Tag Archives: adoption agency vs. attorney

3 Ways to Save Money on Adoption

The number one reason people choose not to adopt a child is  cost.  If the price tag is holding you back, read on to learn a few ways to significantly trim adoption costs.

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1. Become a foster parent

Not only is becoming a foster parent probably the quickest way to have a child placed in your home, it is also the least expensive way.  Hundreds of Florida foster children become available for adoption every year, and the Florida Department of Children and Families pays the attorney’s fees and costs associated with these adoptions.  In many cases, the department also pays a monthly adoption stipend to offset the cost of raising a child.  In addition, the adopted child receives Medicaid throughout childhood, and also a college tuition waiver for attending a Florida university.

Foster parenting isn’t for everyone.  Some prospective adoptive parents aren’t willing to take the emotional risk of falling in love with a foster child only to see the child reunited with his or her parents.  Others, however, find fostering incredibly rewarding, and many adopt a child with whom they’ve built a significant bond.

If you think foster parenting may be for you, see the Heart Gallery of Pinellas and Pasco to meet some kids seeking loving, adoptive homes.

2. Put the word out.

While Florida law places a cap on attorney’s fees and costs, professional fees, and various expenses for the birth mother, there is no specific cap for adoption agency fees.  Why is this important?  Because, contrary to popular belief, you can adopt without an adoption agency, if you already know a birth mother who wants to place a child for adoption.

A great number of private adoptions happen because a friend of a friend put the birth mother in touch with the prospective adoptive parents. Be proactive and let everyone you are comfortable with know you are actively seeking a child to adopt.  Rely on the word-of-mouth of your friends, family, acquaintances and colleagues.

If you adopt a child without an adoption agency, you will still incur the cost of the home studies, legal expenses, and birth mother expenses, but you will avoid unnecessary adoption agency fees.  And, please, make sure the attorney you hire is experienced in adoptions.

3. Adopt a Florida child.

The cost of hiring two attorneys – one here in Florida, and the other in the state where the birth mother resides – makes adopting a child from another state much more expensive. The attorney and/or agency fees involved in applying for placement in Florida of a child born out of state – through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children – also increases expenses. It goes without saying that travel expenses can make adopting a child from another state or another country significantly more expensive.

For more information on how to save money on adoption, contact Adoption Law Source, P.A., at (727) 835-7832, and ask for attorney Melissa A. Tartaglia.

 

Myth: You Need an Adoption Agency

Did you know that an adoption agency is not required in Florida adoptions? Whether you are planning to adopt a non-related child, a related child (grandchild, niece, sibling, etc.), a stepchild, or an adult, you can do so through an adoption attorney rather than an adoption agency. Using an experienced adoption attorney may save you thousands of dollars.Photo credit - Hami Gamal

Many prospective adoptive parents go to an adoption agency because they believe that’s where the only available children are. But the truth is that a large percentage of Florida adoptions are done through adoption attorneys.

An experienced adoption attorney can handle most of the same services an agency handles. The difference is that adoption agencies are permitted to charge their clients fees that the adoption attorneys cannot. Those fees can amount to thousands of dollars.

Prospective adoptive parents should diligently interview adoption attorneys to verify the attorney has significant experience in the type of adoption sought. Ask a lot of questions at the consultation phase and don’t be afraid to shop around for the proper amount of experience, the right level of compatibility, and the right price.

Photo credit – Hami Gamal

How-To Book on Adoption and Surrogacy

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Considering handling your own Florida adoption without an agency or attorney? Thinking about a Florida gestational surrogacy, either as an intended parent or surrogate? The how-to book, Adoption and Surrogacy in Florida: The Legal and Practical Sourcebook for Laypersons and Lawyers, will guide you through the laws and procedures and potentially save you thousands of dollars. Comes with an invaluable CD-ROM containing all the forms in the book.

*Edit (04/16/2015) There have been significant changes in adoption and surrogacy law in Florida since the publication of this book, and the book is no longer available.