Pact

5.3

Overall Score

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Pact exclusively serves African American, Asian, Latino, Native American, and multiracial children born in the U.S. Based in Emeryville, CA, the organization facilitates adoptions in all U.S. states. In addition to placement services, Pact provides education, support, and community for adoptees and their families in the years following placement.

The Good

  • Pre-Adoption Training
  • Adoption Process
  • Post-Adoption Resources
  • Financing and Fees

Pre-Adoption Training

Pact provides extensive pre and post-adoption trainings. Ongoing workshops are available to help adoptive parents dealing with communicating schools, talking to children about adoption, etc. The organization also works with and speaks to educators and school staffs, churches, community groups, and clubs to educate about adoption.

Adoption Process

Pact facilitates adoptions only for children who are African-American, Asian, Latino, Native American, and multiracial. Therefore, the organization recruits adoptive parents who want to adopt a child within these demographics. Adoptive parents can be single, married (LGBTQ included), and have children already in the home. Ideally, one or both partners is of the same race as the prospective adoptee. Wait times vary depending on these factors. If a client is ready to adopt an African American infant and one or both partners is also African American, the wait time to become a parent is 6-12 months. The process takes longer if parents are seeking a Latino or Asian child. Additionally, white parents wanting to adopt get placements more slowly than parents of color.

Post-Adoption Resources

Pact hosts Pact Family Camp, a weeklong summer retreat near Lake Tahoe, every year. In this camp, adopted children and their families can attend to learn from experts, participate in activities together, and make friends. The aim of the camp is to help alleviate feelings of isolation in an environment where everyone attending understands the complexity of having two families. Throughout the year, Teen and Tween clubs meet to bring up feelings about adoption, figuring out identity, giving guidance, brainstorming solutions for problems in the home, etc.

Financing and Fees

Total adoption costs can range from $11,000-26,000 depending on a family's income, state legal fees, pregnancy-related health expenses, and a number of other factors. In consultation, the prospective adoptive family determines their budget and will be presented to birth parents whose situations that fit within that budget. Pact charges between $1,000-10,000 for agency fees, based on income. Divided into two payments, the first payment is due with application forms and other materials, and the second payment is due when a family takes physical custody of a child. If an adoption doesn't work out, the first payment already paid to Pact is carried over to the next adoption situation. However, if the adoptive parents choose to terminate the adoption plan after match, they are responsible for half of the final agency installment fee, even if they discontinue pursuing adoption through Pact. In addition to the agency fees, clients are also responsible for:

  • Direct costs incurred by Pact, such as phone and Fax costs, mailing, copying, mileage, etc.
  • Legal fees
  • Travel expenses
  • Pregnancy-related expense reimbursements for birth mother
  • Counseling fees
  • Home study fees from a public or private agency

This organization makes available information about government resources and grants available for adoptive families. They raise their own funds as an organization to subsidize fees for needy families in addition to the sliding scales that determine agency fees for each family. This includes the needy family scale for families making under $100,000 per year.

The Bad

  • Home study
  • Consultation cost

Home Study

Pact does not do home studies. A licensed agency must provide Pact with a copy of the home study performed for an adoptive family.

 

Consultation Cost

Prospective clients must participate in at least one consultation meeting whether that is face-to-face or over the phone. Appointments last about 2 hours and cost $400. This is a big cost for families, and since it is not an option, the fee is not an option. This can be an unexpected fee for adopting families who don't know about the consultation cost. 

The Bottom Line

Pact shines in its racial and cultural identity training opportunities, continuing education, family camps, and other events. Any parent adopting across racial lines should consider participating in one or more of these. Placement fees are reasonable and efforts are made to subsidize costs for lower-income families. However, Pact is not a full-service agency, so adoptive parents need to look elsewhere for home study services.

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