His Kids, Too! can help you with your international adoption needs. We offer a variety of services and information that can assist you in making the many decisions involved with adoption. Please visit our agency website at: www.cornerstoneadoption.com
Agency/Facilitation Group Selection
Planning a strategy for financing your adoption is important. Your adoption is not only a very important part of your lifetime journey, but a big expense. His Kids, Too! believes that God has entrusted funds to you, and you should be the best steward of these funds. The agency or facilitation group you choose to help you with your goal to adopt a child is a very important decision and you should consider many factors. Below are some helpful suggestions.
- Read letters of recommendation from adoptive families
- Choosing the right adoption assistance:
- There are thousands of orphan children available for adoption. We encourage you to pray diligently over your finances and look at the ethics and practices of agencies/facilitation groups BEFORE choosing one to assist you in finding the child that you can best serve via international adoption.
- Your first opportunity to save money is choosing the right agency or facilitation group for your adoption needs. Unfortunately many people 'fall in love' or choose a child, BEFORE they review the costs involved. Thus they have locked themselves into using a particular agency and they are at that agency's mercy for any costs. Once you are locked in via a contract and downpayment, it is your responsibility to figure out the financing. It is much better to look at your finances and see what you can realistically afford, check into financial assistance and other adoption options (agency verses independent adoption) and THEN start thinking about the child(ren).
- Look at the fine print. Remembering that U.S. dollars go a long way in a foreign country, we encourage you to question your agency about the following:
- Request to see their state license for the purpose of International Adoption – If difficulties do arise, you do not have any recourse without the agency being a licensed International Adoption Agency.
- References – Any agency or facilitation group should be happy to provide references for your review. In addition, there are many Adoption Forums on the internet we strong encourage you to join which provide a wealth of information and references (good and bad) for agencies and facilitation groups.
- Unspecified expenses – on the contract review what the expenses are and what you are paying for them. You should not be paying American prices for services, etc. in a foreign country, or paying for things that really are not noteworthy at all. (for example: 'legal language' that really amounts to someone walking your paperwork from one place to another, or reviewing your paperwork.)
- Administrative costs verses true adoption expenses (these vary from agency to agency) We understand that agencies are in the business to make money (that is why it is so important to research who is going to get this huge amount of money you're going to spend)… but just how much money is going to be made at the expense of a client going into huge debt… ask yourself, 'is this agency really an advocate to help these children find a home, or are they just here to make money at the expense these children'.
- Country Fees – verify if the country charges a fee, and how much that fee is, and who is the recipient of this fee.
- Orphanage Fees – verify what the fee is, if that is included in your actual fees (or is it above and beyond the contracted fee), insist on a receipt for any donation, especially if it is monetary.
- Fee reduction – Specifically ask your agency (and possibly get it in writing), 'is there any exceptions for reducing fees, and what are they?' It can't hurt to ask, and you can also get a 'feel' for your agency/facilitation group position on really putting children in homes or just making money. Truly, there is almost always room for fee reductions in many areas.
- Get Receipts/Taxes – for tax purposes you will need documentation of your expenses. Every time you spend money on your adoption request a receipt and have it in your hand when you leave. Do NOT accept, 'we will mail it to you, or we will give it to you later,' we find that too many people NEVER get these receipts. In the U.S. any agency, facilitation group, or individual person should provide a receipt for any service(s) they provide. The receipt should state, what the service was, the amount paid, and who the funds were paid to (name, address), and date. IRS will need this for your tax purposes. When you are in country, keep a journal or file of payments made in cash, what they were for, and the date. These will later be needed for your taxes concerning your adoption expenses.