Several people have sent me emails and FB's about our China adoption expenses. Some people simply want to know how much we still owe, others are curious adoption costs in-general, and a few wanted to know if there is a difference in costs between an Ethiopian and China adoption. So, I'll do my best to answer those questions in this post.
First, let me say that adoption is expensive! Some have suggested that it's not right for a family to pursue an adoption if they don't have all the funds necessary to complete the adoption. Of course, I do not agree! If that's the case, people should not buy cars, houses, boats, vacation homes, or even take vacations if they can't pay cash.
See my point?
We don't carry debt on a house (because we rent) and we don't have car loans (paid them off...thank you, LORD!). But we will probably carry debt from this adoption. And we're 100% ok with that. We'd rather carry debt for our boys to have a home, versus a fancy car to have a drive way. We know that is not everyone's choice...and that's ok, too...but it's our choice.
Off my soap-box.
Back to adoption costs.
On average, the adoption of one child from Ethiopia or China will cost about $25,000-30,000. Some state fees and agency fees vary. Airfare and travel fees vary as well.
From this point forward in our China adoption we will spend about $18,000 (no, we do not have this full amount) to bring Judah home.
-airfare (3 going, 4 coming home) ~$5,000-6,000
-lodging, eating and 4 domestic flights (4 people) in China (2 week stay) ~$5,000-6000
-orphanage donation/misc. fees in China ~$7,000
(the above estimates could be even higher because we may be traveling to China during the 2010 Asian Games)
To get to this point in our adoption, we've spent almost $12,000 -- that includes fees for home study report/state fees, USCIS (Dept of Homeland Security) paperwork, and agency fees. Not to mention that much of the paperwork must be mailed via courier, which is $30-60 a pop!
So you can see, it adds-up quickly.
The difference between Ethiopia & China fees?
Two of the biggest differences are:
-Ethiopia requires two trips, China is only one trip -- the cost break-down is still similar because you're in China for 2 wks, and have 3-4 additional flights while in-country
-Ethiopia's program fee (which is paid at DTE) is ~ $7,500, but China's program fee (although not paid until in-country) is ~ $7,000 as well.
You can shop-around for agencies, but the reality is, the cost is going to come out the same. Some agencies charge different fees for different things at different times...but it often comes out only within $1,000-3,000 difference. Again, airfare plays a big role in this.
Air miles are also another option -- I think we have enough American Airline miles to cover one round-trip flight to China, but, if we needed to change our return flight for any reason, I think we'd be charged for a full-price ticket (and I hear they stick it to ya)...so, not sure we're brave enough to use them, but we're going to discuss the option with our agency when we start booking flights.
Well, there you have it! I hope this helps! Let me know if you have other questions, and I'll do my best to answer them!