Costs of Adoption: A Guide For Families

Costs of Adoption: A Guide For Families


Many potential parents are worried, as they fear not being able to meet the financial costs of adopting an infant or a minor. Although becoming a parent is rarely free (even the pregnancy and the birth of the baby can be relatively expensive if you do not have sufficient health insurance), adoptive parents often face initial costs that can seem difficult to pay. However, with planning and knowledge of the different types of adoptions and available resources, they could make a budget that contemplates the majority of the anticipated expenses.

The total cost of adopting varies from $0 to over $40,000, depending on other facts to consider. The table below shows some general categories of adoption and the costs associated with the services provided. The wide difference between the costs reflects the multiple factors that may affect them; including the type of adoption, the type of agency or facilitator, and the age and circumstances of the child. It is recommended that potential parents to consult with the agencies that you are considering, to get more information on specific costs based on their circumstances.

Estimating the costs of an adoption

  • Adoptions through foster care $0 – $2,500
  • Adoptions through private agencies authorized $5,000 – $40,000+
  • Independent adoptions $8,000 – $40,000+
  • Adoptions facilitated/without permission $5,000 – $40,000+
  • Intercountry adoptions $7,000 – $30,000

Costs Universal

The expenses universals are those that must cover any person who adopts a child. These expenses include the socio-economic study of the home and the costs of the court.

Socio-economic study of the home. All potential parents must pass through a socio-economic study of your home regardless of the type of adoption they intend to make. The purpose of a socio-economic study is to prepare potential parents for the adoption and gathering information about them, in a manner that the proper placement for both the child and for parents. It also serves to evaluate the suitability of the parents to the child. The cost of the socio-economic study should generally cover prospective parents.

In the case of adoption through foster care may not be charged the costs of the socio-economic study, although some parents may need to pay for medical evaluations and psychological that are requested as part of the process.

With other types of adoption, a social worker from the private agency or certified (authorized) can charge between $1,000 and $3,000 for doing the socio-economic study. In some cases, the collection of the socio-economic study is included in the fees-general of the agency.

Legal costs. All adoptions are domestic, and some international, must be finalized in a court in the united States. Some international adoptions are finalized in the country of origin of the child. Although it is not a requirement, some parents prefer to complete the process in a court of the united States to provide greater protection to the legal status of the child. All of these procedures have a cost. The cost for the preparation of the documentation in the cut can vary between $500 and $2,000; the cost of legal representation varies between $2,500 and $12,000, or more in some states.

Specific expenses of the adoption

In addition to common expenses for any adoption, the adoptive parents must generally cover the costs specific to the type of adoption you do. Below are the costs for three types of adoption: foster care, within the country, and internationally. In most cases, these expenses are additional to the costs that universal were described previously.

Costs for the adoption of a baby within the country: $5,000 to $40,000. These costs vary widely according to the type of agency to which they refer and, in some cases, according to the individual circumstances of the adoption. It is important that potential parents are aware and fully understand what is included in the fees of the agency and the lawyers. In some cases, the cost of the socio-economic study is already included and not charged separately. Adoptions domestic are divided into three general categories, each with its own costs:

  • Fees of the private agencies authorized: $5,000 to $40,000. The fees of this type of adoption include a sum charged by the agency, which may be included the socio-economic study, the psychological support to birth parents, preparation and training for the adoptive parents, and social services that involves the placement of a child with the family potential.
  • The costs of the independent adoption: $8,000 to $40,000 (the average is between $10,000 and $15,000). Independent adoptions handled by an attorney generally comprise costs associated with the medical expenses of the biological mother (according to the law), as well as legal fees for representation of the adoptive parents and biological. Lastly include any other fees that are allowed for the placement of notices.
  • Costs of the agencies not authorized: $5,000 to $40,000. These costs are generally the same as those of authorized agencies.Costs of international adoptions: $7,000 to $30,000. Agencies that provide adoption services international charge fees ranging from $7,000 up to $30,000. These figures generally cover the expenses for the opening of records, migration, and the court process. In some cases, may include a donation to the orphanage or agency foreign. The total costs may vary depending on the type of foreign entity responsible for the process of adoption of the child (e.g. A government agency, an orphanage, a government, a charitable foundation, or some combination of these).


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