Adoptive Families Blog

When is it OK to Pay Adoption Fees Upfront?

Posted by Lifetime Adoption on October 1, 2013

At our center and with many adoption professionals, the client pays fees when we begin working together, which is at the start. The professional is saying, “We are going to put our entire effort into this adoption.” In response, you are saying, “I am willing to make myself available to look at each of the birth mother situations you present.” If you have that commitment on both sides, the adoption will almost always succeed.

Some people may say, “Well, if we pay up front, the professional has no incentive.” But, remember, if they have a good track record and want to keep it, they need to keep their clients happy! As an adoption professional of Lifetime Adoption, I can say that has always been our incentive.

Another organization may have you pay a small fee up front and another one with a match, and another one when the child comes home. I have seen this fee structure work against the adoptive parents. The organization may be motivated to get a match, any match at all, even if it’s not a good one. If the adoption doesn’t work out, they keep the fee and the next time there’s a match, they’ll charge you again.

If you pay $2,000 to start, $4,000 at the match and a balance of $8,000 when the child comes to your home, what if they first match doesn’t work out? Next time you get matched will you have to pay another $4,000? Remember that matches don’t always work out and that adoptions do fall through because we’re dealing with human nature, but that does not constitute a fraud.

I recommend that you find an organization that will charge you one flat fee for the work it does to find you a child. You will want one who will work with you for a period of time, maybe two years, or until a match is found. A clear contract is a must!

This information was excerpted from a book written by Lifetime Founder Mardie Caldwell, Adoption: Your Step-by-Step Guide. To learn more about how you can adopt a baby or child, please give Lifetime Adoption a call: (530) 432-7373 or visit www.LifetimeAdoption.com.

Topics: Avoiding Adoption Fraud and Scams, Adoption Fees