How much does adoption cost?

edited March 10 in Affording Adoption
How much does adoption cost?


  • edited March 12
    The short answer is, it varies.

    But here’s the long answer.

    Every year, Adoptive Families Magazine puts out a survey about adoption costs. Their most recently publicly published results are from 2014, so these are somewhat outdated, but should give you a good idea of what to expect.

    U.S. Newborn Adoption (through an agency): $42,337

    This includes a home study fee, consultation fees, paperwork costs, attorney fees, counseling for birth family, pass-through expenses for the birth mother, travel expenses, and then agency fees that cover the costs that go into maintaining an agency and paying staff.

    U.S. Newborn Adoption (through an attorney): $31,890

    This also includes home study fees, consultation fees, paperwork costs, counseling for the birth family, pass-through expenses for the birth mother, etc.

    A lot of people pursue a newborn adoption through an attorney if they’ve connected with prospective birth parents without the help of the agency. Depending on the expectant parents’ financial needs, the cost can be significantly less than the one noted above. I personally know people who have been able to adopt for less than $10,000.

    When you’re pursuing any sort of domestic infant adoption, however, I’d strongly encourage you to prioritize paying for the expectant mom to see a counselor. You want her to be CONFIDENT that she’s making the right decision so that down the road you can look your child in the eye and tell them that she chose to place them with you because it was the right choice, not because she was desperate or pressured.

    U.S. Foster Adoption: $2,622

    These costs are often covered by the state, as well, and families are eligible for the full tax credit.

    However, some people will point out that while adopting from foster care is less expensive on the surface, the cost of raising a child who has been through trauma and may need extra therapies and care will more than make up the difference. That may be true under some circumstances, but be aware that there are adoption subsidies and Medicaid insurance coverage available in many states for children adopted from foster care.

    And here are a few samples of adoption costs in an international adoption. Your only real variable here is travel expenses.

    China Adoption: $35,082

    South Korea Adoption: $40,000-$50,000

    Here are some more resources for you!
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