Monday, November 23, 2009
Adoption Questions 8 and 9
Would you adopt an older child?
Does it cost more to adopt a baby versus an older child?
The answer to the first question is quite possibly. Justin and I are finally at a point where we feel like talking about our next adoption and how we want to proceed with that. We haven't really searched our souls yet (we've been too content with Joci to really seek for that direction) but we haven't ruled a thing out. We are open to foster, international, and domestic.
To answer the second question, as far as my limited knowledge goes, I would say it usually is more expensive to adopt a baby than an older child. I don't know everything and there are exceptions to all situations.
International adoptions are often times more expensive than domestic (but not always) and it's very rare to get a newborn because it is such a long process. Most children are 12 - 24 months old when they come home. I've heard that in Ethiopia, a family can adoption a baby that is only a couple months old and our agency informed us that we could adopt from Columbia and find a baby as young as six months old.
The truth is that most adoptive parents want a baby. The odds of a child being adopted over the age of 3 plummet dramatically. It's easy to understand why. As a family made in a non-conventional way, adoptive families want as much time together as early on as possible to bond and make memories and raise their children the way they have chosen to. With babies, particularly newborns, you know their histories. Older children might have been abused, starved, neglected, beaten, or a many other of things that need to be addressed but can't be if you don't know. For me, I really wanted to experience having a newborn baby. I felt I deserved that because I don't konw if I will be able to experience it any other way.
So, looking at marketability, there is a supply and demand factor, which seems callous, but it's the way the world works. The demand is higher for babies, so there's more competition, marketing, and money that goes into that.
Most older children available for adoption are in foster care. The government has a lot of programs in place that offset the cost of adopting from the foster care system which makes it very affordable and sometimes even free.
There are situations when infant adoption can cost less. Like an independent adoption where the adoptive couple have located a birth mother on their own with little or no cost and with a smooth adoption, the court fees could be minimal.