The Cost of Adoption

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It’s that time of year – bluebonnets about to spring up here in Texas, St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Break, Daylight Savings Time, and of course, March Madness. In a few days, we’ll all make our picks. My heart is with Duke, but my head says Kansas.

The other thing that’s around the corner is April 15 – deadline for filing taxes. Which brings me in a roundabout way to my topic – the cost of adoption.

When Rebecca and I went through the process over 20 years ago, we found the cost somewhat daunting. Since then, no surprise…. the costs have risen. However, when we went through the process, we had to walk 5 miles to school through the snow uphill each way….. no wait, that’s a different story. Here we go….when we went through the process, there was no adoption tax credit and no hint of company support. Today, the tax credit is about $12,000 for most couples. And please don’t rely on our crystal ball, but we believe the tax credit will be extended.

And today, many enlightened corporations demonstrate their support of adoption by reimbursing a portion of the costs. Also, there are numerous non-profit organizations whose mission is to help couples that are struggling with adoption costs. ABBA Fund provides interest-free loans; awards grants; Pathways for Little Feet provides financial assistance as do many others.

As an adoptive parent who is now about to be viewing the teen years of my kids in a rearview mirror, I can say it has been more than worth it – much, much, much more than worth it.

In fact, the parable in Matthew 13 really resonates. It’s about the man who found a pearl of great value and sold everything he had to obtain it. The parable refers to the Kingdom of Heaven, but I am going to stretch a bit and apply it to the value I place on our kids. They are pearls of greatest value. Adoption is a story of pursuit. Cost is a part of the pursuit. There is no comparable return – the value, the adventure, the joy dwarf the cost.