All Articles Tagged "Adoption"
The notion of adopting a child truly tugs at our heartstrings, but let’s keep it real: the twist and turns that precede a successful adoption can be a nightmare! And to top it all off, your bank account will look damn-near empty after the process.
“I would like to adopt, but can’t afford the agency fees. It’s soooooo expensive.” a MadameNoire reader recently commented. She’s right. Between the legal fees, medical costs, travel expenses and possible failed adoption matches, this method of bringing a child into your family costs Americans between $10,000 to $40,000! But compare that to the average cost of a natural birth — $30,000 — and it isn’t too harrowing.
Now since there are several different methods to acquiring an adopted bundle of joy, let’s break down the numbers for each, shall we?
Maybe you’ll want to extend your motherly love to a precious child overseas? The latest figures show international adoption has plummeted to only 20,000 children from 45,000 in 2004. Despite the drop, international adoption costs have climbed — adoptive parents have put down as much as $50,000!
The price tag varies depending on which country you choose. One adoption agency — Bethany Christian Services — give us a pretty good picture of how much you’ll spend for international adoption. Taking in a Haitian child, for instance, will set you back between $35,149 and $42,129. What does this include?
Agency fees (paid to the social workers, the home study fees, and more) – $ 12,950
Country fees (funds the nation’s orphanage system) — between $13,810 and $ 14,650
“Third-party fees” (whatever that is) $ 2,864 — $ 3,404
Travel fees (don’t forget important documents like medical exams, proof of marriage, financial statements etc.) — $ 4,825 — $ 10,125
Post-adoption fees (agency needs to keep an eye on you as a caregiver) – $ 700 — $ 1,000.
The great thing about adopting internationally is that you don’t have to cover an expectant mother’s expenses or worry about her changing her mind. The downside? All that travelling can be a pain in the rear; be willing to visit the host country twice. Also, tough luck if you want a newborn! In most countries, children are orphaned and older before they’re permitted to be sent overseas, GlobalPost reports.
For a newborn, perhaps you’ll consider domestic adoption?
Newborn American baby? That’ll be $33,793, please! This average figure can climb or drop even depending on the child’s race. According to NPR, a Caucasian baby costs $35,000, a bi-racial baby costs between $24,000 and $26,000 and a Black baby can cost about $18,000. But where, according to Adoptive Families, does all the money go?
Home study Fee (agency determines if you’re fit for parenthood through interviews, background checks and references) – $1,912
Agency application & program fee (y’know, adoption centers got bills to pay & profits to make) – $14,161
Attorney fees (with all the legal mumbo jumbo, you might need one) – $3,548
Document preparation/Authorization – $1,114
Advertising (agencies need to retain their relationships with hospitals/clinics to find mothers willing to give up their child) – $2,017
Birth family counseling (sometimes offered to birth mothers for free, at your expense) – $1,085
Birth mother expenses (OB-Gyn, hospital stay, etc. One article calls this expense a “fraud” because taxpayers pay this fee, not you) – $3,076
Travel expenses (varies depending how far or near the birth mother is) – $2,198
All other expenses – $4,682
Whew! That’s a lot, but the good thing is that there’s a shorter wait time compared to international adoption and certainly less traveling. However, adoptive parents run the risk of the dreaded “false start” — expectant mothers fall in love with their baby and refuse to give it up. Thirty-five percent of adoptive parents have experienced this and lose out on an average of $5,000.
If you’re willing to forgo the fantasy of raising a child from birth, adopting from a foster home is the cheapest option — a relatively low price tag of only $2,744. As reported by Adoptive Families, let me give you a full picture of the expenses:
Home study fee – $231
Attorney fees – $1,573
Travel expenses – $342
Other expenses – $598
You pay absolutely nothing for agency fees, document preparation, advertising, and birth mother expenses. In fact, foster homes will give you a monthly stipend for food, medical insurance, school supplies, and clothes. On average, adoptive parents receive $607 a month. The downside is that many of the toddlers have developmental delays. “There’s usually a long line of potential parents waiting for an infant in good health,” ABC News says.
For women who cannot or choose not to give birth to children, another woman can carry and delivery the baby for them, which is what Melissa Harris-Perry did to add a baby girl to her family. If you thought domestic and international adoption was expensive, you’ll be shocked to hear that gestational surrogacy costs a whopping $80,000 to $100,000! Where did we come up with that number? Here’s the breakdown:
In vitro fertilization transfer fee - $1,000
Cycling process - $400
Pregnancy allowance (8 months at $200 per month) - $1,600
Maternity clothing allowance – $500
Life insurance – $500-$600
Health insurance - $1,000 – $25,000
Meeting allowance (5 meetings at $100 per meeting) - $500
Childcare - $1,200
Housekeeping - $400
Surrogate’s lost wages -$2,500
Travel to IVF doctor -$1,000
Program fee – $22,500
Attorney/court fees – $10,250 – $16,760
If you can supply your own egg, a baby of your own genetic line will be born. The downsides are obviously the costs and the surrogate can, again, change her mind and keep the baby.
Parents who choose any of these methods must be prepared mentally for the unforeseen circumstances can take you on an emotional roller coaster as well as the fiscal challenges that come up.
But you know what? It’s all worth it in the end when you have your new angel-faced tyke to call your “son” or “daughter.”
While many of us were celebrating or lamenting our Valentine’s Day gifts–or lack thereof– MSNBC host Melissa Harris Perry and her husband, James Perry, received a different kind of gift. They welcomed a new daughter into the world. What better way to celebrate a day devoted to love?
The couple’s adopted daughter was born on February 14 and her new parents are thrilled. The Perrys, who have been married since 2010 and co-parent Melissa’s daughter Parker from a previous relationship, tweeted about their new bundle.
Melissa shared this picture:
And her husband shared the image above and captioned it:
Here’s the wonderful Valentine’s day gift that @MHarrisPerry & I received yesterday! A beautiful baby girl.
The Perrys join a short-ish list of black celebrities who’ve adopted including Al Roker and Deborah Roberts, Magic and Cookie Johnson, Alfre Woodard and her husband Roderick Spencer, Viola Davis and husband Julius Tennon and “Scandal” and “Greys Anatomy” creator and writer Shonda Rhimes, who has adopted twice.
Melissa also twit-pic-ed this image early this morning of her fourth day with her new daughter.
Congratulations to Melissa Harris Perry and her newly expanded family!
We’ve all heard and read about the number of celebrities who have adopted their children from across the United States and beyond, including Viola Davis, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, and Charlize Theron, but what about celebrities who themselves were adopted? Here are 14 celebrities who were adopted and have gone on to find plenty of success and love.
Davion Only, 15-Year-Old Who Made Plea To Be Adopted, Will Spend Christmas With Prospective Foster Family
We told you in October about 15-year-old Davion Only. The young man had been in the foster care system his entire life, born while his mother (who had abused drugs for years) was in jail. He was most recently residing in a group home for teenage boys with 12 other young men. He was a frustrated youth for a time, short-tempered and getting bad grades. He also was reportedly packing on the pounds. But things in Only’s life changed big time after he learned about his birth mother. After making a search for her and finding out that she had actually passed on weeks before he sought her out, Only cleaned up his act, lost weight, and worked on his grades. He also pushed his search for a family in high gear and made a plea at a local church in St. Petersburg, Fl. for someone to adopt him, saying:
“My name is Davion and I’ve been in foster care since I was born… I know God hasn’t given up on me. So I’m not giving up either. I’ll take anyone. Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don’t care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be.”
And that’s where we met the young man. Well good news! According to the Daily Mail, Only is now staying with his new prospective adoptive family for the holidays so he can get to know them better before he’s permanently adopted. This was reportedly confirmed by Eckerd, the adoption agency working with the teen, as a spokesperson told the Mail the following:
“Davion has moved from his group home placement at Carlton Manor to a foster home where he is enjoying getting to know the family. Davion is excited to be spending the holidays with a perspective adoptive family.”
This was also confirmed by Only’s biological aunt, Doris Barnes, who is the sister of his late mother. As a reminder, family members did inquire about adopting him, but past criminal records and other issues blocked the ability for some of them to take him in. They met Only a few months before he spoke out at the church about his search to find a family.
“I know he is going out of town with a family for Christmas. I wanted to buy him a present and maybe see him, but I can’t because he’s not going to be around.
I just want him to be happy and loved and to be with someone who is going to do the best for his future.”
And it looks like he’s getting the chance to have that. This is an amazing thing, considering that after his search for a “forever family” hit the media, families from around the world, including Australia, Great Britain and more contacted his agency about his case. Hopefully the permanent adoption will happen very soon and Only can spend many more holidays with a family that will love, be there for him, and be good to him.
Well would you look at that! After discussing that she’s ready to find love and settle down again, the word on the e-streets is that La Toya Jackson married her long time business partner/friend/whatever he is to her, Jeffre Phillips.
According to RadarOnline, Jackson and Phillips were married in a ceremony in Los Angeles on Friday afternoon. The couple were joined by Jackson’s mom Katherine as well as one of her nephews. It sounds like they could have been two of the witnesses.
On La Toya’s show on OWN, Life With La Toya, Phillips made a bold move an proposed to her on the show after he was tired of seeing her being “wooed” by other men. It seemed a little odd but many of her friends considered them to be in some sort of situation because he was always around and always seemed to have a say in how she acts in her relationships.
One can only wonder if the couple will now take the idea of adoption more seriously. Jackson said many times on her show that she had a desire to have her own family by adopting a child. There’s not much information about Phillips but if he has children, it’s highly likely that they are adults.
We haven’t heard any official word from La Toya or Jeffre but this sounds like pretty solid information.
Congratulations to the happy couple!
If you make the choice to go forward with raising your child as a single mother, according to Dr. Richard Land, you’re keeping him/her from having the future that God intended the child to have–one with a committed mother and father. That’s what Land had to say in an op-ed for the Christian Post that was supposed to bring attention to National Adoption Day, which was on Saturday. But instead of just trying to educate people on the need to adopt and laud those who do, Dr. Land decided to point the finger at single mothers and say that by raising kids alone, you’re keeping them from having the best life possible. To him, it would be best if new moms gave their children up for adoption to two-parent families that can’t have kids and are willing to give them a home.
Adoption is not only the best answer for the heartache and loneliness of foster children and those in orphanages both here and around the world, but it is also the best answer in almost every case where a mother finds herself with a “problem” pregnancy. Such pregnancies can arise from numerous circumstances, but most commonly they are a “problem” because the father is not married to the mother…Last year, 53 percent of babies born to women under thirty were born to single mothers. And yet, though adoption is seldom chosen in response to such pregnancies, it is virtually always the best option for everyone concerned.
Keeping the baby is almost never preferable to allowing a baby to be adopted into a solid, faithful Christian home. A single mother who keeps her baby is quite often denying that baby the father that God wants for that baby, and every baby, to have. Furthermore, in most circumstances, keeping the baby circumscribes and forecloses both the mother’s and the baby’s economic futures in tragic and unfortunate ways.
If the mother is doing what is best for her baby (one of the defining marks of maternal love), she will part with her baby so that it will have the future God intended for him or her to have.
Adoption allows the mother to give her child both a mother and a father who will love and cherish the child. Also with today’s open adoption policies, she can have as much or as little contact with, and information about, her child as she desires. She can dictate the terms of the adoption (monthly reports, quarterly visits, etc.), and the adoptive parents either agree or the adoption does not occur.
What Dr. Land fails to point out though is the equal responsibility that fathers have in this equation. While a mother and father may not work out romantically, if they’re both committed to being their for the child and are good parents, their child can have a great upbringing and often a better one than some kids who live in two-parent homes that are filled with constant disagreements and strife. But if the father chooses to not be involved, why villainize a mom trying to provide her child with everything she can on her own? As Dr. Land pointed out in his column, there are more than 100,000 children in foster care right now, so there are plenty of children for couples to try and adopt to give a “good home.” No need to try and tell moms who want to hustle and do their best for their children (with or without the father’s help) that they should add their kids to that number.
What are your thoughts on Dr. Land’s statements?
Despite the incessant rumors of marital trouble surrounding Keyshia Cole and her husband Boobie, the Oakland singer is thinking about making a major family change. According to Keyshia’s Instagram musings, she’s surprisingly contemplating expanding her family by way of adoption. She wrote a few days ago:
Many may forget that Keyshia was adopted. After being born to the mother we’ve all grown to know, Frankie, real name Francine Lons, and her now-deceased father Sal, Keyshia was adopted at age two by family friends Leon and Yvonne Cole, who changed her last name to theirs. Given that upbrining, it makes total sense Keyshia would want to adopt, and we all would love to see more African American children brought into stable African American homes, but therein lies some of the confusion with Keyshia’s statement.
Knowing the marital issues she’s working through, it is odd that Keyshia doesn’t mention her husband at all in this post, only her adopted mother. But perhaps in mentioning Mama Cole, she means her adopted mother will help her through the adoption process, not to raise the child, which is one way this message could be (mis)interpreted. Also, to say you’re contemplating adoption in the same breath as you say you have too much work to do to have a child is a bit contradictory. Sure, you won’t have to physically carry the adopted child, but the work required to raise him or her will be no less than a child she’d give birth to, if not more. I’m thinking Keyshia might want to give this decision a little more thought and make sure her home is right before going any further, but this is none of my business…
What do you think?
Yesterday, we told you about Davion Navar Henry Only’s quest to be adopted. He was the 15 year old boy who petitioned a Florida Baptist church to “love me until I die” and adopt him. When we reported the story yesterday, we had only heard that two couples had expressed interest in him but no one had actually adopted him yet. But it looks like things may be looking up for Davion. The adoption agency who has been handled his case has had to open a call center to handle all the calls they’ve been inundated with.
Eckerd, the foster home where Davion lives, has had to open up a separate call center to field and respond to each and every call. On their Facebook page, Eckerd wrote:
“We ask that folks be patient, we are incredibly grateful for the outcry of interest in Davion and we will get back to everyone as soon as we can,” they wrote. “We are nearing 1,000 inquiries already! #secondchances”
This is such a good sign and we’re hopeful that Davion will eventually find a good home. We’ll be sure to keep you posted.
Watch the video of Davion’s story below.
Just the other day, I was talking to a man who described himself as “as white as he could be.” We were discussing the Kieran Romney adoption. I was explaining that although I have my concerns, I’m generally happy about the Romney family adopting little Kieran because far too often black children are the last children to be adopted. The likelihood of them finding a permanent family becomes even more slim as they get older.
This was news to the white guy.
And though, it’s something I’ve known for quite some time, associating a human face to what often comes off as just a numbers and percentage issue, makes it all the more real and all the more heartbreaking.
In a beautifully written story published on NaplesNews.com, we learn about 15 year old Davion Navar Henry Only, an orphan who’s looking for a home.
The reporter, Lane Degregory of the Tampa Bay Times writes that Davion’s names mean “beloved, brown, ruler of the home and the one and only. He’s memorized all of them. Though one of his names means ruler of the home, Davion told a St. Petersburg church on a Sunday morning in September that he’s never had a home of his own.
“My name is Davion and I’ve been in foster care since I was born… I know God hasn’t given up on me. So I’m not giving up either.”
This was the beginning part of the speech Davion delivered to the members of St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church, in which he petitioned the congregation to adopt him.
Davion, who was born while his mother was in jail, says he can’t count all the places he’s lived in; but right now, he resides in the Eckerd Carlton Manor, a residential group home for teenage boys.
While Davion has a place to stay, he wants privileges and even standard allowances other children take for granted.
From Naples News:
“Davion wants to play football, but there’s no one to drive him to practice. He wants to use the bathroom without having to ask someone to unlock the door. More than anything, he wants someone to tell him he matters. To understand when he begs to leave the light on.”
In the past, Davion has had issues with anger management. He had thrown chairs, earned poor grades and pushed people away. But all of that changed when he searched and found his birth mother, this past June. Davion went to the library and found a mug shot for La-Dwina Ilene “Big Dust” McCloud, age 55. Shortly after that, he found her obituary. The article on Naples News explains that Davion learning of his mother’s passing and that she wasn’t coming back to get him, made him change his behavior. Davion’s caseworker said after he let go of hope of his mother’s return, he wanted to show everyone who he could be so someone would want him.
Throughout the summer he worked on his temper and dropping his defenses. He lost 40 pounds and as a current 10th grader, he’s earned all A’s except in geometry.
As he was speaking to the congregation, he said, “I’ll take anyone. Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don’t care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be.”
After hearing that God helps those who help themselves, it was Davion’s idea to appeal to the members of St. Mark. Before he spoke, he told his caseworker, Connie Going: “I know they’re out there. Maybe if someone hears my story…”
At the time the article was published on Naples News, on October 15, there had been two couples who asked about Davion. But no one has come forward to adopt him yet. If you want more information about Davion, or other foster children in the Florida area who are awaiting families, you can call Eckerd at 866-233-0790. If you’re unable to adopt but want to donate time or money, you can call Eckerd at 727-456-0600.
Janet Jackson is going to be a mama! Well, maybe. According to US Weekly, the singer and her new husband, Wissam Al Mana, are reportedly ready to start a family and they’re thinking about adopting to do it.
A source told the tabloid that Janet, who is now 47, is “quietly” looking into the process of adopting a child from a third-world country, saying:
“She now pretty much knows pregnancy is not in the cards, so she’s been looking into adopting. She’s been very moved by the events in Jordan and Syria now that she’s been living overseas. Not sure how soon it will happen, but there’s been movement on this.”
Page Six has a bit of a different take on the rumor, reporting that a family member told them “it’s going to happen and real soon,” with an additional source weighing in with:
“Janet has always been concerned about the welfare of the world’s children and it’s important to her that she affords a baby the opportunities that have been afforded her.”
Their sources also say the pop star, who has remained in remarkable shape over the years, hasn’t totally ruled out pregnancy just yet, which isn’t totally surprising considering her Hollywood cohorts are popping out babies at around the same age. Still, it’s worth questioning the legitimacy of these reports, as there isn’t exactly a strong track record of accuracy when it comes to reporting on Janet and Wissam. Remember all the hoopla earlier this year about the couple planning an extravagant wedding, only to find out they had secretly wed last year? Janet’s own family didn’t even know about the wedding so it would be surprising for news as big as this to fall through the cracks. But, if the Al Manas are indeed thinking about adopting, good luck to them on starting a family!
What do you think?