When someone finds out we adopted, we’re bombarded with questions. We love that, because we’re able to squash myths and untruths about adopting. I’ve gotta say, the number one myth about adopting is that it’s expensive.
“It’s so expensive. How did you afford it?” Well, it proves difficult to answer a false dichotomy. It’s not expensive. While some types of adoption are, such as forms of international adoption, and the agencies with build-a-baby programs to get you the exact physical appearance you want in your child, adoption in general is not expensive.
In other words, if your goal in adoption is to get a specific type of child, adoption may be expensive. If your goal is to help the parentless children in the world, it doesn’t have to be expensive.
Adoption and the Foster System
The foster system is broken. I don’t even need statistics for this point.
We all know there are thousands of “parents” housing foster children merely to collect a paycheck. We’ve all heard of the abuse of, and within, the foster system. A close friend of mine grew up in the foster system, and saw firsthand how it was fraught with money-hungry abusers, while moving to over 30 different homes before age 16.
Fortunately, there are thousands of amazing foster parents out there doing amazing things in the world. I have the utmost respect for those parents. We went through the classes and home inspections, since we adopted through the foster system.
Going through the foster system, and adopting through the State, isn’t expensive. We paid around $250 for the entire process, and much of that was during our time becoming foster parents.
Once we officially adopted, the paperwork was signed, and we received birth certificates showing us as the legal [and seemingly natural] parents 1. I think we paid less than $30 for those certificates.
It almost seems like the idea that adoption is expensive is an excuse for keeping people from adopting. They may believe it’s a noble thing to do, but admittedly it is difficult and quite a long process, so saying it’s too expensive is a good way to avoid actually doing it.
Are you putting your money where your mouth is?
Adoption and Pro-Lifers
I’m pro-life to the core, but this isn’t intended to be a political post, and I don’t judge if you believe differently — I’m not here to discuss pro-life vs. pro-choice. But if you do consider yourself pro-life, I have a question for you:
Are you willing to adopt?
Because it’s not helpful to vote pro-life, protest Planned Parenthood, convince others to be pro-life, and then refuse to adopt a child of someone who is considering abortion.
The willingness to adopt solidifies your pro-life stance with action.
Please save the excuses for why you can’t adopt. And I’m not saying they aren’t valid; they probably are. But if you’re not willing to adopt, think about why you’re not wiling to adopt, and determine if it really comes back to it making your life more difficult. If that’s the case, as a Christian, rethink your priorities.
This isn’t an open invitation to argue reasons why you aren’t able to adopt, if you don’t feel you are, my goal is to make you think. If adoption isn’t possible for you right now, feel free to move on with your life. But please do ask yourself the question of why you don’t see it as possible. Are you comfortable with your response?
If you feel offended in any way right now, you may want to consider the real reason behind that. I can’t figure that out for you, but being offended often means we’re insecure about an excuse we’ve been making.
Adoption and Action
It’s amazing the percentage of people we talk to who say “I’ve always considered adopting.” We were one of those couples who had “always considered” it, and then God put it in our laps in the form of a situation that forced us to either take action or fail to act.
It’s not that we were the “perfect Christians” who “actually did it.” It’s that we were just like everyone else who talks about it a lot, until God put us to the test.
I think we would’ve been talking about how much we wanted to adopt for the rest of our lives, without ever actually doing it, if the situation hadn’t presented itself. That was God’s way of calling us to action.
This could be your call to action.
We don’t have to ask God if adopting children is His Will. The Bible tells us God is pro-adoption (Deuteronomy 10:18; Isaiah 1:17; Matthew 18:5; 25:40; James 1:27). Not to mention, Jesus was adopted. And doesn’t adoption just feel like something God would smile upon and bless?
If you decide to adopt, it will be in God’s plan for your life. Could you imagine God telling you it was a mistake to adopt? If you hear those words, they are not from God.
“But I’m not sure we can afford to take care of more children.”
“How will we make it work?”
If you bring God in on the relationship, it’s going to work. You loving a child, taking him in and making him your own will be blessed by God. Likewise, even if you provide only love, that child is already in a better place than before.
Consider adoption. My goal isn’t to guilt you into doing it, but you should consider it.
There’s a great phrase I agree with wholeheartedly:
If you can’t adopt,
If you can’t foster,
If you can’t sponsor,
If you can’t volunteer,
If you can’t donate,
There’s always something you can do.
If you’re adopting specifically to give children parents and a home who would otherwise be in the hands of a broken foster system, consider adopting a child who is less likely to be adopted.
Children are less likely to be adopted as they get older — especially once they hit their teens. Children who aren’t white are less likely to be adopted. Children with disabilities are highly unlikely to be adopted.
Through prayer, consider these options.
Editor’s Note: After this article went live, a reader reached out to me about her situation. June adopted her granddaughter. To make this happen, she had to hire a private investigator and a lawyer, and pay all kinds of court fees to the tune of over $10,000. This led to a loan out of her retirement account and it was quite the financial burden. I just want to reiterate that I’m not saying adoption is never expensive. It can be. But if your goal is to adopt a child, without a specific scenario that could make it cost much more, it doesn’t have to be expensive. And of course, with adoption comes all of the standard parenting expenses, from food and health care to clothing and braces.
Further Bible Reading
Further Book Reading
- Honestly Adoption by Mike and Kristin Berry
- The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption by Lori Holden & Crystal Hass
- The Whole Life Adoption Book by Thomas Atwood & Jayne Schooler
- Adopted for Life by Russell Moore
Children’s Books on Adoption
- Budgeting for Kids: How to Teach Budgeting From Age 3 to 18
- The Complete Guide to Saving for and Sending Your Kids to College
- Don’t Just Teach Your Kids to Set Goals, Teach Them to Do This
- 47 Things You Weren’t Taught in School (That Our Kids Need to Know)
- Large-Family Minimalism: How We Declutter 5,000 Things a Year
- How to Teach Your Kids to Invest
- Once adoption is finalized, you receive new birth certificates showing you are the parent(s). It appears in every way the same as if you were the biological parents, which I thought was interesting.