In theory, nothing.
Except that of course that’s not really the case.
There are no official fees to pay, but there are some other related costs, which I thought I would keep track of here, more for my own curiosity than anything else, and in case anyone out there thinking of adopting is curious. Obviously if you were adopting overseas there are often lots of costs and fees (I don’t know what they are, I have merely heard this on the grapevine). Therefore this summary is merely based on my experience of an adoption process in the UK, and I should stress that these costs so far are very low and relatively minor.
It surprised me that there was no cost to get the UK Criminal Records check/DBS (I think it’s a paid service, but I presume the Local Authority covers this cost on my behalf…either that or I will get a bill later on…). Seems weird that they would pay for my DBS check and not my medical though…. Also the majority of my other costs are related to getting criminal records checks from other countries, which most people would presumably not need to do….
And as an aside there is a VAST difference from Consulate to Consulate in terms of getting criminal records checks done. As an example, the Philippines website states you don’t need an appointment, just show up and fill in the form and post it. In fact when you do show up in person, you take a number, wait for an hour or two, fill in the form, wait somewhere else, then get fingerprinted, then get told you need to come back in 3 days to pick up the forms to post to the Philippines, and there are as yet no instructions for how the certificate will be sent back to you. This has so far required 2 or 3 separate trips to London to achieve, despite the website making it seem relatively simple…..
In contrast, the Indian Consulate has outsourced their consular services and it was the smoothest, most well-oiled process I’ve ever seen – the website is extremely clear, and tells you all of the steps required, paperwork needed, you make an appointment online. show up in person, get seen immediately, and all done in less than 15 mins. Utterly amazing.
Nepal didn’t require any face to face visits at all, just posting some photocopies of things – no idea if/when anything will come back to me….
Iraq has been opaque to say the least. No information online, no-one answers the phone, and in any case Kurdistan is not recognised as an independent state and therefore does not have a consulate – so no idea how that one gets done….
So anyway, adoption costs so far look like this:
- Medical – £88 (this seems to vary from surgery to surgery – this was what my local GP surgery charged for a full medical, as required by the Local Authority, but I heard another couple who live in a small town outside Oxford had to pay £180 each for theirs).
- Miscellaneous books – £40 (you need to read a minimum of 3 books from the approved reading list, but none were available at my local library, so had to purchase a selection).
- New Passport – £85 (this is not a usual cost for most people, but as I need to get criminal records checks from several countries, I needed to get a second passport to achieve this)
- Indian Police Clearance Certificate – £30
- Philippines Police Clearance Certificate – £23
- Nepal Police Clearance Certificate – £19
- Iraq Police Clearance Certificate – £? As yet unknown….
- Trains to and from London to visit various consulates, get finger-printed etc – £70 so far….. (based on 3 return trips from Oxford to London, off-peak)
- Postage – £20 (pre-paid special delivery envelopes for safe return of certificates and passport)
Running total so far: £375
Will keep you posted when I get to the next stage….
Update in July 2018: In order to take the minimum adoption leave of 6 months, it turns out I will need approx £3,000 in savings to supplement my income (as I only get 3 months on full pay).
Update in April 2019: In order to be considered for a particular child who is younger, I will need approx £19,000 to supplement my income to be able to take 12 months adoption leave and pay for additional childcare until they turn 3.