I am not advocating for, or against the fees charged for adoption. I just want to raise some further talking points (and these are in no particular order, other than I have written them down as I have thought of them).
The prospective adoptive parents are the ones who pay the fees, but the agency (and here I mean any agency or attorney in the business of placing children) is working for the child and the birth mother. Not the adoptive parent. There is a fine line between agencies that are finding homes for children who need them, and agencies who are finding children for parents who want them, but there IS a difference in those situations in both the attitude of the agency and the attitude of the prospective parent.
Even agencies who are non-profit still have to pay their workers, their rent, and their utility bills and that money has to come from somewhere.
Women who are considering placing a child for adoption still have bills to pay and maybe other children to take care of.
Everyone who is placing a child for adoption does NOT qualify for Medicaid. If you have a job making the minimum wage for 2011 ($9.15 per hour) and you work 40 hours per week for 52 weeks, you will earn $19,032 per year. Before taxes. Income tax, social security tax, Medicare tax and federal unemployment tax all have to be deducted from that amount. Employers seem to need to withhold 7.04% for SS tax (-$1,332), 1.74% for Medicare tax (-$331), and 3% for income tax (-$571) (I’m not an accountant of ANY SORT so this is just a rough guestimate based on what I read at the IRS site: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p15.pdf The the FUTA tax rate is 6.2%. of the first $7,000, and, I don’t know about you, but that is getting to be too much math for me so let’s just skip that part). So you end up with somewhere around $16,798 per year take home. That’s $323 a week.
The Florida Medicaid for Low-Income Families Income Limit Chart is an income of $180 for one person and $241 for a family of two.
There are ways to adopt quickly, and there are ways to adopt inexpensively, but in general there is no reliable way to adopt both quickly and inexpensively.
You could hire an adoption consultant (not a facilitator) who will be your advocate in the adoption process and who knows the various state laws regarding limits on birth mother expenses, the time allowed for the birth mother to change her mind about the adoption plan, and the law, if any, regarding the legal obligation of the birth mother to repay living expenses paid on her behalf. You could do research and find out these things for yourself using a source like http://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/
Once you know the states that have laws favorable to limiting adoption expenses, you can then look for an agency, attorney, or other adoption professional that operates within that state.
Again, let me just say I am not advocating the fees or arguing against them - I am simply raising some additional points for us to discuss.