Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It costs HOW much?!?

I know it sounds like a lot of money. Trust me, I share your sentiments exactly!  Adoption is not cheap. We have known this for a while and we knew this going into it.  But as you look at the break down of fees and expenses, it makes sense.  There really isn't a lot to be surprised about when you look at what it all goes towards.  It's just that there are a lot of factors that go into adoption and each step costs something.

You might be surprised to learn that not all the funds we raise are kept by our agency.  The funds we are raising are to pay a number of different organizations for their services.  There will be a lot of "hands" that go into preparing and finalizing this adoption and they all need to be paid for their services.

We thought we would take some time tonight to write out the breakdown of all the fees and expenses we are raising funds for, so you know where your money is going and how it is being used to bring our baby home.

On Average:

Family Assessment (Homestudy):  $2,000
Agency Fee:  $6,000 (they are giving us a 10% discount for being in full time ministry!)
Document Procurement:  $500
Dossier Translation and Registration:  $2400
CIS Background Check: $720
FBI Prints:  $170
Foreign Country Fee: $12,000 (this goes towards things like orphanage costs, government processing fees in the country we are adopting from, court fees in country etc. The country does significant work and processes our adoption on their end as well so we are paying for that service).
Exit Documents:  $800
Travel to country (required by country, 2 visits):  $5,000-$7,000
Post Adoption Reports ($1,200)
Total:  $30,790-$32,790

**There are some costs not reflected above. Things like fees for obtaining certain documents (certified marriage certificate, certified birth certificates etc), notary fees (in Korea we have to pay $50 PER PAGE being notarized and most of our dossier will need to be notarized), paying for hotel and transportation for our social worker etc.  

I hope this helps you to see the break down of the expenses, I know it helped me.  It helped me to realize that not all of it was a chunk of money going to our agency, there isn't a "profit" being made in our adoption and that many of the fees are for varying organizations, documents and procedures we need to do before our adoption can be finalized.  It makes sense that they would need to do extensive background checks on us to make sure the child they place with us is going to a safe environment.  It makes sense they need to verify the information we give them. It makes sense that there are travel costs involved and that they need to pay the social worker for her time.  And it makes sense that all these costs add up.

If you choose to donate by sending a check to our agency, it will go towards lowering our "bill" with them (primarily the agency fee, the dossier translation and registration, and the post adoption reports).

If you choose to donate by sending a check to us to be deposited in our adoption bank account, it will go towards the other fees listed that we pay (FBI prints, CIS, document procurement, social worker travel costs, our own travel costs, notary fees etc).

Again, the 3 ways to give:
- Write a check to Steve and Sarah Houser and send to the address below. This will be deposited into a checking account specifically for our adoption costs.
                                 26228 7th st W
                                 Zimmerman, MN

- Give online directly to Small World Adoption to a fund set up for our child. To donate online:

1.  Click HERE. This will link you to Small World Adoption's website and it should say "Sophie's Fund."
2.  Enter the amount you wish to donate in the "Donation Amount" box.
3.  Click "Add to cart."
4.  Enter all the requested information
5.  IMPORTANT:  In the "Order Comments" box please write:  "For the Child to be Adopted by Steve and Sarah Houser."  This will allow your donation to be tax deductible and make sure it is routed to our adoption expenses.

-Write a check written to "The Child to be adopted by Steve and Sarah Houser" and send to the address listed below.  This will go directly to a fund that Small World Adoption will set up on behalf of our child. In this way it is tax deductible (since it is not going directly to us). It will never be touched by us but will bring our "balance due" on our adoption down by the amount you give.

                                PO Box 1109
                                Mount Juliet, TN

Please pray and consider how you can help. Every donor bring us closer to bringing our next child home!


  1. You're paying TOO much for notarisations in Korea. The person I go to charge 25,000. Shop around!

    1. Hi Sharon! Thanks for your comment. We appreciate any help and insight we can get! We must use a US notary, we can not use a Korean notary. If you have information on US notaries in Korea that are cheaper, could you send me the info? My email is located under "contact us." I know that if we could use a Korean notary it would be a lot cheaper but because of the adoption, it must be a US notary.