3 Financial Mistakes Adoptive Families Should Avoid at All Costs
Many times we begin a journey, like adopting a child, and encounter roadblocks, speed bumps, or all-out detours. When you are right there, so close, and in the situation, it can be tempting to make a decision that may seem to serve you best in the short term, but you need to keep the outcome in mind. Here are three money mistakes that everyone should avoid when trying to adopt.
1. Hiring the Cheapest Attorney
The legal aspect of adoption can seem expensive; however, it is vital for a successful outcome. Having an attorney who specializes in the type of adoption you are pursuing is vital in every case. For example, if you are pursuing an adoption between two different states (an interstate adoption), an attorney who is experienced with the process will save you time and money in the long run. If you are working on a kinship adoption, a family law attorney may suit your needs perfectly. Bottom Line: Hire for your needs, not your pocketbook.
2. Cutting Corners Legally
Sometimes dealing with the legal requirements of adoption situations makes finding an easier alternative seem attractive. Whether dealing with birth father rights, required psychological exams or honoring laws regarding birth mother expenses, all can be complicated and slow down the process, all while driving the costs up! “No one will ever know” is not a solid justification for falsifying documents or not telling the whole truth. One adoptive family even agreed to have the adoptive father’s name put on the birth certificate to make it easier to adopt. Later, when the birth mother changed her mind, it was easy for her to claim child support because he had signed the document. Bottom Line: Honesty is always the best policy, along with playing by the rules.
3. Accepting an Adoption That You Know You Can’t Afford
Face it, adoption costs vary widely, depending on legal requirements, states involved, birth parent expenses, travel, and much, much more. Saying yes to a situation knowing that it will leave you completely tapped out may not only be a disservice to your new child but also to your existing family.
It’s okay to tell an adoption professional, “We just can’t afford this,” or to ask, “Do you know any way to keep the costs down on this one?” Ultimately, every adoption carries some degree of risk, and you have to be able to accept the loss if it does not go through. Bottom Line: Don’t stretch your budget beyond your means – life has to continue (and be paid for!) after the adoption.
The good news is that adoptions are still successfully happening each and every day, and you can adopt too! Just do your best to steer clear of these pitfalls on the journey to the child God has meant for you.
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