Adoption Costs

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Range of Costs by Adoption Type

Agency and private adoptions can range from $5,000 to $40,000 or more, depending on a variety of factors including services provided, travel expenses, birthmother expenses, requirements in the state, and other factors.

International adoptions can range from $7,000 to $30,000.

Adopting from the U.S. foster care system is generally the least expensive type of adoption, usually involving little or no cost, and states often provide subsidies to adoptive parents.

Stepparent and kinship adoptions are often not very costly.

Avoiding Scams

While there may be a small fee required up front, any requirement that all fees be paid immediately following application to an agency should raise red flags. When talking with your professional, ask about the payment schedule, and about sliding scale fees if your financial resources are limited.

Managing Costs

There are a growing number of resources to help manage the cost of adoption, including an Adoption Tax Credit, Adoption Loans, Adoption Subsidies,Adoption Fundraising, Adoption Subsidies, and employer-provided Adoption Benefits

Why the expense?

Adoption agencies have expenses that must be met, including:

  • Legal counsel - Attorneys assist in the completion of the legal aspects of the adoption.
  • Networking - Finding and matching prospective adoptive parents with expectant parents considering adoption.
  • Education - For prospective adoptive parents and expectant parents considering adoption.
  • Therapy - For prospective adoptive parents and expectant parents considering adoption.
  • Home Study - A social worker must spend time
  • Basic Business Expenses - These include paying staff salaries, office space rent, utilities, and more.

In international adoptions, agency fees go towards the costs of arranging the adoption - from passports for the child, to translation costs, to legal fees in the child's country of birth. Many agencies route income from adoptions into helping other orphans in the countries they work with.