How much does it cost to adopt internationally?

I know the costs of international adoption are astronomical.  Can anyone give a breakdown of the costs and when they are due?

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  • Answer ✓

    The cost of an international adoption can really vary from country to country, and on what agency you use. It can range anywhere from $20,000-$50,000 depending on the type of adoption (infant, child, special needs) and the country and agency you use. Depending on your country and agency, the fees can be spread out into stages, but all are due by the time you finalize the adoption.

    When you are adopting from a different country you really want to make sure that you are adopting from one that follows the Hague Convention on Adoption. In addition to making the adoption more likely to be ethical and legal, and give you the most medical and social records as possible for your child, the HAC really helps week out actual adoption fees from bribes and unnecessary expenses.  HAC requires much more transparency in the costs that you pay to the nation and the agencies, and that can be really helpful to you, the prospective adoptive parent!

    Generally the international costs can be broken down into legal, US agency, international agency, and governmental. You will be paying for all of the adoption-readying costs in the US: home study, background checks etc., and any other fees your agency requires. You will also be paying for any legal documents you need to enter and return from your adoptive country, as well as naturalization and citizenship for your child. The international agency may have separate fees, required monies that your child’s orphanage requests, and additionally, many countries require prospective adoptive parents to pay for medical and physical needs during the interim period between being matched with and adopting your potential child. You may also want to send gifts and request therapies and medical visits for your prospective child during this time. Governmental costs depend on what country you will be adopting from, and may include travel authorizations, filing fees, and processing fees. In addition, if you are required by the country, you may have to physically visit the country more than one time and stay for a certain period.

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