This week’s Adoption Magazine blog hop topic, Adoption and Finances, is very timely. For tax purposes, I had to tally up the cost of Cassie’s adoption.* After I had done so, I posted the following on Facebook:
I responded on Facebook, but would like to expand on my response for this blog post.
First: I don’t see this as Cassie costing any money. I didn’t buy her. You can’t put a monetary value on a child. So, while I understand the “worth every penny” comments, they do tend to rub me the wrong way. Maybe it’s because there’s already a fine line between adoption and buying a baby. Many people outside the adoption community will ask, “How much did she/he cost?” The couple of times I’ve gotten this I’ve said, “He/she didn’t cost anything. The adoption cost $X.”** By saying that a child was worth the money… it just makes me cringe. I don’t complain about it, because I know people are coming from a good place.
If I was complaining by posting the initial “wowzers” — and I’m not sure that I was — I would be complaining about the large amount of money that adoption “service” providers cost — money that usually far exceeds the “services” they provide. I would be complaining that the US government doesn’t seem to know how much adoption costs, or what an adoption “attempt” is, or that building a family through pregnancy is largely tax deductible because medical expenses are tax deductible, but building a family through adoption is not. I would be complaining because every state has its own laws, which add to the expense, not only through various “service provider” fees and travel, but through the byzantine process that is ICPC.
I do not regret spending any of the money that we spent to adopt Cassie. I do regret spending the $600 given to a scammer who, looking back, we should have known was a scammer at the time. And I suppose I could be complaining that that money is not recoverable, due largely to the way adoption laws work. (Remind me to write about expectant mother expenses, OK?)
Do I wish the adoption had cost less? Yes. Because then I would have more money for my children’s day to day lives. I would be able to put money in the education account that Max’s parents created for their grandchildren. I would have been able to put both kids in swimming lessons last year. I would have savings to fix my car and buy a new washer and dryer, all of which would ultimately benefit my children more than lining a facilitator’s and a lawyer’s pockets.
I am thankful for Cassie, and Laine, and Harris, every day. I am not complaining about having Cassie.
The real complaint to which I was alluding to in my comment to Key Point Guy is: Adoption costs a lot of money. It shouldn’t. The end.
* I’m actually going to post it and break it down at a later date.
** Jackson’s adoption cost just over $33,000.