The latest Open Adoption Roundtable is thinking about money.
I've been having a discussion about adoption and the costs associated with a group of non-adopters (mainly) on a semi-professional discussion board. I'm not open on there about the fact that we are adopting, and I do know something about adoption from a professional point of view, so I've mainly emphasised that part of it.
I know there's a lot of misconception in the US about the costs of adoption (for example, many people are under the impression that adopters who choose an overseas adoption mainly do so because it is cheaper - we have found out from various sources that Russia, for example, is vastly more expensive than adopting from the US, even for us with our additional UK costs).
In the UK most adoptions are free, or virtually free. Some fellow prospective adopters have had to pay for medicals or occasionally if their adoption was contested, for legal expenses (which are a lot less costly than in the US). In some cases they've only hired a solicitor for peace of mind, really.
So we are kind of keeping quiet about the costs. Family and friends here think it is free, or almost as cheap as they think UK adoption costs. Oddly people in the US seem to think that foster care adoption is also horrendously expensive (in fact, sometimes you can get paid to adopt in the US, in the same way you can in the UK, e.g. through allowances for adopting a special needs child).
But we would not be able to adopt - and we would also not be able for Mr Spouse to study as he is doing - if we were not financially comfortable. We live in a cheap part of the country and we don't have very expensive tastes. We were brought up by stingy parents who taught us never to get in debt. We have additional rental income and considerable savings (it's mainly the savings that are paying for the adoption).
We are very much hoping that we'll end up in an open adoption with some direct contact with some members of our child's birth family. I have no idea how money will enter into that relationship - but I know I've been in a slightly similar situation before. When I was fostering A, and later when we were helping him to get through school, first his father and then he were often requesting money from me and us (obviously I was single when this first came up). It was easier, though, in both cases, than it might be with some relatives/birth family members - A was a child (and as such prone to flights of fancy about what might be reasonable expenses) and his father was an alcoholic. But we visited A, paid for him to go away with us to visit his father, and when A was living with me, I did help his father with practical things. Given his situation, I didn't know he wouldn't sell his clothes/medicine to buy drink. I suspect he took his son's clothes once to sell to buy drink. It's hard.