How Adoption Support Raising Works

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Theo, showing off his smile and his scars.

Amazing! As of right now, we are one third of the way toward our adoption support goal. We’re hoping to reach 75% by Easter. Donate here.

Why that number by that date?  

Adoption support-raising is not like a lot of crowd-sourcing. You don’t Kickstart a kid. Sites like Kickstarter are set up in such a way that you set a goal and give it a timeframe. If you raise those resources in that timeframe you get the money. Go Fund Me is similar, except you don’t have to reach the goal. Point is, with those two, you set a goal and an end date. Then you obtain the funds after the end date, and you’re off to the races. Rock and roll.

With adoption, the process involves many fees along the way, and the process stops until those fees are paid. So, for example, you begin with a home study, which costs a few thousand dollars. You can’t actually pursue adoption or get paired with a child until the home study is complete, and the adopting family must pay the fee in order for the home study agency to release your study. Once that’s done, you’re clear to move forward.

Then comes adoption agency fees, and fees to the country you are adopting from to finalize approval. These fees can reach upwards of $20,000 combined. Until they are paid, a family will not be approved to travel. (We are here.)

Once they are approved to travel, they’re looking at an 14-18 day trip for at least two people (usually planned out by the country of origin). 18 days of international travel, with lots of visits to government offices and in-country trips to various provinces adds up, and this must be paid in advance as well.

Then comes a customary donation to the orphanage system in the country of origin. This is typically several thousand dollars.

Along the way there are also document fees, courier fees, domestic travel, home prep, and lots of smaller expenses and fees that come up along the way. 

Adoption fundraising sites allow families to draw on what’s been contributed as they go, through requests made by their adoption agency. Everything goes through the agency.

In our case, we’re trying to move things along as quickly as we can, because the sooner Theo can be seen by a doctor here, the sooner we’ll know what specific care or procedures he’ll need. What we do know about his heart tells us that it is in his best interest for that doctor visit to happen as soon as possible.

We’re new to this process, and learning as we go. I’m sure some of this process looks different for others, depending on what country a family adopts from. We’re working with Adopttogether.org. You can learn about them and how their process works here.

And if you’d like to give toward our adoption, go here.

One thing we’re learning is that it takes a community to pull something like this off. Another thing we’re learning is that we have a pretty amazing community behind us, rooting for us and Theo. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the support you all have shown our family. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We can’t wait for you to meet this kid.

Russ Ramsey
Russ Ramsey and his wife and four children make their home in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church and the author of Struck: One Christian's Reflections on Encountering Death (IVP, 2017), Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative (Rabbit Room Press, 2011) and Behold the King of Glory: A Narrative of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Crossway, 2015). He is a graduate of Taylor University (1991) and Covenant Theological Seminary (MDiv – 2000, ThM – 2003). Follow Russ on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram.

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