How Much Does It Cost To Adopt A Child?

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    Average Cost Of Adoption

    The average cost of adopting a child is around $20,000. However, it can vary from a few hundred dollars to $50,000 depending on what country the adopting parents reside in, if the adoption is domestic or international, and whether it is done through a public agency, a private agency or independently. Adoption cost includes things like application fees, document preparation charges, lawyer and court fees, medical expenses, travel expenses, and home visits and preparation fees.

    Cost of Domestic Adoption

    The cost to adopt a child domestically varies depending on whether the adoption is done through a public agency, a private agency or independently. Adopting a child through a public agency such as the foster care or welfare system is the cheapest way to adopt. Adoptions through the foster care system usually only cost a few hundred dollars to a thousand or two at the most. In the United States, most states have a $2000 maximum cap on adoption fees for children adopted through the public system. In special cases, the adoption fee may be waived completely.

    The cost of adoption through a private agency is far more expensive with costs ranging from $5000-$40,000.  A private agency takes care of the majority of the adoption process for the adopting parents, making it easier and quicker for them. Their costs cover attorney and court fees, application fees, home study and preparation charges, and other expenses associated with adopting a child. To help ensure adopting parents are not defrauded, only a licensed adoption agency should be used.

    Domestic independent adoptions are carried out when the adopting parents find the birth mother themselves. The cost to adopt a child through independent adoption can range from $7000-$30,000. Independent adoption costs include lawyer and court fees, advertising, paying for the birth mother’s living expenses while she is pregnant, and paying for all her medical expenses. Medical expenses can become very expensive if the birth mother has no insurance and if there are any complications with the pregnancy or birth. Independent adoptions are the riskiest of all domestic adoptions as the birth mother may change her mind right after having the baby. The adopting parents are usually not refunded all the money they paid out for her living and medical expenses when this happens. Adopting parents planning on adopting a child through independent adoption should consider purchasing adoption insurance in case the birth mother changes her mind.

    Low Cost Adoption

    Domestic adoptions done through a public agency such as foster care or welfare are by far the least expensive. In the United States, adopting a child with special needs through the welfare or foster care system has a maximum cap of $2000. In special cases, adoption expenses can be completely waived. In most cases, adopting parents can apply for reimbursement of adoption expenses once the adoption process is complete.

    Cost of International Adoption

    The cost to adopt a child internationally usually ranges from $15,000-$50,000, depending on what country the child is being adopted from and what adoption agency or organization is used.  Adoption cost includes things like lawyer and court fees, application fees, travel expenses, passport and visa fees, translators, immigration processing fees and adoption agency fees. Some countries also require a significant donation to the orphanage the child is adopted from which can also bump up the cost of adoption. Adopting parents will need to take time off work to travel to the country they are adopting the child from and will often be required to stay there for a week or two while the adoption is finalized; during this time the adopting parents will be required to pay for their hotel, meals and transportation.

    Adoption Assistance

    In the United States, to help promote adoptions, especially adoptions of special needs children, there are many organizations that offer adoption assistance. Assistance is available from the state and from individual charities and organizations.

    Assistance is usually around $5000 to help cover the adoption cost. Many businesses also offer adoption assistance to their employees. The National Adoption Foundation has a program that helps families get unsecured loans to help pay for adoption costs; they can usually help families secure loans of several thousand dollars. In addition, to help adoptive families, most states offer a monthly subsidy to help families that have adopted special needs children. Monthly subsidies last until the child is 18 or 21 years old, depending on the state. To apply for assistance or a monthly subsidy, parents can get the appropriate forms from a licensed adoption agency.

    Adoption Tax Credit

    Adoption tax credits can ease the burden of adoption cost. Tax credits depend on what country the adopting parents live in. In the United States, adopting parents can get a federal tax credit on the money they spent adopting the child. Parents can claim up to $13,170; however, parents that adopt a special needs child from the public foster care or welfare system can claim the entire $13,170 even if they did not spend that much on the adoption. Many states also offer a state tax credit to adoptive parents who have adopted from the public system. For international adoptions, parents will have to wait until the adoption is finalized before they can file for a tax credit. In Canada, each parent can claim up to $5000 in adoption expenses on their taxes.

    Embryo Adoption Cost

    Embryo adoption is when an embryo is adopted and implanted into an infertile woman. Embryo adoption allows a couple that would not normally be able to have a child to experience pregnancy and the birthing process. The procedure of implanting an embryo usually only takes about 30 minutes and is painless. Embryo adoption is the second least costly form of adoption. The cost to adopt an embryo ranges from $2000-$20,000 depending on what clinic is used, traveling expenses and if any medical problems or complications occur. If the embryo needs to be shipped to a different state or country, costs will be increased. Usually the cost of embryo adoption is cheaper than domestic or international private agency adoptions or independent adoptions. Embryo adoption usually takes from six month to a year to complete.

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