Sunday, October 23, 2016


I didn't think pay phones existed in New York City anymore. But there it was. The second shocker was the 50 cent cost.

I will now age myself - I remember when pay phones were 10 cents, a bus or subway ride 15 (now it's $2.75) and a bakery roll 10 cents. I remember as a teen ager going for a Chinese lunch with a friend. It was 35 cents and a big splurge. We got soup, an entree, ice cream and a fortune cookie. School lunch was not much more. A tuna sandwich was 50 cents and came with chips and a cookie. Pizza and a soda was $1 for two people.

When I adopted my daughters, 25 and 29 years ago, Attorneys charged $3,000, homestudies were $400 and the total costs were predicted to be $6,000-20,000. Boy, how things have changed.

They say "children are priceless". But, those of us who adopted, can actually put a price tag on their heads - now often $20,000-50,000. Don't get me wrong - pregnancy and fertility treatments have costs, too. I just cannot believe how costs have risen. Then again, it has been over 25 years since I adopted my daughters.

I am a bargain hunter by nature. Why pay retail when you can get the exact product or service for less? Although, with my children, I never skimped. The girls got haircuts, manicures and pedicures. Their favorite foods were provided and restaurants visited. Now that they live out of the home, I have resorted to my more frugal days. Maybe I don't need as many things, but I find shopping doesn't hold the same place on my radar as it used to. And thank goodness - prices seem out of control.

But back to that subway pay phone. Thank goodness I don't have to use it. Cell phones now work in many NYC subway stations. And I’m not sure what I can do with that saved 50 cents. It won’t even buy what used to be penny candy.  And I don’t need the sugar. Get 10 minutes of drying time in my building's laundry room? Nothing dries in 10 minutes.

I actually hate talking about money. All I know is my daughters' adoptions were worth every penny.

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. She has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled adoptive parents and parents-to-be, and has trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA from March 1992 to March 2015, was Head Writer for, a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series She is currectly a member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood and active in the Adoptive Parents Committee in New York, where she has a private practice specializing in adoption and adoptive parenting. She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. Follow or reach her at ADOPTION MAVEN BLOG or EMAIL.