Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Big Cheque

Our agency just cashed the big cheque that came along with our Dossier.

All agencies work differently. Some require a lump sum upfront when you register, others charge minimum fees upfront and send a bill everytime they have an expense related to your adoption, others again get paid mostly at the end of the process.
When you're deciding on an agency, there's a few questions you should ask:
- What is the fee schedule? There are risks related to paying upfront.
- How rigid is the fee schedule: could they increase dramatically if problems during the process required extra work?
- What can you expect if you decide to stop the process halfway: will they keep all the money or is some reimbursed?
It's important to remember that you're not paying for an end result, but rather for the services. Even if the program closes, or for some reason your agency isn't able to find a child for you, you should still expect to pay full price for the professionals who have worked for you during the process.

Our agency charges non-refundable registration fees as soon as you register with them (which we just did when we sent out our Dossier). They also ask that we send a big cheque (it's got 5 digits on it...) along with the registration fees. This money is ours, but fully accessible to them.
What this means is that the agency places the money from the big cheque in a bond in our names. Everytime they have an expense (professional fees, courrier fees, etc), they help themselves in this account. They will regularly send us statements to keep us informed of what is left in this account. Hopefully, this amount is sufficient to pay for all their fees right up to the post-adoption reports. But there is no guarantee: if they need more money, they can ask for it. If there is money left after the adoption is finalized, they will send it back to us.
It also means that we can get whatever is left in the bond back at anytime, if we decide to stop the process for any reason.
The one big downside of this way of working is that we become a creditor. If our agency was to go bankrupt while our money is in this bond, we could lose it.

Now that this money is out of our hands, I don't expect there will be much adoption expenses until we get our referral!

5 comments:

  1. I thought the big cheque would go through very quickly! The itemized statements also come through promptly. Half of my big cheque is gone! This is a big step forward. Congratulations! You are so fortunate you will get a child proposal.

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  2. Hi there!
    A friend told me about your blog...we too are adopting from Sri Lanka and our file is being sent there this Tues!
    I would love to get your email address to chat about this exciting adventure!!!

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    1. Hi,
      This is so exciting! It's really hard to find other waiting families adopting in Sri Lanka!
      You guys are just a bit ahead of us, so hopefully you'll be able to give us tons of good advice when our time comes :)
      If you don't feel comfortable sharing your email address as a comment on my blog, you can always look me up on the CanadaAdopts forums, if you're a member. Go to the forums page, hit "search" and, in the search by member number field, enter "8982". You should find me there... My username is gebouc. Send me a personal message with your email address, if you like... Gen

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  3. Great! I'll become a member and look you up!

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  4. okay, I looked you up and wrote my email address. I would love to hear from you!!

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