Let me start this by saying the thing I like least about adoption is the topic of money and the fact that it is so easy to find yourself using terms related to financial transactions when talking about the process. So please know when I use terms like that here, I cringe when I write them, but find it hard to be clear without using those terms.
OK, having said that, the purpose of this post is to update you guys on that potential placement I mentioned last week. We are not pursuing it further. I did get the mother's medical report and more information about her situation, but it was not the situation itself that caused us to back away. It was the financial aspect of it. While we knew going into this process that adoption was expensive, we are trying to manage the finances of it responsibly and not go into debt. So that does limit us somewhat.
More importantly, we don't like how most agencies structure their placement fee, which is a separate issue to us than the overall amount of the placement fee. The thing we don't like are agencies where there is a large placement fee and then birthmother expenses tacked on top of that. It really makes us question what exactly the placement fee is going to if not to birthmother expenses.
And that leads to the last thing that got me thinking. The large agency that publicized this situation did so because they were having trouble finding a match for the birthmother. It got me wondering how much responsibility agencies feel to their birthmothers to find them a match. Given that they have had trouble finding a match from among people who have already agreed to pay their high fee, I would think that an agency that felt committed to finding a good match for the birthmother would lower their fee. Sort of like how stores put things on sale when they find it is not selling at the retail price (please see disclaimer above and know this statement makes me queasy). My point is not to compare babies to merchandise but that it made me wonder if the agency feels they owe it to the birthmother who signed up with them to find her a match that meets her needs or if they just throw up their hands and say, "well, no use us sacrificing any of our placement fee, this woman is on her own." This agency already has a tiered fee structure that basically says White babies are more expensive than African American babies (yet another thing we don't like about their cost structure). If they can take a lower fee for African American babies, why not this one?
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