Not for Profit?

In our never ending quest for information about the adoption industry, we started plowing through the IRS 990 forms of the various adoption related organizations using the  website. We were already aware that the non-profit status of the organizations doesn't imply a non-profit attitude of the people working within those organizations.

The complete list of non-profit organizations was far too long for us to go through, so we took the 50 organizations we knew best and created a list of the people earning more than $100,000, excluding benefits and expenses, that can be as much as $125,465 in the case of Buckner International's president.The list is sorted in descending order of income. Some organizations are mentioned more than once, because they have more than one official making over $100,000.

This list is far from representative, because of the preselection we made, though we hope it is indicative of the personal income being made by these officials of non-profit organizations.

Organization Year Position Income
The Children's Aid Society 2005 CEO $387,683
Frank Foundation Child Assistance International INC 2005 President $357,787
The Children's Aid Society 2005 Executive Director $305,508
Gladney Center 2006 President $248,312
Buckner International 2006 VP-COO $243,443
Adoptions from the Heart 2006 Executive Director $239,581
Buckner International 2006 President $233,256
Buckner International 2006 VP-CFO $196,795
European Adoption Consultants 2006 Executive Director $194,000
Children's Home Society & Family Services 2006 President/CEO $172,345
Gladney Center 2006 Exec. VP $169,751
Chinese Children Charities 2006 Executive Director $169,162
Buckner International 2006 VP-General Counsel $161,820
Chinese Adoption with Love INC 2006 President $161,178
Chinese Children Charities 2006 President $158,625
Spence-Chapin 2006 Executive Director $156,023
The Children's Aid Society 2005 CFO $150,416
National Council for Adoption 2006 President $150,104
Adoptions from the Heart 2006 Director $146,214
Family & Children's Agency, Inc. 2006 President/CEO $146,161
Bethany Christian Services 2005 CEO $143,564
Gladney Fund 2006 President $138,750
Buckner International 2006 VP-Information Services $133,905
Buckner Adoption and Maternity Services INC 2006 VP $134,679
Evan B Donaldson Adoption Institute 2006 Executive Director $132,653
Holt International Children's Services 2005 President $132,000
Adoption Associates Inc 2006 Executive VP $127,904
Frank Foundation Child Assisance International INC 2005 VP $126,691
Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute 2006 Executive Director $125,427
Cradle Foundation 2006 President $125,099
Pearl S. Buck International, Inc 2006 President $125,000
Bethany Christian Services 2005 COO $122,709
Illien Adoptions International 2005 Executive Director $121,800
Bethany Christian Services 2005 VP $121,602
Holt International Children's Services 2005 VP $120,990
North American Council on Adoptable Children 2006 Executive Director $120,608
Cradle of Hope Adoption Center INC 2006 Executive Director $119,500
Buckner International 2006 VP-Facilities Management $118,132
Gladney Center 2006 Exec VP and General Councel $116,971
Great Wall of China 2006 President $115,139
MAPS 2006 Executive Director $114,994
Holt International Children's Services 2005 VP $113,543
Nightlight Christian Adoptions 2006 Executive Director $113,261
European Adoption Consultants 2006 Russian Representative $110,769
Spence-Chapin 2006 CFO $109,216
Sunny Ridge 2006 President $107,004
Adoptions Together 2006 Executive Director $106,618
Gladney Center 2006 VP $106,322
Children's Home Society & Family Services 2006 VP $106,124
Foreign Adoption Associates LTD 2006 President $105,875
Family & Children's Agency, Inc. 2006 VP $105,484
Beacon House Adoption Services INC 2005 Director $105,335
Bethany Christian Services 2005 VP $102,348
Adoptions from the Heart 2006 Director $101,014
Alliance for Children INC 2005 Program Director $100,385
Wide Horizons for Children, Inc 2006 Executive Director $100,241

I guess children have become

I guess children have become their bread, butter milk and honey.  No wonder there is such a great interest in child placement; it helps to set and fill their dinner tables.

Growing-up I used to have "wish sandwiches" for dinner.  "I wish I had something between these pieces of bread".

Seeing how much placement brings the choosing parties, I have to say, I've now completely lost my appetite.

Non profit? Sure!

Sure, if you pay all the profit into salaries you become NON PROFIT. Add all the nice travels around the world, the dinners, parties and all they do during their do-gooders' trips.  

What's the difference?

I'm sure many see adoption as a humanitarian effort, (helping children live better lives, through parents who can afford to give "more" to a child who has little), so what's the difference between an adoption agency and an agency like Unicef?

The not so big difference

The cynicist in me will say not much, especially since the president of the United States Fund for Unicef makes even more money than the #1 from the above list, receiving a whopping $427,788, benefits and expenses excluded. On the other hand, Unicef takes a much more critical stance towards international adoption than the average adoption agency would. An adoption agencies interest is in finalizing adoptions where Unicef has not such goal. Meanwhile in Romania cooperates with Holt, so the line between charity and adoption industry is often more blurry than one would expect.

What a blast

OMG, forgive my nerdiness but these IRS 990 forms are a blast.

I just looked at the Joint Council on International Children's Services and now understand why Tom DiFilippo so much feels the need to suck up to NCFA's Thomas Atwood. The poor man is only making little over a quarter of the money the Joint Council's chief is reaping over the year 2006. Though there was an additional $70,000 coming from Casi Foundation for the year 2006, so his children will probably not die of hunger.

Look for yourself. The IRS 990 forms can be found on this site.

Tom Difilipo's salary tripled

Just checked Guidestar. According to JCICS' 2008 tax form, Tom DiFilipo's salary was 131,310 in 2008.

In 2006 his salary was 40,000 (both years Tom worked 40 hours per week) So his salary more than tripled, while the trade organization he leads is almost bankrupt.

See the post: Joint Council on International Childrens Services - Stakeholder initiative: "The document establishes two distinct problems JCICS is facing.

First of all the trade association of adoption service providers is in dire straights and needs to seriously cut back its activities to remain financially sustainable. The document is not all that specific how financial sustainability can be achieved without eliminating their core activity "advocacy, awareness and public policy initiatives"."

Interesting about his salary tripling..

In comparison many adoption agencies have had a significant revenue loss in the last 3 years.  Some as much as 70%.  One example is World Links International Adoption Agency out of PA., who just 4 short years ago was grossing over $1.2 million.  Their last filed 990 IRS form shows that while their revenues shrunk to just over $300K, the Executive Director maintains a large salary of $80K but has noted that she now works 60-80 hours a week and has taken out personal credit lines to keep the agency (her business) afloat. 

Some Executive Director/owners however have lowered their salaries to reflect the loss of business.

Money made in the UK

Just learned information about non-profit organizations in the UK is made available through

For now, I only checked up on Barndardo's, and found out they have one official having an income in the bandwidth: £150,000 - £159,999, which with the current exchange rate of 2.0198 amounts to an income between $303,000 - $323,000. Furthermore they have:

  • 1 staff member with an income between £120,000 - £129,999 ($242,000 - $263,000)
  • 3 staff members with an income between £90,000 - £99,999 ($182,000 - $202,000)
  • 3 staff members with an income between £80,000 - £89,999 ($162,000 - $182,000)
  • 13 staff members with an income between £70,000 - £79,999 ($141,000 - $162,000)
  • 6 staff members with an income between £60,000 - £69,999 ($121,000 - $141,000)

All figures apply to 2007.


It's very interesting how N.P.O can be read as "Non-Profit Organization", or "Nothing by mouth" (as it's used in medical abbreviations).

Clearly, those willing to lie and cheat aren't being deprived the food and wealth most parents wish for their own children. 

My mouth gapes open, yet remains empty, as I continuiously read how children are (STILL) being used as commodities.

Nil per os is about what you'd get

Nil per os is about what you'd get if you were to ask B's for a comment on any of that. Though I don't want to be unfair to Barnardos it has helped to bring about a lot of reforms in recent times. It is its attitude to those who passed trough its doors in the past which I find most disturbing. What can we expect in the future for those children it helps today, I wonder?

Mr Nearey, I assume?

Mr Nearey I assume, previously Director General of the Prison Service and then Commissioner for Correctional Services in England and Wales, then Chief Executive of the National Offender Management Service, he achieved some very important reforms in that part of his career and would I thought make a far better CEO of Barnardo's than Roger Singleton had in the latter part of his time there. I'm not sure my hopes have been fulfilled

A few of those high salaries may be on the fund raising side of the organisation

What interests me more is the list of members of the Board of Trustees of Barnardo's and how it is chosen and elected, I'll try and find it again. The current President of Barnardos is the Duchess of Cornwall wife of Prince Charles who stepped in after Cherie Booth QC (professional name of Cherrie Blair, Ex Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife and prominent Human Rights lawyer). The board seems to be made up of senior clergy, industrialists and members of the aristocracy. The Board of Trustees often has final say on policy

It has appeared at times to be an organisation that often waists money, it spends huge amounts of money on sometimes rather doubtful press and TV advertising which whilst it may well bring money in, gives a false impression, in my opinion

Robin Harritt
(for the record an ex-inmate of Dr Barnardo's Homes and victim of its adoption agency's good intentions)


Singleton and JK Rowling

It's a small world, it's a small world - it's a small world after all - my favourite song from Disney Land....

Roger Singleton is board member of the Children High Level Group. Of Baroness Nicholson and J.K. Rowling. And if anyone can explain me the miracles they work on???

Emma Nicholson

Isn't Emma Nicholson quite keen on cleaning up international adoption (even anti in the view of those who think it's the best thing since sliced bread)? I'd always thought of her as one of the good guys in that area

Not for profit?: an update

Thanks to the outstanding work of Amy on her blog Adoption and its Triad,  the above list has been expanded with several agencies not earlier covered:

  • Children's Home Society & Family Services
  • European Adoption Consultants
  • Family & Children's Agency, Inc.
  • MAPS
  • Nightlight Christian Adoptions
  • Adoption Associates, Inc.
  • Adoptions Together

I recommend visiting Amy's blog to learn more about the wheelings and dealings of American agencies working in Russia.

Amy's blog

Interested in adopting from Russia and wondering about reason for costs. Amy's blog is only for invited users. How do I get invited?


I'm so sick of people

I'm so sick of people complaining about the cost of adoption!!!! First of all, it's a CHILD you are buying, not a coat or a car. Second of all, there are people who need to be paid, like the staff members who ignore and mistreat the kids at the orphanages, and the doctors who lie about the condition of the next child to go. Then there are the lawyers and government officials who need to have their palms greased, too. I mean, you do want the adoption to be legal, don't you? Want to know why adoption costs so much? Because people are willing to buy kids like it's a new toy or fashion accessory and pretend it's a great humanitarian thing to do. People buy into the idea of adopting a child, but then complain about the suggested retail price! How stupid! You are buying a child so people in the business of selling kids can wear nice clothes, eat more meals than they need and live in houses most of us can't imagine ever affording to live in. Those "additional fees" that need explaining? Think of them as being the cut each person makes after an unwanted poor child gets moved to a new location. Think of those fees as being the commission a realtor makes when selling a house or the money a car salesman makes each time a used car gets sold. Think of those fees being split many ways by many money hungry people.

Here's a suggestion. How about finding a new interest? Believe it or not, there are people in this world who don't need to buy a child to feel good about themselves or feel like they made a difference in the life of another. It is better to give than to receive. (Acts 20)

Orphanage donation

Several months ago Amy opened a new blog , while closing the old one, which is now indeed only open to invitees. You can contact her through her new blog

As for the reasons behind the cost of adoption, the commentator above me gave a pretty good summary. I'd like to add one more variable, which is the so-called orphanage donation, which is the most dubious of all cost. Most cost are more or less transparent. You pay $10 for a photocopy, $500 for a $100 translation job, $250 dollars for the processing of a document that takes 10 mins, etc. Most of those costs are simply overcharged, but at least you know what you pay for. The orphanage donation on the other hand is a mandatory payment no one knows what it is being used for. At the same time, it is a large sum of money, in the order of $5000, to be paid to the orphanage in the sending country. What is being done with the money, no one knows. It can be used for the maintenance of the orphanage (although keeping children in run down orphanages is a big selling point), but it may as well be used to pay off child trafficker. Given the level of corruption in most sending countries it's unlikely the amount of money donated to orphanages is used in the best interest of children.


The orphanage "donation" we were required to pay bought the orphanage director a new car.

Good news for the boys at Buckner!

I bet the latest news will send a celebratory salary-increase across the board over at Buckner International:

DALLAS - Buckner Adoption and Maternity Services received its official accreditation certificate from Russian authorities July 28, completing a two-year process that caused Buckner to suspend Russia adoptions until the notification was received.

"We are so thrilled to receive this good news," said Debbie Wynne, director of Buckner Adoption. "Russia is our oldest international adoption program, so it's a privilege to be able to continue serving these children and to find them loving homes."

"It has been a long process, but we're so thankful to the Russian government for working with us to get to this point," said Albert Reyes, president of Buckner Children and Family Services. "Having this accreditation means Buckner is able to provide loving homes for Russian orphans."

In May 2006, Buckner Adoption's annual accreditation expired. Laws required Buckner to file paperwork as an official Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Russia before reaccreditation would be renewed, Wynne explained. From that point, the Ministry of Education had to review paperwork and receive signatures from multiple government agencies in regions across the country.

There are currently 38 U.S. adoption agencies accredited to facilitate international adoptions from Russia.

"The good news about all of this is that Russia passed a law which provides accredited adoption agencies with a non-expiring certificate," Wynne said. "We used to have to reapply for accreditation each year."

It's so nice to learn they have earned their non-expiring certificate so they now have license to sell Russian children to those looking to buy. 

I thought you'd like to see

I thought you'd like to see what others are discovering about the "non-profit" nature of the adoption industry. I found the following at

"I've been looking at one agency's 990s. They are a "501(c)(3) - Public Charity." (That alone makes me want to hurl.)

On the 990 they state:

"Organization's primary exempt purpose:
The organization provides guidance and counseling in the field of BIRTHPARENT-INITIATED adoptions"

and yet under "Relationship of activities to the accomplishment of exempt purposes" they list:

line 93a "Adoption client fees - Income which allows the organization to conduct birthmother outreach programs and provide education for birthmothers." ($3,348,794.00)

line 93b "Home studies - Income which allows the center to conduct birthmother outreach programs and provide education for birthmothers." ($130,050.00)

line 103b "Other income - Income which allows the center to conduct birthmother outreach programs and provide education for birthmothers." ($27,127.00)

It seems a bit odd if their organization's primary exempt purpose is dealing with BIRTHPARENT-INITIATED adoptions that they would need to spend so much money on BIRTHMOTHER OUTREACH PROGRAMS.

Their total revenue claimed is $3,578,499.00.
Almost $1,500,000.00 goes to "other salaries and wages" which doesn't include the directors' compensations.

So it seems that most all of the money they bring in goes to paying salaries and finding more young expectant women ripe for rape. And this is what nonprofit status is all about. You don't give any profits to shareholders - all of the money goes back into "your product."

This is their 2003 return - just imagine how well they're doing today!!!"

Just saw this excellent resource

Thanks so much for this list!

Pound Pup Legacy