drink alcohol or that they have guns in the house, or that their marriage is actually perfect.  They thought that could have been bad, and they were honest that they weren't perfect people, and they still were able to adopt. 

There's an emotional cost to finding out that you can't have your own kids.   It's a mourning that happens that you're not able to do that.  There can be social bias too. 

There's insensitivity to adoption, like when her son almost let out of the bag that he was adopted a year after he was told at age eight by the pediatrician. 

There are things to talk about and not.  There are irritations, unknowns, family conditions, medical history of the child you're adopting.

What can go wrong? 

-The birth mother can back out. 

-The international country can get mad at the US and close. 

-Parents' rights can be returned. 

-Parents' rights can be asserted. 

-You can run out of money

-You can get too old, which is actually very common in the international adoptive market

-You can be too overweight as well. 

There are traditions to consider establishing with an adoption.  You can have a second birthday, the day of court.  There's national adoptive month, and the day of birth, but usually not included with mom. 

Thanks for taking a look!