November is National Adoption Month
Money Should Not Prevent Families from Pursuing Their Dream of Adoption
By: Cameron Dickey, President/CEO of Cy-Fair FCU
This November marks the United States’ 19th annual National Adoption Month. Funded by The Children’s Bureau within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Adoption Month brings attention to the many children and youth in Texas and across the United States in need of permanent families.
The topic of adoption hits close to home for me. Having grown up alongside a family with adopted twins, I was exposed at an early age to the wonderful benefits adoption holds for both the children and families. By the time I met and married my wife, we both knew that adoption was something we valued and wanted in our future. And today, we have the joy of celebrating the gift of our adopted son Dillon, who officially joined our family exactly five years ago on November 6, 2010.
When we first began looking into the possibility of adoption, the options and process were overwhelming. From international adoption to foster adoption, there are multiple routes you can go. The sheer number of agencies and information alone requires careful research, as well as time and energy. Once you’ve identified a child to love as your own, another year of paperwork, meetings and a degree of uncertainty can ensue. It’s not uncommon to have hiccups along the way.
And then there’s the cost.
If you or someone you know has considered adoption, you understand how expensive it can be. The average cost of agency, independent and international adoptions can run upwards of $30,000. Adoptions of children from the state Foster Care system can cost much less but they are still expensive. Such expenses can be prohibitive for many worthy families and discourage would-be parents from pursuing their hearts’ desire.
As the proud father of an adopted son and as President & CEO of Cy-Fair FCU, I have a passion to help families achieve their dream of adoption. I firmly believe that no willing family should be prevented from adopting a child in need because they can’t afford the upfront cost. One way Cy-Fair FCU has chosen to help families interested in adoption is through our Lifestyle Loan program. This is a unique, low-cost way to help cover associated costs. If you’re approved for the program, we will make payments on your behalf directly to an adoption agency or other related organizations involved in the process.
If you’re considering adoption but are unsure exactly how to pay for it, a good place to start might be visiting a Cy-Fair FCU branch near you. One of our staff members would welcome the opportunity to see what might be available to you through our Lifestyle Loan program. Depending on the specifics of your situation, this may be a great way to pay for all or part of your adoption. Beyond that, I would also encourage you to consider additional opportunities for financial assistance, such as grants, fundraising support and any applicable federal or state tax credits.
Having been through the adoption process and come out on the other side, I understand that there are many concerns to work through. Will I bond with this child like my other children? In my experience, resoundingly YES. Will he/she get along with my current family members? They are brothers and sisters that love, fight, and protect one another…there is no detectable difference derived from how they came to be in our family. Can I afford caring for another child in the years ahead? This is a personal consideration for every prospective parent whether the child is your biological offspring or adopted – but our family has found that the costs associated with parenting are smaller in early years and grow slowly to bigger numbers in the late teens.
Regardless of how you answer the above questions for you and your family, my belief is that your actual ability to fund your adoption, should never be a barrier to expanding your family through adoption. There are costs associated with pursing adoption—emotional and financial. But, from first-hand experience, the joy of sharing your life with a child in need of a family is priceless.