Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Adoption and the Economy...

Sunday, 16 November 2008
Slowing economy may hamper adoptions Print
Ace Stryker - Daily Herald

Utah specialists say adoption rates have been resistant to economic turmoil but may begin to show wear in the coming months.
Private adoptions can be pricey, with most estimates falling between $15,000 and $25,000 for the average case. When looking at international adoptions, it jumps up between $20,000 and $40,000. Wendy Bunnell, an area representative for the Utah Foster Care Foundation, said she's seen a bump in the number of calls in recent months from families looking to offer temporary foster care, a much less expensive notion.

"People are realizing that adoption internationally is extremely expensive and almost impossible to do anymore," she said. "Private adoptions have increased in price considerably. I have had an increase of people who are willing to look at adoption through foster care."

Bunnell said she's even heard from people looking to supplement their income through foster care reimbursements -- typically between $450 and $650 a month -- but cautions against that.

"That really isn't enough for a family to really provide all the basic needs," she said.

There's also been a leap in the number of kids needing a foster home, Bunnell said, from 445 last year to more than 520 this year. Most of those are because of court orders related to abuse or neglect, she said.

"I can speculate that it probably has something to do with [the economy]," she said.

Private market representatives say they've seen less of a change, but haven't written off the nation's financial situation yet.

"We might see a trend -- not that affects the adoptive couples so much -- but that affects women with unplanned pregnancies," said Shanna Bake, a program specialist with LDS Family Services, the nation's largest domestic adoption service. "They're going to be more likely to feel financial pressure and more likely to view adoption as a positive option."

Bake conceded that her organization, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, isn't typical because of its pricing structure: Adoption costs 10 percent of parents' annual income up to a maximum of $10,000. In fact, her organization has a waiting list for parents about 2,000 strong.

The Adoption Center of Choice in Orem represents a more conventional adoption agency pricing model. Executive Director Melissa Williams said she does just under 100 adoptions a year and hasn't noticed a significant drop-off in business, but she's keeping her eyes open. For the most part, these trends are pretty hard to predict, she said.

"I remember hearing that after 9/11 we had more placements than we've ever had," she said. "We just let this thing happen. We feel like these babies go where they're supposed to go."

Williams said an available IRS tax credit of around $10,000 may help assuage some financial concerns. A mother of two adopted children, she said such concerns didn't stop her from adopting several years ago. She doubts it would stop many others. From a hopeful parent's perspective, love conquers all, she said.

"The economics of it were not an issue," she said. "I guess you just make adjustments depending on what your priorities are."

• Ace Stryker can be reached at 344-2556 or astryker@heraldextra.com.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Big Adoption Events Approaching!

National Adoption Month (which is November) is soon approaching and so are many large Adoption Events. Please check them out and spread the word!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

President Bush Signs Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (HR 6893) into Law

President George W. Bush signed the bipartisan Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (HR 6893) into law on Tuesday, October 7. This bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Representative Jerry Weller (R-IL). Senator Baucus (D-MT), Senator Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) championed the bill in the Senate.

The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 is the most significant legislation relating to adoption and foster care since the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. It provides for a wide array of reforms to benefit children and their interest in adoption. These reforms include: - Reauthorizing the Adoption Incentives Program, whereby the federal government allocates financial rewards to states that have increased the number of children adopted from their foster care system, through 2013;

- Increasing the award amounts states stand to receive through the Adoption Incentives Program by establishing 2007 as the new “base year” against which future performance will be measured, and increasing the bonuses for special needs and older child adoptions;

- Ensuring all children with special needs adopted out of foster care are eligible for federal adoption assistance regardless of family income by 2018;

- Mandating that states inform prospective adoptive parents regarding eligibility for the adoption tax credit;

- Requiring states to make reasonable efforts to place siblings together;

- Establishing relative guardianship assistance payments in a way that does not create incentives for relative guardianship over adoption; and

- Allowing states the option of extending adoption assistance, foster care maintenance and relative guardianship assistance payments to children aged 18, 19 or 20.

NCFA thanks Representatives McDermott and Weller, and Senators Baucus, Grassley, and Rockefeller for spearheading this much-needed effort to reform the child welfare system.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Get Walkin'!

The air is getting crisp and fall has arrived. Time now for the 3rd Annual Adoption Walk With Me! Come join other adoption loving families and advocates for a 5k walk around beautiful Liberty Park near downtown SLC. Breakfast snacks, raffle items and a good time are provided at no cost!

Come be 'anxiously engaged in a good cause'! If we don't speak up about adoption... who will? Spread the word to all adoptive families!

See you November 8th at 9.30a.m. at Liberty Park(1300 south 600 east, SLC) Bring your family! Bring your friends! The more the merrier!

Make sure to wear some orange! ''Orange' you glad for Adoption!'

For more information adoptionwalk@hotmail.com or http://orangeyougladforadoption.blogspot.com

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The More the Merrier!

Join us on the new FSA website! Sign in as a new user (even if you are an old one!) Get registered! You will find out about activities, education, etc.! Join the largest volunteer group on adoption! Spread the word to others!


Sign up today!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm plannin' on it....

One last final push to get more to join in FSA planning for Salt Lake! Come join others on the Salt Lake FSA board at a planning/ BBQ meeting tomorrow night at the Anderson's home (Christine, Brian and little man BAJA) Come share you talents and skills and willingness to serve. You will be blessed beyond your imagination. By serving on the board I have learned so much more about adoption that I could never have learned in a class. I have made such great friendships that have helped during the hard times. You join others facing the same uncertainty and you find a way to come out conquerer. Don't just sit around. Get moving... or in this case... Get planning! (and eating...)

To quote P.T Barnum "Without promotion something terrible happens... Nothing!" Let's get the word out about adoption!


Sunday, August 10, 2008

FSA National Conference...

What a great conference this year! We missed you but loved every minute of it all. Thank you for everyone's effort. We are taking a little break 'till summer, but will be up and going soon. Enjoy your last couple of weeks of summer!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

FSA National Conference...

You've reserved the date.
You've canceled all other plans.
You've marked your calendars.
You've lined up your babysitters.
Your pencils are sharpened.
You're ready to take notes.

You're ready for more details on this year's

Wait no longer.

Click on the above image to enlarge an
at-a-glance overview
of the two day conference.

Click on the above image to enlarge a summary of the
Breakout Session Topics.

Above all...
Click HERE to register.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Calling all Utahns!

I better see all of you at the National FSA Conference August 8-9th at the Davis Convention Center in Layton, Utah. The facilities are awesome and we as a National Board are planning some great new classes and hope to have a large turn out! Put it in your calendars and tell all you know who cares about adoption to come too!


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Great article in the Ensign

The January Ensign had a great article on adoption in it! Check it out and share it with your family, friends and ward leaders!


“Why Adoption?,” Ensign, Jan 2008, 46–52

Adoption Loan Program...

new loan program for adoptive families through Chase Home Equity Bank and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. This program is called "Chase New Additions".

It looks like the loan works as a home equity line of credit, and adoptive parents who are in the adoption process can get a lower six-month introductory rate on their home equity line of credit.

Chase gives parents a credit card to use to access their line of credit, which can be used anywhere in the world, which would come in very handy if you are traveling for your adoption.

The home equity line of credit through Chase New Additions can be used to pay for agency fees, legal fees, medical expenses and/or travel expenses related with your adoption.

If you are interested in this, you can call for more information or to apply for a Chase New Additions Home Equity Line of Credit online here or you can call 1-866-345-7687.

Have you seen this yet?

I plan to see it soon...


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