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Our Adopting a Child Experts

Susan Soon-Keum Cox

Susan Soon-Keum Cox

Adoptee and the vice president of public policy and external...

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Ken Mullner

Ken Mullner

An adoptive parent and executive director of the National...

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Adam Pertman

Adam Pertman

Executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute...

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Love for Money?


So often we hear horror stories about the cost of adoption, which is true in some cases. The good news is that there are adoption options for any budget. Knowing the costs up-front will help you make some decisions and determine your adoption path.

International adoption is one of the most expensive options, costing between $15,000 to more than $30,000. That figure includes travel, attorney’s fees, preparation and post-placement services.

Domestic adoption, on the other hand, can cost very little, especially if you go through your state and adopt from the foster care system. Foster care adoption ranges from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. Many times, state and federal subsidies are available to help pay for the special medical or mental health needs of adopted children.

The cost of a private domestic adoption varies depending on agency fees, attorney fees and whether or not you have to pay for the expectant mother’s care. Licensed private agencies charge fees from $4,000 to $30,000, which includes costs for birth parent counseling, a home study, child’s expenses, post-placement supervision until the adoption is finalized and a portion of costs for overhead and operating expenses.

Families who look for their own birth parent and find an agency to provide designated or identified adoptive services often find this option less costly. Just remember that fees can accumulate for such things as psychiatric evaluations of both parents (if requested), document preparation, advertising and more.

If you decide to adopt an infant, you may agree to medical and living expenses for the baby and birthmother, counseling and legal advice, which becomes just as pricey as an international adoption. The vast array of options allow parents of all incomes to become part of the adoption world.

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  • By vivina
  • on 10/8/17 7:20 AM EST