Adoption Associates


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Adoption Associates is a Michigan-based agency that does domestic and international placements. The agency does matching services, designated placements, private adoptions, interstate adoptions, special needs home studies and placements, and can assist in converting guardianships to permanent adoptions. While only licensed by the state of Michigan to do home studies, they agency can provide various services to adoptive families across the U.S. and currently place children from China, Ethiopia, and Nepal. 

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The Good

  • Domestic adoption
  • Online presence and organization
  • International fees
  • Focus on special needs
Domestic Adoption

Infant domestic adoption fees start around $24,500, with various fees paid throughout the process. This estimate applies to both Michigan and non-Michigan adoptions. All expected expenses are known up front to help families plan for variables that might affect the total cost. The agency's designated domestic adoption program allows clients to avoid the $9,800 administrative fee. With this option, adoptive parents develop their own adoption opportunities by networking directly with prospective birthparents or through another source.

Online Presence and Organization

Adoption Associates' "networking bundle" covers all aspects of an adoptive family's electronic profile: the family video, creation of a blog, online journal, Facebook page, other social media sites, etc.-whatever will help create a strong online presence to attract birthparents. IT professionals are available to help with this. Clients use MyAdoptionPortal to track important documents, tasks to complete, fee payments, and other aspects of the adoption process.

International Fees

As with the domestic fee schedule, payments are due as expenses are incurred. For international, payment is expected with a formal application, during dossier preparation, before travel, and upon acceptance of a referral.

The estimated grand total costs, with travel are:

  • China: $33,455
  • Ethiopia: $36,518
  • Nepal: $33,388
Focus on Special Needs

The China Waiting Children program focuses on children with special needs. The children include both boys and girls from 12 months-13 years old. Many of these children have medical conditions, including but not limited to: cleft lip and palate, congenital heart disease, limb deformities, vision and hearing limitations, spinal issues, neurological issues, and digestive issues. The Ethiopia program is similar in that children with special needs are more available, but most children are over age 5. The Nepal program places children primarily ages 6 and older and includes some unique eligibility requirements. Families may only adopt children that are a different gender than children already in the home, and may not have more than two children already.

The Bad

  • Limited refunds
  • Eligibility restrictions
Limited Refunds

The agency's refund policy is pretty standard-meaning working with them comes with its risks financially. If the agency or the country convention agency is unable to complete the adoption process or if the prospective parents choose to withdraw, the only fees that are refundable are international program fees. If fees have been paid to the country agency, Adoption Associates will submit a refund request, but it may or may not be honored. Fees paid to other third parties are nonrefundable by the agency. With domestic adoption, fees for services provided and expenses incurred are non-refundable if a birth parent chooses not to continue with the adoption plan. Payments for services not yet performed are refunded by the agency.

Eligibility Restrictions

Adoption Associates is unique as a Christian organization that offers adoption services to clients of all faiths. However, only heterosexual couples and heterosexual women (international programs) can adopt. Other restrictions include unmarried people cohabitating and people who have been divorced more than two times. Applicants for international adoption must satisfy the additional requirements of each country of interest.

The Bottom Line

This agency has a big focus on networking across several avenues to match birthparents to adoptive parents. A sizeable portion of their total fee (about 10%) goes toward networking efforts, which helps explain their successful rate of infant adoptions, about 50 per year. In addition, Adoption Associates stands out by offering both counseling resources and support groups for children, birth parents, and adoptive parents - pre and post-placement.

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