Adoption of children by couples has been there for decades. But the option of giving an orphan a home and a family is no more restricted only to couples. Financial planners point at the increasing trend of adoption by single women and to some extent, single men.
Though the exact numbers are not available, financial planners and independent adoption agencies which ET spoke to, confirmed that the trend is picking up among single men and women in their mid-30s or early 40sThey are well settled in their careers and have not married. But they are still keen to support and raise a child who is not privileged enough to have a family.
Financial planning in the pre-adoption stage takes care of various requirements of adoption agencies pertaining to the well being of the interested singles. Senior officials at a leading adoption centre in Mumbai point out that they evaluate an adult looking to parent an orphan on several parameters in addition to meeting the legal requirements. For instance, apart from ensuring that the individual is emotionally mature and fit to bring up a child, the adoption centres also verify that he or she has a suitable financial plan in place to take up the additional responsibilities.
Whether its paperwork, research or money you are prepared for anything. But adoption is a complicated process, and so are the associated costs, which may be part of the reason the number of adoptions is declining. The total amount of money a prospective parent or parents will put out changes from situation to situation. If you are interested in adopting, here is a glimpse into the process and the options available to you.
Factors that Impact the Cost to Adopt a Child
Various factors influence how much it costs to adopt. For example, the type of adoption can impact the price, whether it’s through an independent adoption, a domestic adoption agency, an international adoption agency or the foster care system. The payment structure associated with each of these changes from professional to professional.
There are other variables expenses that fluctuate between each adoption, too. From medical bills to legal costs, each adoption is different.
If you want to get a solid grasp on the price you should expect, begin researching as soon as possible. Speaking to those with experience can also help you get a clearer estimate.
Financing your India Adoption
The average total cost of adoption in India is between $30,000 and $40,000, although some families to pay significantly more or less. This will include expenses such as:
- Adoption agency fees
- Foreign program fees
- Travel expenses
- Home study costs
- Documentation and application fees
- Third party costs
These expenses are paid not all at once, but over the course of the adoption journey. Many agencies and independent organizations offer loans and grants to help families achieve their dreams of adoption. If you have questions about financial aid, consult an adoption professional.
Cost of Child Adoption in India
The cost of child adoption in India, also known as the adoption fee is the amount of money that prospective adoptive parents have to pay to adopt a child. This cost for adoption a child is fixed by the CARA guidelines and is according to the various components and steps involved in the adoption procedure. The payment of fees during the adoption process is made for the various stages in the process:
- During registration,
- At the time of the Home Survey Report, and
- For Child Care Corpus fees(CCC)
The rationale behind charging of the adoption fee is the smooth running of the system for taking care of other orphaned or abandoned children in the country. The Government has to give substantial importance to the welfare of the child.
This fee structure applies to both in the country and inter-country adoption. However, the amount of the fees charged in case of inter-country adoption is higher than that of in-country adoption.
Cost of Child Adoption (In-country)
As of 2017, for in-country adoption, the total fees that can be charged by CARA amount to a little over Rs 45,000. the components of this sum of money can be divided as:
- 1000 during registration,
- 5000 for Home Survey Report,
- 40,000 as childcare corpus fee, and
- 2000 for each post-adoption follow-up.
However, many-a-times the cost of adoption may exceed the above-stipulated fee laid down in CARA guidelines. This is because adoption agencies may expect payment of ‘donation’ from prospective parents for the adoption process. The government has banned any such request and payment of ‘donation’ to the adoption agencies.
Cost of Child Adoption (Inter-country)
India is a signatory to the Hague Adoption Convention (1995). Therefore, abandoned or orphaned children from India can be adopted in other countries. The fee for adoption from India in case the parents are not residents or citizens of India is comparatively higher than the cost of adoption for resident prospective parents. For intercountry adoptions, parents are expected to pay a sum of 5000 USD.
Financial Planning required to adopt a Child
Apart from ensuring that the individual is emotionally mature and fit to bring up a child, the adoption centres also verify that he or she has a suitable financial plan in place to take up the additional responsibilities. The following are the Financial Planning required to adopt a child:
1. Plan early and get the basics in Place
Bringing up an adopted child by a single parent, like a regular nuclear family, requires both short- and long-term financial planning. As a part of the strategy, the concerned adult would need to ensure that he or she owns a home. That’s because the adopted child’s long-term educational and allied activities would have to be suitably organised in relation to his home.
2. Ensure Sufficient Liquid Assets
Apart from ensuring that the concerned adult has a stable job, and work experience of at least five-seven years, adoption agencies also focus on the corpus of liquid assets available. Typically, an individual looking to adopt, should have a corpus of Rs 5 – 10 lakhs in liquid instruments, like bank fixed deposits, mutual funds and stocks. This would be necessary to meet any emergencies including medical or any other unplanned activities related to the adopted child.
Also, in the early stages after adopting a child, a single parent may need to take a few months leave from his job / profession, to help the child settle in his new life. In this situation, the corpus fund would be useful to meet day-to-day needs. For an individual earning Rs 50,000 per month, financial planners argue that one could set aside Rs 8,000 -10,000 for suitable investment in liquid assets. And assuming a compounded interest rate of 8% per annum, with an annual investment of Rs 1,00,000, the corpus would reach nearly Rs 7.8 lakh in five years. Miss Wadia mentions that she has been investing a portion of her monthly salary in stocks, mutual fund units, and insurance schemes for the past several years. This helped her build the right corpus before she decided to adopt a child.
3. Budgeting for Additional Requirements
A single parent would need to effectively juggle between the job and the responsibility of bringing up a child. Given the long hours that professionals increasingly spend at their workplaces, the adopted child may require an attendant or other adult family member to keep the child suitably occupied. In addition, an adopted child may need to attend additional classes at school or educational institutions depending upon her level of schooling before adoption. Both these aspects would require budgeting a suitable amount in the family’s monthly expenditure.
4. Longer-Term Goals
A single parent would also need to focus on the longer-term goals of the adopted child, like college education and wedding expenses. Clearly, both these goals require substantial savings that may vary with a wide margin. To meet this requirement, financial planners point out to money back policies offered by most insurance companies, with a tenure that can vary between 16-18 years. This policy can be taken either in the name of the parent or the adopted child. In addition, insurance companies also offer policies targeted specifically at younger children.
These policies mature when the child reaches a certain age, say 18 or 21 years. Also, a single parent needs to write a will to ensure that her adopted child gets the inheritance, point out legal experts. Well-designed financial planning goes a long way in turning adoption into a lifelong joy. And starting early is the name of the game.