For anyone who thinks adoption isn’t a business…

…please read this article talking about adoption agencies operating as non-profits.

It is SO important to research an adoption agency before diving into an adoption. When we entered the adoption world in 2006, we thought that people working in the adoption industry did so because they cared about children. While some of them do, others are definitely in it for the money. While adoption best practices say that it is in a child’s best interests to remain with birthfamily if at all possible, the paradox is that adoption agencies make money on a per child basis. When more children are adopted, they make more money. Therefore, an adoption agency’s best interests (the bottom line) are fundamentally at odds with the best interests of children.

Here are some excerpts from the article (emphasis added is mine):

For example, Faithbridge Foster Care Inc., in Alpharetta, spent $293,311 in 2008, according to the tax return it filed for that year with the Internal Revenue Service. It paid its executive director $70,325. It spent another $4,200 to rent a building the director owns (on an annual basis, the rent payments would total $16,800). It paid $40,971 to rent office space from a company belonging to the chairman of its board.

Altogether in 2008, the agency devoted almost 40 percent of its budget to its top officers…

Another agency, Dayton, Ohio-based Phoenix Homes Inc., which operates a branch in Snellville, paid $1.8 million in 2008 to a management company belonging to the nonprofit’s president. Phoenix also paid its president about $200,000 in salary and other compensation. A vice president who also works for his boss’s management firm collected $117,000 in salary from the nonprofit.

Some agencies devote significant portions of their budgets just for one executive’s salary. For instance, Alpharetta-based AAA Partners in Adoption Inc. told the IRS that its executive director’s total compensation for 2008 was $107,747 — one-fourth of all its expenses that year…

The adoption and foster care agency Bethany Christian Services, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., with offices in Atlanta and Columbus, paid 72 employees at least $50,000 in 2007, according to its tax returns. The chief executive earned $169,000, while the agency’s vice president collected $178,000…

Bethany had a total budget of $9.1 million. However, $7.2 million, or almost four of every five dollars, went to management expenses. Another $1.2 million covered fund-raising costs — far more than the $694,000 that went to programs that directly served children.

The agency put more into employee pension plans than into children’s services.Bethany collected $803,225 from the Georgia Department of Human Services for supervising foster children in 2009, state records show. The state money covers administrative costs as well as direct services to children…


Read the whole article here.


2 thoughts on “For anyone who thinks adoption isn’t a business…

  1. Oh wow. That last part about Bethany is really staggering. And I’ve always thought of them as one of the better (domestic) agencies.

    I’m glad articles like this are out there… it’s a lot easier to do the research if there’s information available to find!

    • I know Christina. This article was done in GA. Wouldn’t it be great if someone in every state looked at adoption agencies like this? It would be great if the GOVERNMENT would step in to investigate and regulate agencies, but I’m OK with reporters exposing them, too.

      The part about Bethany shocked me. I really thought they were one of the better agencies, too. This part is gross: “Bethany collected $803,225 from the Georgia Department of Human Services for supervising foster children in 2009.” If they had “$694,000 that went to programs that directly served children” they collected more from the state than they spent on children’s services.

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