A Simple Adoption Story

The High Costs of Adoption

So if there's one piece of advice Diana would like to pass on to other people considering adoption, it's this: Be honest about who you are. "Don't discredit all the little things which, in someone's eyes, will make you the right parent," she says. Debra Aronson, founder of Heritage Adoption Services, an agency in Portland, Oregon, agrees. "I've seen hundreds of adoptive parents selected, and it's rarely for how much money they make," she says.

Of course, adoption itself is not cheap. Though prices vary widely, it usually costs tens of thousands of dollars. That can be reduced if people do work on their own (for instance, don't hire a lawyer who specializes in adoption, though this may increase the risk that arrangements will fall through) or go through a state's health and welfare system (often slower, but less expensive).

When Diana and Jim finally got the call, they felt overwhelmed. They hadn't prepared for anything, and the baby was due in six weeks. "It's so crazy because you wait and wait, and then it happens and you think, I'm not ready," she laughs. "Even after that call, we didn't buy anything. We were too afraid it wouldn't work out."

Diana's fear was not unreasonable. "Birth mothers can change their mind. It's something to prepare for emotionally," says Page. "Even though our agency discourages women from selecting adoptive parents until well into their third trimester, 35 percent of those who pick adoptive parents decide, in the end, to keep their baby."

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