Thursday, December 1, 2005
More Bang for Your Buck: Adoption
The holidays are usually when we spend time with loved ones. But for some couples, just starting a family can be frustrating. In tonight's More Bang for the Buck, we found if you're interested in adoption, there are plenty of state initiatives to offset any expenses.
WSVN--Angelina Jolie...George Lucas...And Rosie O'Donnell. What do these celebs have in common? They are all crusaders for the same cause....adoption. Much like Jorge and Maria Martinez.
Jorge: "I thought if we have children then god bless us."
But after 20 years of marriage, having children of thier own never happened... So the couple decided to adopt little nathanial.
Maria: "You discover in yourself that you can help change a life, give an opportunity to someone who is less fortunate."
Though adoption may be a very loving choice, Maria and Jorge discovered it can easily be an expensive choice. Many times costing tens of thousands of dollars.
Maria: "If you go out of state, we have friends who went to China, its $20,000 - to go to China."
But there are ways to open your heart without opening your bank account if you adopt in Florida.
Mary: "I think the word is getting out that it's not a costly venture. We are actually bringing a child into the world that can benefit you as well as you benefit the child."
Mary Diaz works with an adoption agency called Kids Hope United. She says one way to save is to look for state incentives.
Mary: "With our children, the cost is very minimal."
In fact, adopting a child is free. The expenses usually are incurred in attorney fees and court fees. But if you apply for aid, the state will give you an extra thousand dollars to cover the costs.
Mary: "Depending of the private attorney they use that can cover most of the expenses. The filing of the petition of adoption, new birth cerficate, any legal fees."
The state also offers medical and educational benefits. The child will recieve medicaid until the age of 18 and 4 years of free college tuition in state.
Mary: "There are a lot of benefits dealing with the adoption of children who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected."
Even your employer can be a valuable resource for savings. Today over a quarter of the businesses in the U.S. offer some form of adoption benefits.
Mary: "It's becoming more common place. It's easier to talk about you hear about a little more, so employers are kind of having to get with the mainstream."
Jorge and Maria are proud to be parents. After adopting nathaniel from the state, they are happy to be starting a family.
Jorge: "I'm looking forward to see what he ends up becoming and I thank God that I'm actually going to be a part of that."
Maria: "I know that I'm changing and helping to change a life too."
Keep in mind, Uncle Sam also has a few incentives to add. The IRS will give you a tax credit on adoption expenses up to around ten grand.
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