How much does it cost to adopt a child?

In general, how much does it cost to adopt a child? 

Best Answer


  • This question kept me from pursuing adoption for years. Most of this reasoning is because the answer will often depend on who you ask what the answer will be. The general consensus is that adoption is expensive. However, adoption can be affordable, even for those who are not rich by any sense of the word. 

    Adopting a child from foster care who is legally free to adopt can be very low cost or, in many cases, free. Often times, there may some up front costs associated with the adoption that many need to be submitted, but these costs are often refunded or just generally absorbed by state agencies. The largest cost associated is often related to prospective adoptive parents choosing to hire their own attorney. My husband and I used our own attorney for a foster care adoption and it was around $3500 total. 

    Adopting international can cost upwards of $40,000. This is often a process that can take a bit longer. It involved agency fees, travel expenses, etc. The costs in an international adoption can add up quickly. It is definitely important in this case to research what grants might be available to you. Some may also choose to fundraise on their own, holding events like yard sales, benefit dinners, etc. 

    In domestic adoption, the cost often ranges from $10,000-$30,000. Some of the expenses can include agency fees, birth mother expenses, court costs, medical bills etc. The cost can vary so much as it really depends on what needs are present in a particular adoption situation. It is helpful to find an ethical agency that has been well reviewed and requires less cost up front. 

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