Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Friday, February 15, 2013

Why Does It Cost So Much?

I think a lot of times when people see how much international adoption costs, they get overwhelmed.  Both those who want to adopt and those who want to donate.  They see a figure like $40,000 and think, "How can $10 help?"  Or "I can never afford that."

Well, let me break the fees down for you.

Our home study is one of the first things we have to have done.  It MUST be complete before we can apply to USCIS to approve us to bring newly adopted children back into the U.S.

Our home study fees are:

$300 application fee
$1900 new home study fee.  Must be paid before any visits with a social worker.
$300 in online adoption training classes (required by our state)
$200 post placement visit fee.  3 visits required after adoption.  Fee is per child.

We also have to fingerprinted by our local Police Department for background checks. $50 each

USCIS fee for 4 biological siblings is: $720 for I600A form and $85 per adult to be fingerprinted.

Then of course we have to fly to Ukraine.  Airfare is about $1k per adult for a roundtrip ticket.
We will most likely come back after court which means we will then have to fly back again.

These are the fees broken down for what we'll need money for in Ukraine.  It says for 3 kids, but of course we are planning on 4 so some fees are X4.  Thankfully the agency & foreign fee have a cap at 3.

Inter-Country Adoption Fees for the adoption of 3 children   Estimate
Agency fee       $5,900 (three children)      
Foreign fee     $15,000 (three children)

Travel Expenses
Round-trip airfare SF-Kiev, 2 adults ($1,400-$3,000 per person)     $2,200    
In-country travel (train/bus) ($300-$800)       $600  
Child’s airfare, 1-way Kiev–SF ($500-$1,000-Per child)         $700          
Airport transfer ($30-$60)         $50      
Hotel/Apartment (Kiev/Region)         $1,000      
Food     $1,000

In-Country Costs (paid in Ukraine)
Driver/Translator $20 per day when needed       $100-$300
Travel within/out region for paperwork       $100-$300
Facilitator lodging/food per day       $30-$60
Facilitator transportation to and from region ($50-$200)       $150
Child’s Visa       $230 per child        
Child’s medical exam for U.S. Embassy        $110 per child
Passports $300-$500       $400 per child      
Possible Miscellaneous fees $200-$400       $200-$400 
Orphanage Donation       $1,000 per child (Can vary)      
Notary/legalization/expedite Fees ($750-$2,000)       $1,500      

We've done the math.  Add everything up and it totals to within a few dollars of $40,000.  There are always extra fees.  Getting all documents notarized and apostilled costs money.  Medical visits for medical paperwork for our home study and our dossier costs money.  Driving to be fingerprinted in Norfolk, 3 hours away, costs money.  

Its many things that all add up to that big scary number.

But here is how you can help.  

We have already paid the $300 application fee for our home study.  Thanks to the people who donated to us through Adopt Together we were also able to send $650 of the $1900 fee to our home study agency already.  We only need another $1000 donated to have our home study fee completely paid for.

The next big fee we will face is USCIS.  $720 + $85 (mom fingerprinted) + $85(dad fingerprinted).

Then we have our adoption agency fee.  This is the agency that coordinates our documents for us, tells us what we need to get together and coordinates with our facilitator to have it translated and submitted in Ukraine.  Their fee for 4 children is $5,900.  

These are the fees we need paid before we can go to Ukraine.  These are the fees we need paid for all of our U.S. side paperwork to be completed and approved so we can go get our boys.  

What we need *right now* is the final fees for our home study.  We need the final $1277 to pay for our online training and the remainder of the home study fee.

$1277 is not so big and threatening.  Can I get people to share this post or blog about us and link back to this blog?   Can I ask people to possibly donate $10 or $20?  Because $1277 is what we need today, and every single dollar matters.  Every.single.one.  

There is no price tag to be put on the life of a child.  
Help us get to them.  Every dollar spent getting there has an eternal value.

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We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson