Adoption Debt

When we chose international adoption to grow our family, we were quoted $25,000 – $40,000 USD.  Something we thought we could manage over a few years.

It was almost as though the second we signed on the dotted line, our costs started going up.  One surprise payment after another.  Eventually we were so far into it, that there was literally no turning back.  And so we actually stopped counting the dollars we were spending because it was literally causing panic attacks and stomach ulcers.

And then, all of the sudden, we were matched in almost record time – a great problem to have in the world of adoption where couples can wait years upon years.  Except, for us, this meant we had to find a way to pay over $65,000 USD ($85,000 CAD) + all travel expenses within approximately 1 year.

Now, we didn’t have $65, 000 USD + just sitting in the bank waiting to be spent.  Unfortunately, we simply aren’t independently wealthy and we are yet to win the lottery.  We chose not to fundraise because we decided that other people need financial support more then we do and we never received any help from our family or friends.

This meant that the debt was ours, and ours alone.  We paid what we could in cash as the initial pre-match installments were due.  Once we were matched and everything was due instantly, we used a line of credit to continue to be able to make the rest of the payments.  We simply had no other choice but to go into debt.

Between Mr. MPB and I, we had begun referring to this debt as our Adoption Debt or Baby MPB Debt.  Both names we hated.  But the names stuck and we cringed each time we talked about it and/or dealt with payments.

And now, for over a year, we’ve been paying it off each and every month to the best of our abilities.  We always make our minimum payment, and whenever we can we pay more.  Asides from our mortgage, we’ve never had debt before.  Needless to say, we don’t cope well with debt hanging over our heads and we desperately want to get rid of this hole.  But, we also decided we didn’t want to completely compromise our lifestyle to pay off the Adoption Debt quickly – we decided not to live like hermits and give up our lifestyle comforts, we decided to both work full time with the help of a nanny (and now daycare) and we also decided not to pursue a second child in large part because we cannot bare the thought of doubling our debt.

(If only we were independently wealthy so we could have it all!)


So, when our mortgage came up for renewal a few weeks ago, we did something we never thought we’d do – we amalgamated our Adoption Debt into our mortgage.  And at the same time we basically wiped away all the mortgage payments we have made on our house in an instant.  We thought long and hard about this decision and in the end we did it because:

  • Interest rates are so low that it made sense from a financial perspective because our mortgage interest rate is lower then the line of credit interest rate.
  • Spreading the payments out over the life of our mortgage also made sense – 20 years to pay it all off.
  • Removing our Adoption Debt from our lives made us both feel a sense of relief.  Yes, in essence, it’s still there, but it’s not an independent monthly payment so it’s not front and centre in our lives.  Every time we paid an installment or discussed our Adoption Debt, we were bitter at the sheer cost of having one child – more then the average family makes in a year, that’s insane!  And, every time we paid an installment it was a reminder the treatment we received at the hands of our USA adoption agency.
  • Soon enough Little MPB is going to know what we are talking about, and the last thing we ever want to mistakenly have him over hear is a discussion about our Adoption Debt/Little MPB Debt.  That’s not something we ever want to burden him with – it was our choice, and even though it cost us a small fortune, we are beyond thankful for Little MPB.  By amalgamating our debt, it means he will never over hear that conversation because we wont be having it anymore.  Those terms are no longer part of our vocabulary.

Really, we made this decision because we ready to move on from the negativity that this Adoption Debt brought into our lives.

And so, with those 2 quick signatures we are technically Adoption Debt free.  And if all goes to plan in 20 years we will be mortgage free and truly Adoption Debt free.

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15 Comments on “Adoption Debt

  1. I am like you in so many ways. I hate debt too, I cannot sleep well with debt.
    What you did makes perfect sense, home interest rates are ridiculously low. I hope you got a home buyers plan Line of credit along with it for free. Basically, every mortgage payment you make gives you an automatic line of credit for that amount! We are doing that to generate down payment for another property if we want to buy as an investment.


  2. We feel the same way about debt just because it is so quickly to fall down that rabbit hole and it takes forever to climb out of it! I think it was a smart idea for you to go about getting rid of it this way.


  3. Wow! I truly had no idea about the costs of international adoption! Your decision on how to manage your debt makes perfect sense. Hopefully it gives you peace of mind moving forward. 🙂


  4. We were in a similar situation with school debt, and it has saved us a ton, both in dollars and anger at having to pay so much to get an education. I’m glad you were able to figure out a way to work it to ease your minds!


  5. It’s funny how ” paying the bills” is always an option here! Where I grew up, we’d like choose between paying hydro one month and then maybe the phone bill the next one. We’d go MONTHS without a phone… oh well, times sure have changed and I am happy you have that option AND that interests seem low, as I read the comments! Cannot wait to have a mortgage of my own!!! ❤


  6. That decision makes total sense! It’s just crazy how expensive it is to adopt. Our costs were low compared to yours but that’s because we didn’t go with a national agency. If we had we’d have been looking at closer to $40,000 plus travel probably.


  7. no one talks much about these ongoing, neverending money issues that can come with adoption or fertility treatments—thank you for sharing! sounds like you made a great decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Debt sucks and it is so unfortunate that adoption costs so much. That little child that is yours now hopefully will have a better life than they would have known- and that is priceless! Yes, debt stinks and is stressful, but don’t forget the gift you got from it.


  9. My son I placed adoption costs for his forever family was 300k due to a contested adoption. I hate the financial burden his parents went through and the court trial we had to go through to keep my son safe from his biological father. Love conquers


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