the public view of adoption
We started our journey of building our family many years ago, when the time felt “right”. After we had time for just the two of us, we bought a house, I finished nursing school and we had good jobs. Things didn’t go as planned, we tried for awhile on our own, then tried fertility treatments, enduring many unsuccessful treatments and the loss of a pregnancy. We reached the point where we were told IVF was our only option. Unfortunately IVF is expensive and it comes with no guarantees. We just couldn’t see spending that much money with no guarantee.
We considered adoption but some our conceptions led us to believe it wasn’t the right fit for us. We thought the only way we would get a young child would be through private adoption which is very costly, in the range of $30-60K. We thought adoption through the foster care agency would only be older children with lots of problems or severe physical challenges. Due to these beliefs, we hadn’t pursued adoption. We just began to believe building our family wasn’t in the cards for us. We were trying fervently to embrace all of the wonderful blessings we do have in our lives and not concentrate on the unobtainable.
It is ironic how when something is weighing on our hearts we notice it around us more and more. It seems lots of TV shows are having stories about adoption, foster care, or infertility, including Brothers & Sisters, Parenthood, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and One Tree Hill. I find myself wondering if this is God’s way of showing us things are possible when we are feeling low. An outside way of gaining the encouragement we need.
Last year adoption started weighing on my heart heavily again. We started talking about it and decided we were going to look into it and contact agencies to obtain more information before ruling it out. We learned a lot and I want to dispel some of the misconceptions about adoption. The cost of private adoption varies widely from $20,000-$60,000 plus. Some companies offer adoption assistance and currently there is a adoption tax credit. These can help cut the costs of adoption. There are younger children available for adoption through the foster care system and although the children may have some challenges, they are not all severely disabled or challenged.
Benefits of adopting through the foster care system are the classes you take. The classes are informative. They teach you about the challenges the children face, understanding how the child feels, and finding empathy for the parents. We learned we have parenting skills we didn’t know we had. We feel informed and excited for the next step in this journey.