This week, one of our coordinators received the following screenshot in regards to an available adoption situation. The waiting family had not started doing their own marketing or networking yet, but was interested in the situation and asking the next step.
Most families in the Adoption For Life program are looking to make their own direct connection with a birth mother, however if you see an online posting like this one, here are the questions to ask as you learn more about it:
- What are the fees?
In this case, the answer to the question was that legal fees are $5,000. $2,500 due right away, and the balance due at signing. It is important to find out if that is all of the legal fees, or just taking the birth mother consents in that state. Does it include birth father termination too? Does it include finalization?
- Are there any additional fees?
Upon pressing a little further, we learned that there were about $8,000 more in fees, including a filing fee, $2,500 marketing fee, and $5,000 agency fee. Now the total fees were up around $13,000, and we still didn’t know if it includes finalization and birth father.
- Are there any birth mother expenses?
The answer to this question was a statement that the state of Florida allows up to $5,000 of birth mother expenses. When we asked “Does this birth mother have that much in expenses,” the answer was the family needs to be prepared to pay what is legally allowable, so yes, she needs $5,000. Now we are at $18,000.
- What other expenses should a family expect?
This is kind of a catch all question that you should get some answers to about birth father, finalization, etc.
The reason all of these questions have to do with fees is because many times the fees are hidden. Before you ever consider or commit to an adoption, you need to be aware of all the potential fees. Revisit the section on Adoption Fraud and Scam to see some of the tricks that adoption professionals may use when ‘shopping’ situations like this. Responding and paying may “lock you in”, or at least lock your money in, to this attorney.
Look back at the image and notice the word “Sponsored” under the headline. That means that organization paid to promote this post, basically it is an advertisement. That’s not bad, but just something to be aware of.
Remember, your best, most affordable place to connect with birth mothers is always going to be through your own networking and marketing.