Monday, March 1, 2010

Want to Save $4000.00 on Your Adoption???

I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile, but you know how it goes…. The power goes out for 4 days, you crash your car, the baby’s in the hospital, the beach is calling…life happens.

I wanted to alert everyone to a way to save $2000.00 on their adoption paperwork. No one told me about this, I discovered it myself. Read on, there's also a chance to save double that.

When you have picked up your child and you are back in the states, the time has come to “re-adopt” your child. Yes, she is already legally yours, but the adoption agencies recommend re-adopting her in your state in order to get a new birth certificate with her American name on it, and also allow her to get a Social Security number and then a US passport. If you don’t re-adopt, she will remain a “permanent resident” which is fine, but she’s not a US Citizen with all the rights that come along with that. So it’s worth the additional paperwork HEADACHE.


My agency wanted to charge me $2000.00 to “do the re-adoption paperwork”. I asked what was involved in that and received a LONG email back with all kinds of mentions of forms and this and that. The explanation was so convoluted it made it seem like it would just be SO MUCH EASIER to just write out a check for two thou and be done with it. My dad looked into it a bit and found out that for $200.00 I could do all the paperwork myself, submit it to the clerk of court in my county, and get a home study assigned to me. The clerk of court (who was also the adoptions judge in our case) files the paperwork, and puts out a COURT ORDER for the Division of Social Services to send a Social Worker to do a home study. Thus forcing DSS to send a Social Worker to do this home study job for $200 (as opposed to the $1500-$2000 the agency’s home studies cost!!!). The judge has ordered that it be done within 60 days and it was done on the 59th day. People don't want to mess around with a court order.

This post may be a little confusing, I apologize for that.... I was confused going through the process… Eventually, I found myself sitting with a DSS contracted social worker going over the same questions that the agency social worker had asked me a year ago for my pre-placement home study. Déjà vu, just lots cheaper. It kind of pissed me off, actually, that my agency would inflate the rates 100% for this service. Really. Jeez.

Also, apparently it only costs $200 for a home study. I didn’t know that before going through this. It possible that I might have been able to hire this same DSS social worker on a private basis to do my pre-placement study and saved ANOTHER $1500-$2000!

Another way I saved some cash was I asked the DSS social worker to do my POST-PLACEMENT 3 month report. Basically, she took a few paragraphs from the home study she was writing, slapped on a letter head, and called it a post placement report. For free. My agency wanted me to hire their social worker for another $1000 to do the 3 month post placement report. And the 6 month post placement.

So by discovering this DSS social worker, and doing the re-adoption myself, I have saved $2000.00 for the re-adoption paperwork, and $1000 for the 3 month post placement report and $1000 for the 6 month post placement report. $4000 bucks total.

Just thought I’d share :-) Hope some folks will find this helpful and frugal.


Ivana Kidd said...

Holy cow. I wish I had read this before we started our home study. But I will certainly take your advice re: the re-adoption home study.

Sam's mom said...

This is what we did. Cost $265 in Cook County, IL. Most attys charge about $2000 + the filing fees.
I put together a package of every document and the wording you need on each and circulated it to every adoptive family in IL I could reach.

In some counties it's more difficult that in my county, but still...

Christie said...

I'm a little you were sure I would be!!!

So, if I'm understanding this can get your initial homestudy done through DSS for $200 (or so, depending on the state, etc.) Does this homestudy suffice for an international homestudy?

I would love more info!!


Adopting1Soon said...

Christie, I'm not sure what the rules are where you live.... but it certainly would be worth doing a little investigating to find out. I suspect the agencies are going to insist on an 'internationally accepted" home study. But once the child is home, it's then a domestic situation. And a domestic homestudy should suffice.

Noelle and Paul said...

I tried to get a DSS social worker to do my home study as well. The problem I found was that an international home study has to be completed by a Hague Accredited Agency. Even if the country you are trying to adopt from is not a Hague country, they still have to comply with Hague Standards. You are essentially paying for all of the paperwork that has to be done. DSS social workers are qualified to do a home study, but not the Hague papers. But thanks for the info for after the adoption. Using a DSS social worker makes perfect sense!