Saturday, June 2, 2012

Cost of Foster-Adopt in WA

Since we have been required to contract with a private agency in order to adopt from foster care, many people assume WA state will cover the cost of our foster-adopt like a typical state foster-adopt. This is not our case. Our agency is not contracted with WA DSHS, but it is licensed to provide foster-adopt services, so the state does not reimburse our fees. If a legally free child is placed in our home, we will not receive fostercare stipends for the child. If the child is not yet legally free, we will receive monthly payments from the state. We are still responsible for $10,000 in fees to the adoption agency.
The fee is broken down as follows:
  • $550 Application Fee
  • $2,000 Home Study Fee
  • $2,000 Family Search Fee (covers costs to search for a child)
  • $5,450 Program Service Fee (post-placement supervision and finalization paperwork)

Taking on this financial responsibility was a leap of faith. Mike and I are blessed my parents are able and willing to help us with a large portion of these fees plus we had some already saved from previous adoption fundraising over the past two years. We had originally done fund raising for our international adoption which is still in process, but the funds are now being used for our foster adoption.

The shock on people's faces when the cost of our adoption is mentioned is repeatable. Then the same question is asked, "Doesn't the state pay foster care?" Usually, but not in our case. Then they ask, "How are other families going to afford adoptions in WA?" That is a good question. If other families are going to be required to contract with private agencies, many will not be able to adopt from foster care except going through the long-term fostercare process hoping that a child in their care will see more eventually become available. This will limit the number of children adopted from Washington's fostercare system. We will foster kids age out of the system. It will be interesting to how the WA State foster care changes over the next few years because of the budget cuts and making families choose between long-term foster parenting or paying to adopt from fostercare.

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