I'm a little frantic right now. We were activated with our agency a month ago and I just got a phone call about a situation. We have until Monday to decide if we want our profile to be presented to her. They're emailing me all the non-identified info right now. Everything they told me over the phone is in line with what we're open to, so that's good. The kicker is the expenses- she's requesting living expenses and has no insurance and is not elegible for state aid. The agency just quoted me $39,000!!! Am I crazy to think that's really high? Or is that standard or normal in the range of bm expenses? Our agency collects a deposit of $5,000 to cover bm expenses when we have a match, so I was kind of assuming that would be the standard amount, with some leeway for a range that we would have to pay.
Can anyone provide insight into the expenses that they've paid, heard of, been quoted? Should I re-adjust our planning and just expect to spend this much money (on top of all the other agency fees?).
I've read that when bmoms are flown in from out of state, they can't qualify for government help with medical expenses, since they are temporary residents of the state.
Those expenses can really add up, especially if there are any complications. We will not consider a match where the bmom doesn't have insurance or medicaid, simply because we can't afford it. I know it might be very hard to decline, but we would have to.
Just as another point of reference, this is how the financials break down for the agency we are working with:
$200 application fee
$1500 homestudy fee (due after completion)
$4100 PLACEMENT fee (due after TPR)
$4200 FINALIZATION fee (includes 3 post placement visits)
Our agency worked to find housing for our emom as well as get her signed up for food stamps and medicaid. They also got her into community college this past semester. We are not expected to have any additional expenses other then legal, which should be about $2000-3000.
It is also worth noting that our agency is a social service agency that provides many services to the community, including adoption services if they are needed. They do not advertise, and don't do a ton of placements. Their average wait is also 2-2.5 years - not that there is any guarantee is open adoption! We were very wary of larger adoption agencies that made any kind of promises regarding wait time since the majority of placing parents choose the aparents.
In the end, it just comes down to whatever you can afford to lose, and are comfortable with. You are the best expert on your family and what is right for you, and in the end will make the best decision for you. I wish you the best of luck, I know this must be one of the hardest decisions you have had to make so far!
Again, thank you all for your responses, we appreciate it!
kelceesmom~ Don't worry, I didn't think you were rude, just honest, and we appreciate it. There's so much involved in this process, I don't want any sugarcoating!
Rhondae~ I hope you don't mind me asking, what did the 10k for birthmother expenses include?
journeytolily~ that makes sense on the state aid, I hadn't thought of that.
Does anyone know if there's government aid, not just state aid? She will be traveling so I guess she won't be a permanent resident of the state.
Here's what we've found out so far...
Birth Parent Expenses: $11,425
the breakdown is: $5,000 Rent and Utilities
$2,275 Groceries and Personal Items
$650.00 airfare
$3,500 Living expenses
Birth Parent services: $6,000
That's supossed to be for maintenance??, transportation, mileage, and support.
OBGYN- $2,000
Pediatrician: $190.00
Anesthesiologist: $835.00
So on top of the regular agency fees, that's $20,450. Then there's the medical fees related to hospital / birth depending on type of birth, length of hospital stay...that could (for csection, lab fees, and 48 hour stay) add about another $10,000.
I wasn't able to talk to the finance director yesterday, she's supossed to call us this weekend. I want clarification on the living expenses, I'm not sure what else other than rent, utilities, groceries, and personal items that are accounted for would be considered living expenses. The additional $3,500 seems like a duplication to me. I also don't know the time frame that they're looking at for us to provide for birth mother expenses. And I want to know if these are estimates, estimated on the high end just to prepare us, or if these are set in stone.
Thanks again everyone.
Ok, I want to try to be as helpful as I can - but understand, I am not a supporter of 'birth parent expenses' so it's likely I won't be to helpful...
$5,000 Rent and Utilities
What kind of place will she be staying? Ritz Carlton? I don't know how far along she is or even if she'll be staying by her self (doubtful, if she's flying to the agency state) - likely that she is staying in a 'group' environment. That seems REAL excessive...especially if she's only got a couple of months to go (it isn't normally recommended that you match prior to the 7th month (third trimester)) - so $2500 a month for rent and utilities is A LOT!
$2,275 Groceries and Personal Items
Again, a couple of months for "groceries" and "personal items" doesn't translate to $2275 for me. What kind of personal items? Clothing? If she is to ill to work and support herself, she doesn't need more than a couple of pairs of sweat pants and some t-shirts - she's just going to be hanging out at the house/apartment. I find it hard to believe that she'd need $2275 in groceries - that's 4 months of our personal budget (and then some) for the three of us - including a growing teen son.
$650.00 airfare
From where to where? That seems high to me as well...I'll touch more on this later, if I can.
$3,500 Living expenses
What more "Expenses" could a pregnant women who is to ill to work and support herself need beyond the ones you've already listed above? This is just making me sick!
The medical expense aren't ALL that bad - although, I think the expenses for "transportation, milage and support" seems to be WAY over quoted. It's strange to me that they would fly this woman ($650) to stay in an apartment/group environment ($5000) where she can't obtain medical coverage ($3000+). It would seem the most cost effective way for this situation would be for the woman to stay put, with you paying basic 'expenses' so that she can obtain medical coverage.
$10,750 is more than $1000 a month, if you matched the DAY OF conception. If you're matching at the sixth or seventh's even MORE!
How far along is she?
Will she be sharing a home with other pregnant women?
I just can't wrap my head around this situation...more than $10,000 in LIVING EXPENSES - that doesn't even cover medical..someone is making some money here...
There is NO reason why a woman who is pregnant can't work and support herself...unless she is ill and unable to work. Even then, if this were a bedrest situation - it doesn't explain all the crazy high expenses...
My personal suggestion is pass this up. Run. Fast. None of this makes any sense to me at all...I am just dumbfounded...holy cow.
I want to add - if you're paying for "Support" with the $5000 (in additon to the other crap) what is your agency fee for? The agency fee is supposed to cover the legal and support's supposed to cover the cost of the services provided by the staff as part of them doing business.
Again, I just CAN NOT wrap my head around's making me a little sick actually.
Brandy has huge valid points and I would read every word she has written twice, three times or even four times.
As much as we all want to be parents sometimes we just shouldn't go for a match. Just reading what you have written has my hair standing up on my neck. Do you feel your agency is ethical would be one of my questions. Is this normal for your agency. And most of all if this emom decides to parent how much of this money can you afford to lose and still be able to adopt again?
I know you are putting all these thoughts out on the table. Just tread very lightly and get lots of solid answers before you sign or make any decisions.
I wish you lots of luck and I will be lurking to see how things are going for you. Just remember that if this isn't the right situation for you your time will come.
I agree with all of you, the fees seem insanely high (and more than we spend for ourselves). I've done a lot of research on what airfare would cost, IRS guidelines on reasonable expenses, housing standard on. I haven't talked to the finance person yet so I don't know what they're basing their numbers on.
I did find something interesting in our paperwork, that if they stand by it, and I'm reading it right, makes us feel a little better.
From our Itemization of Fees and Epenses form we signed as part of our paperwork for the agency:
"Birth parent expenses paid, with ther exception of the initial $5,000 payment, will be refunded to the adoptive family if the birth parent does not sign a relinquishment or consent to adoption."
So that would mean that if we really did shell out 20 grand, we'd get 15 back, right? I'll be asking them about that too!
That's what is sounds like so yes ask that and if you can get the supervisor to sign by that statement so you have someone's name tagged to it.
We'll keep watching to see what you decide.
Just remember to take care of yourselves right now.
I'm still waiting for the exact breakdown...but I do know that it is only $1000.00 a month before placement and then the balance due at TPR. That is so she has some funds to get by on until she finds a job. She is actually talking about going to become a CNA...if it helps her to better will be well worth it! I will let you know when I get the exact breakdown.
Thank you, again, for all your replies. We really appreciate it. We've turned down the match, for a few reasons. I have to say I'm absolutely heart sick about it right now. I just sent the email to our coordinator. I never imagined that we would have the opportunity we just did and say no, and how utterly painful that would be.
Thanks again.
I am so sorry! I know it must be difficult to walk away...but know that you're doing it for a reason and the right situation will come along and it'll be worth it.
We're here :)
tx- it is heart renching but we do what we have to for our family. Know that you are in our prayers. We all have our time and when it is yours you will know why you were meant not to have this precious baby in your lives. Take time for yourself, grieve the loss, and pamper yourself a little extra. Each day is a new day.
Thank you, again, for all your replies. We really appreciate it. We've turned down the match, for a few reasons. I have to say I'm absolutely heart sick about it right now. I just sent the email to our coordinator. I never imagined that we would have the opportunity we just did and say no, and how utterly painful that would be.
Thanks again.
I am so sorry. Believe me, I know how hard that was to do.
Not to add to your pain, but something to think about in the future:
Are expenses like that allowed in the state in which you will finalize? In PA (where I live) only medical, legal and counseling are allowed.
Again, I am sorry and good luck.
That is VERY high! I would say no and not look back! I know that sometimes wanting a baby means everything, but that seems very high. You shouldn't be paying for expenses like that, your agency should be protecting you against those kinds of demands from the birthmother.