Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Monday's Meeting

The good news is our agency is not closing right now. The bad news is that the economy has had an effect on things. Not enough couples are signing up to adopt. People are not sure about investing large amounts of money when the economy is this bad.

The number of pregnant women coming to the agency seeking adoption for their children has dropped.

They need more money to send to the international programs to help with orphanages, but without additional money coming into the agency, it's very hard.

Many of the countries that our agency works with are experiencing their own problems; waiting parents are facing longer waiting times.

The agency has already tried to cut costs in many ways:

They are starting to do fundraising for the agency.
They are lookng at new ways to encourage pregnant women to consider adoption and choose the agency (Facebook, Myspace, etc.)
They are seeking donations from current waiting parents and relatives as well as families who have adopted previously.
They are raising their fees.

They are hoping that the fees, donations, and fundraising combined with new families that will hopefully come to the agency will be enough to keep the agency going for the next year.

We thought that they might be shutting down some of their offices or doing more layoffs. We hoped they weren't closing. We're willing to deal with the increase in fees. It could be much worse. They could be completely shutting down, and then we would lose the money we've invested. It would cost us even more (money and time) to move to another agency. Plus many agencies are facing these problems, too, because of the economy.

I'm glad that we know what's going on now. We'll deal with it. It's just hard. We're going to try to do some more networking in our community and amongst friends and family.


Polly Gamwich said...

Wow. Well that does make sense - and I too am glad it doesn't mean that they are shutting their doors. But man, who knew the adoption "industry" (sorry to call it that) would have also been affected by this economy ... I never would have thought it would have been that far reaching!

Erica said...

I'm glad that they aren't shutting down. You migh have mentioned it before, but what agency are you using?

So, if they aren't able to gather the funds through the fundraisers and only a few families are on board for the raised fees...what then? Will they refund your money? If it were me, I would be curious as to what their contigency plans were before I gave them more money. And have you talked with other agencies to see if they are also having problems? I don't know if you saw my other comment but there is an article in Adoption Family magazine on this that is really informative.

I can only imagine how frustrating this must be. I'm really sorry. Keep us posted.

Erin said...

Geeze Wendy. Nothing's easy, is it? I guess it's good to be aware of what's going on, but I do agree with Erica: ask about the contigency plan. I'm guessing you're right that most agencies are in tough straits right now. Scary to think how much more damage this economy will face. I'm still confident that you're doing the right thing. This journey will end happily because you guys are tough, tough, tough. Survivors.

Stay positive!

Wendy said...

Erica and Erin - To answer your question, there really is no contingency plan. If they do not raise enough money, they will need to close. Any adoptions that are currently in-process would need to be handled by another agency. Anyone not yet matched would lose any money that had already invested. Thanks for mentioning the magazine article. I still have to buy the issue - we only have a few of the bigger bookstores int he area that carry it, and I haven't been to one yet!

Tara said...

Wow - I would have never thought that the economy would have such an effect on adoption. I am glad you are keeping your positive attitude.

Karen said...

I had no idea that adoption agencies were being affected this way. I'm sorry it wasn't better news, but I'm glad it wasn't the worst case scenario. I hate that you would lose money if they close. It just doesn't seem right. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it all works out, ideally with a quick match for you.

Wendy said...

I know - I had thought that, given the economy, maybe more women would choose adoption.

I hadn't thought about fewer families being able to afford to adopt and how that would affect agencies.

emily said...

Wow, I really hope they stay open. I am crossing my fingers for you.

Lost in Space said...

Sending good thoughts your way, Wendy. I'm sorry things are so uncertain and stressful right now. I never would have imagined this to be the case right now. I truly hope the fundraising efforts and extra fees help to keep your agency going strong. You and Steve have been through enough heartache already. Many hugs.

Suzanne said...

Well, it's good news that your agency is holding steady for now. Did they give a reason for why the number of pregnant women coming to the agency has dropped? It would seem that the economy would have a positive effect on that (i.e. I'm a single mother and just can't afford to keep my baby).

If your agency has to close, I'm assuming you would have to start the process all over again with another agency? Did they mention that they would work with another agency so the screening process wouldn't be as intenstive the 2nd time around? It just seems like a shame to have to go through more interviews and home visits when you just did it.

Eileen said...

Well, I'm glad for you that the agency is staying open. It sounds like they're trying to do everything they can to stay afloat. With the crappy economy, you would think that there would be many more pbms. It is slow for many agencies, from what I've heard and read. It doesn't seem to make sense. Hang in there.

Wendy said...

Suzanne - They said they aren't sure of why they haven't had as many b-moms. They think it's possible that more young women are choosing to become single mothers (maybe influenced by actresses and women in the media.) They said that young women who aren't able to find a job and go to school might decide to parent because they feel that's an alternative to working or an education. They think that maybe women aren't thinking of adoption as an option anymore. They really aren't sure.

If our agency were to close, we would have to start over with a new agency. Our home study would be okay IF the other agency accepted it; apparently it varies from agency to agency. If we had to start over we would lose any money we've already invested (and time) and we would have to start saving up again.
I just read an article today in the paper about how the # of children in our schools is down so much. It's because of the economy and the number of families that have moved out of our state. It's no wonder the overall # of bmoms is down if our overall population is down so much, too. It's just such a shame.