The Financial Crisis and Adoption Rates


There’s another "in these trying times" story today, this time exploring how the financial crisis will affect adoptions. With job loss reaching record levels, including over 650,000 jobs eliminated in February alone, it’s worth wondering if people will be willing to spend the $20,000-plus to adopt a child through a private agency, or if they’ll instead adopt from a more affordable, state-run foster care system.

Then there is the obvious problem of being able to afford to care for a child after you adopt them. Wendy Bethancourt, a mother planning to adopt, says in the article:

"It’s like this domino effect. Once you bring home a baby, the expenses just start," Bethancourt said. "It’s not just paying for the next adoption. It’s paying for the next child’s college and medical expenses."


And Bethancourt’s just talking about the long-term. Let’s not forget about the cost of rasing a child, including food, diapers, strollers, and pediatricians. We have to expect that this would affect adoption. But how? Some agencies are "reporting an influx of birth mothers choosing to have their child adopted."

There is the obvious problem with analyzing current adoption rates, as it’s still too early to find trends. The best we can do is make educated guesses.  The article does find, at least according to Mardie Caldwell at the Lifetime Adoption Facilitation Center, that since the stock market started to fall, "the number of birth mothers now planning to put their babies up for adoption…has tripled to 378." It’s a little depressing. Caldwell elaborates:

Some of the women already have two or three children and say they can’t afford to feed another mouth. Some are turning over newborn twins or even sibling groups.

The other big question is whether the number of parents who are planning to adopt will decrease. So far, there hasn’t been a decrease, though Lifetime has recently implemented payment plans. The article shows us a hopeful side, though, showing how parents are mustering up the funds to afford adopt:

On the Web, parents-to-be discuss holding bake sales and garage sales. Others solicit donations online to offset costs. Some are forced to look for alternatives, because their homes and 401(k)s, which are typically borrowed against to cover adoption fees, are in the tank.

Another website, HelpUsAdopt.org, gives grants to families planning to adopt. We’ll see a trend soon enough. One has to hope that it won’t be bad news.

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  • invalid-0

    To adopt. I was adopted and I thank God every day for the wonderful parents I got. It was not easy for them. I remember my mom telling me that it was harder to adopt a child than give birth to one. It is sad but the agencies really have to be careful who the child is going to be adopted by.
    If someone can adopt they definitely should! A life will be saved in a totally different way.

    • invalid-0

      I want to use your comment in a resurch project about adoption for my school. Is it ok if I share how you feel? If not I understand.

  • invalid-0

    May be one good thing to come out of this recession will be more people looking at adopting ‘hard to adopt’ children – older and or disabled foster children – thus giving them a stable home. In PA, the state pays for the adoption and a subsidy until the child is 18. I would guess it is similar in other states.

  • invalid-0

    Phillip Longman of the New America foundation points out that while the benefits of childbearing are socialized ( ie, Social Security, Medicare, SSI etc. ) the costs are born by the individual. So basically the costs of children fall to parents but when the children they raise grow up and work and pay taxes, parents don’t get extra benefits. It is an interesting idea.

    As for adoption through the public foster system, that is really difficult both for moms who get very little ability to choose who adopts their child. Also it is hard for adoptive parents because the states take so long to sever birth parents’ rights that the kids are so old and have been in and out of foster care, they need a lot of psychological help by the time you are able to adopt them.
    It is really sad.

  • invalid-0

    Are you serious? Are there really mothers out there who are giving up their children because of this current economy? That’s sad, if it is true. My heart goes out to them.

    As for adoption, I think to expect more expenses is a given. This applies to anything that requires nurturing and support. Why would this be a surprise or even a reason of complaint?
    ———–
    OliviaB.
    Portland DUI lawyer

    • invalid-0

      I would also like to use your comment in my project. Can I?

  • http://www.simplywiifit.com invalid-0

    It’s kinda sad to read about this. But I agree it may be a good thing to let the child be adopted in such circumstances although more can be done to help these families who are facing financial problems.

  • invalid-0

    Financial crisis will definitely affect the rate of adoption. Raising a child isn’t that easy. There are school expenses, medical fees, daily expenses and several others. Now that economy is not good and that it is harder and harder to obtain credit, and a lot of people are losing their jobs. Even the soundest financial planning comes up a bit short. There are payday loans out there if you need a short term credit solution. To qualify, first you have to be employed, and have an open and active checking account. Look at it this way, they aren’t raising their rates like banks are, and they don’t check credit – and they also haven’t gone running to D.C. for a bailout. So if you need a short term credit solution, look into payday loans in today’s economy.

  • invalid-0

    Hopefully it will help another child or children find the love they deserve.

  • http://www.goodcreditco.com invalid-0

    Strange correlation, but I am glad to see thought it is going into some of the less thought of side effects of the crisis, I wonder what else could be uncovered.

  • http://countertopsportland.com invalid-0

    For every parent, they whould have an idea on the wights of responsibility that they will be facing. not only on the adoption process, but for the whole life of the child. Adoption is just the beginning of your responsibility.

    thanks,

    http://countertopsportland.com

  • http://www.prestiti-online.org invalid-0

    “I am glad to see thought it is going into some of the less thought of side effects of the crisis, I wonder what else could be uncovered”

  • http://www.carte-di-credito-online.com/ invalid-0

    Financial crisis will definitely affect the rate of adoption. Raising a child isn’t that easy. There are school expenses, medical fees, daily expenses and several others. Now that economy is not good and that it is harder and harder to obtain credit, and a lot of people are losing their jobs

  • http://www.dwiattorney.com invalid-0

    The market today is worse then I have ever seen. I can completely understand how this would affect adoption rates and I agree with everything you stated. Hopefully the market turns in the next couple quarters.

  • http://www.salariominimo.net invalid-0

    All the sectors of the economy are in trouble. We are in bad times, and nobody knows when it will get better. About adoption is the same. Its normal that the adoption rates decrease during this time. Regards! Talita.

  • http://www.drunkdrivinglawyers.com/ invalid-0

    It would be news worthy to look into the long-term effects of having more children due for adoption or keeping children in foster care longer because the number of adopting parents are decreasing.

  • http://www.kreditohne-schufa.com invalid-0

    I am sure that the financial crises will have an effect on the child adoption rates. It is a shame that the innocent small children have to suffer because of this. I have to agree to Wendy Bethancourt because of my own 2 children that the costs start when you have the children at home. It gives me a good feeling that people don´t forget to talk also about this in bad times. Thank you for posting.

  • invalid-0

    great job on the article, thanks for the information.

    http://www.thelonex.com

  • http://improwedding.com invalid-0

    The financial crisis will not only affect the adoption rates, cause there is all about expenses. It will affect child abuse and domestic abuse because of unemployment growth. I wish I could say to everyone, if you don’t know what are you doing, don’t adopt.