Big bucks for the government. Within the space of one week the UK government has put an additional £2000 on the costs of an inter-country adoption.
The goverment is cashing in on the plight of the world's orphans by charging over the top rates for their adoption services.
Already international adopters are paying approx £6500 for a home study and then yesterday the Department of Education introduced their very controversial fee of £1775 and now the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have increased their charges to £30 per document.
The DoE held a limited time consultation about their proposed fee and every inter-country adoption organisation's responses were against the proposed fee. Even a Baroness investigated the responses, realised that they were totally unfair and we were assured that it would not go ahead.
And then, wham, lets make a fuss in the press about changing the domestic adoption rule (at last, thank goodness) by while attention is diverted let's introduce this fee. There is absolutely no justification for charging such an excessive amount for what in come cases involves gathering documents together and issuing a certificate.
Ditto for the FCO - they have just reduced their staffing costs and now increase their prices.
The sad thing though is that inter-country adoption is being priced out the market. Adoption does not cost anything - it is the 150 people involved in the process who are charging excessive fees.
The Hague Convention says that all acting in adoption should be non-profit and whilst some countries like Russia are trying to make the adoption process more streamlined, efficient and cheaper our government is making it more complex and very very much more expensive.