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CostHelper > Babies & Children  > Adoption

Adoption Cost


How Much Does Adoption Cost?

 
 average costAgency and Private Adoptions Average: $10,000-$15,000 
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The most common types of adoption occur through the foster care system or through relative adoptions, such as when a child is adopted by his or her step parent. Many prospective parents use private agencies that specialize in placing children either from the United States or from another country.

Typical costs:

  • According to Adoption.com[1] , adoptions through the foster care system cost little or no money. Many states provide subsidies to adoptive parents. Step-parent or relative adoptions incur minimal cost, usually just court paperwork filing fees of roughly $100.
  • A fact sheet from the Child Welfare Information Gateway[2] says costs for agency and private adoptions average between $10,000 and $15,000. The cost varies based on a variety of factors including services provided, travel expenses, birthmother counseling and other expenses, as well as other legal requirements by the state in which the adoption takes place.
  • International adoptions are the most expensive, ranging from $7,000 to $30,000. Costs include dossier and immigration processing and court costs, as well as travel costs to and from the country of adoption, translator and attorney fees, passport and visa processing fees, and medical costs.
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What should be included:
  • Every adoption requires some kind of "home study" to establish that the home the child is going to is appropriate. In cases of foster care adoptions, this is paid for by the state or local public agency. For private agency adoptions, the prospective parents pay for a social worker to conduct the home study, at an average cost $1,000 to $3,000. This fee may or may not be included in the overall agency fee. The Child Welfare Information Gateway[3] provides in-depth detail of what a home study involves.
  • All adoptions also require court documents to reflect the legal procedure. Document preparation costs range from $100 for foster care or relative adoptions to $2,000 for international adoptions. In certain adoptions, the prospective parents may require legal counsel, at an average hourly rate of $200-$250. FindLaw.com[4] provides a legal guide on adoptions as well as a database of attorneys who specialize in adoption.
Additional costs:
  • Prospective parents often place advertisements, looking for expectant mothers or surrogates. Ads typically cost between $500 and $5,000. However, many states restrict these types of ads, as well as reimbursements to the birth mother. The Child Welfare Information Gateway[5] lists laws regulating adoption expenses.
Discounts:
  • In many cases, tax credits, subsidies, employer benefits, and loans or grants can help with adoption costs. The North American Council on Adoptable Children[6] provides information on how to take advantage of federal adoption tax credits. In 2006, the credit was $10,960 per child. The IRS provides information on the Adoption Tax Credit[7] and on the IRS Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number[8] .
  • Many agencies such as the Gift of Adoption Fund[9] offer grants to pre-approved adopting parents who demonstrate an unusual degree of financial hardship. The National Adoption Foundation[10] also provides information on grants and other financial options for prospective adoptive parents.
  • According to the National Adoption Center[11] , a growing number of companies and government agencies offer adoption benefits. These benefits can include a financial reimbursement for legal expenses, agency fees, medical expenses and post adoption counseling, as well as paid or unpaid leave.
  • Adoption Friendly Workplace[12] maintains a list of employers that offer adoption benefits such as financial assistance, paid leave, unpaid leave beyond the Family Leave Act.
Shopping for adoption:
  • When dealing with an agency, Adoption.com[13] suggests asking about the payment schedule, and about sliding scale fees if your financial resources are limited.
  • The website for the Adoption Guide[14] magazine provides databases to find adoption professionals such as agencies, attorneys and home study providers. It also includes guides for locating parent support groups, and handbooks on adoption-related topics.
  • Parents.com[15] also provides helpful articles on domestic and international adoptions, the issues adoptive parents may face, as well as real-life stories of parents who have adopted.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. For medical decisions, always consult your physician for the right course for your infant or child.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  www.adoption.com/
  2.  /www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/s_cost/index.cfm
  3.  /www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f_homstu.cfm
  4.  family.findlaw.com/adoption/adoption-overview/
  5.  /www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/state/
  6.  www.nacac.org/taxcredit/taxcredit.html
  7.  www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html
  8.  www.irs.gov/uac/Form-W-7A,-Application-for-Taxpayer-Identification-Number-for-Pending-U...
  9.  www.giftofadoption.org/apply/applicationReviewProcess.html
  10.  fundyouradoption.org/adoption-grants/
  11.  www.adopt.org/assembled/financing_more.html
  12.  www.davethomasfoundation.org/what-we-do/adoption-friendly-workplace/
  13.  costs.adoption.com/
  14.  www.theadoptionguide.com/advice/
  15.  www.parents.com/parenting/adoption/
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