Today we’re going to talk numbers. My friend Randy Bohlender, who oversees an adoption agency, says questions about the costs of adoption are some of the most common their team receives.
Adoption is costly. There are many reasons for this that I will not get into—but the bottom line is, valuable things cost something.
Melissa and her husband recently welcomed a new baby girl into their family (Photo Courtesy of Jacobs Family)
When we speak about adoption, we are literally speaking about lives. Many times these are lives that either would not even have a chance at life if not for adoption; or lives who would be tossed about from home to home, never finding a permanent family.
Yes, it is going to be costly. Redemption is costly. On average, a late first-trimester abortion costs between $300 to $500. An average domestic adoption costs between $25,000 to $50,000, depending on many factors. When we look at the costs associated with adoption, we really need to be asking: how valuable is human life?
Abortion says life is disposable. The fees to get rid of the “problem” are low compared to what a family pays to save that life. We need a perspective change. Instead of looking at what it will cost in the end, there’s a bigger question to consider. What is wrong with a society where a mother can pay $300 to have the life of her child snuffed out… when there are waiting lists of families ready to adopt that child?
Photo: Richard Cawood / Flickr
All over the nation, families have declared through their personal sacrifice that every child has boundless worth. We are willing and ready to be a family for that child.
The cost of adoption doesn’t shock me; maybe it should. But in comparison to the cost of an abortion, my only thought is: what better way? What better way to live out the Gospel… what better way to be Jesus with skin on to a world in need… what better way to show a mother in a desperate situation that, not only is the baby in her womb valuable, but she is valuable! She is worth the sacrifice.
As a family, we know the costs firsthand. One month ago, we got the call from our agency saying, A birth mother has chosen your family; do you have the funds ready to wire to cover the agency fees? Only a few days later, we received another call: The expectant mom will be having a C-section in just a few days, you need to make travel plans.
Because we were ready, we had prepared, we had saved, we had done some fundraising—and God had set the whole thing up—when that call came, we were able to jump into action and say yes. Today, we have our daughter in our arms because we didn’t let the costs deter us.
Friends gather to pray over the family’s new adopted baby girl (Photo Courtesy of Jacobs Family)
We could have given up hope in all those months of waiting. Looking at the funds just sitting there, setting aside money never knowing when the call would come, we could have said, It’s too costly. We could have spent that money on other things, on home improvements or vacations—but adoption is all about counting the cost.
When Jesus adopted us, did He decide that hanging on a cross was too costly—that He would rather spend the day in comfort, on the shores of the Mediterranean? He could have; He is God, after all. He could have said, Yeah, no thanks, the price is too high. But He didn’t. Instead, Jesus chose us over His own personal comfort.
Do I wish adoption cost less? Yes, I do. You may be surprised at why though. If it were less costly, all that would mean for us is the ability to adopt more. Simply put, we have been called to adopt—to care for the widow and the orphan. This is true religion. This is true compassion, when you are grieved over an injustice and you can no longer sit idly by and watch from the sidelines.
Our compassion for mothers in difficult circumstances has drawn us to action. The cost is a limiting factor for so many families who feel called to adopt; it holds them back, tests their faith and even results in asking the question, God, do you really want me to do this?
As Bound4LIFE leaders, Melissa and her family pray constantly for the ending of abortion (Photo: Aaron Wong)
I believe a day is coming soon when every life will be valued—when abortion will be a thing of the past, an artifact of a bygone era. When that happens, there will be children whose mothers either don’t want to or cannot care for them. Where will those children go?
It’s time for us to grow in faith. If cost is a limiting factor for your family—yet you feel called and have a heart desire to be a mother or father to the orphan—I challenge you to say yes to God in the area of adoption. If God has called you to become an adoptive family and you’ve set it aside because of the cost, maybe God is simply waiting for your yes before He releases the finances?
Oftentimes, when God calls me to do something, He only shows me one step at a time. Usually there is not breakthrough until I’ve set aside all my excuses and said yes! Will you join me in asking God to release finances for families who are called to adopt? If you personally don’t feel called, then maybe God is asking you to be the one to provide in the area of finances for a family that does?
It’s time for the church to get ready to take in the children who have no homes. It’s time for an adoption movement to arise.
Melissa Jacobs and her husband Jeremy serve as local chapter leaders of Bound4LIFE and regional coordinators for Missouri. She earned a degree in early childhood education from the University of Missouri and writes regularly for their Bound4LIFE blog. Melissa and Jeremy raise their seven children in Missouri.