It's no secret that adoption costs a pretty penny, but most people have no idea what that money is going toward. Adoption costs vary widely, but it is, unfortunately, rare to find a cheap adoption. Adoptive parents make use of everything from savings to grants to crowdfunding to help raise those fees. Learn below why adopting a baby is so expensive.
One of the biggest reasons adoption costs are high is also the simplest -- there's a lot of overhead incurred in the process of facilitating adoptions. Adoption agencies, facilitators, and attorneys all have to have a place to work and staff to keep the building running smoothly, not to mention the costs of the vehicles and gas to get social workers to and from all the meetings and home inspections they have to do. Just like any business, these professionals need to account for these overhead costs in their service pricing model.
Adoption requires a lot of paperwork. While it may even seem like an excessive amount at times, it allows the state and adoption professionals to match you with the best birthmother as well as do all the background checks needed to ensure that each child is going to a safe, stable home.
While you will see some of this administration work -- you must provide your birth certificates along with any papers regarding marriages, divorces, and citizenship -- a lot of it is happening behind the scenes. Multiple background checks must be completed, and the social worker assigned to your home study spends hours writing about your family. On the adoption agency or facilitator's side, some of the administration costs may include compiling your profile, comparing it to birthmother wants and needs, and advertising and networking to match you with the right birthmother.
Bringing a child into the world is never cheap, and that's no different when the end goal is the child's adoption. There are still medical expenses from the birth to consider, and in most cases the adoptive parents are asked to help with any of those expenses that Medicaid or insurance doesn't cover.
These expenses may also include other pre-birth pregnancy-related expenses as approved by a court or agreed upon by both the birthmother and adoptive parents. These costs will vary, but may include prenatal care, vitamins, maternity clothing, and childbirth classes.
While most people equate travel with international adoptions, most private domestic adoptions end up requiring some travel as well. Some adoptive parents are lucky enough to find a birthmother local to them, but many find themselves traveling a few towns away or even to another state when they get the call that the birthmother has gone into labor. This incurs gas or plane ticket and hotel costs. While in most cases you will only need to be out of town for the few days that the child is in the hospital, if the child ends up in NICU you may end up staying longer. Additionally, if you are adopting across state lines, you may end up needing to wait a couple weeks while inter-state paperwork is finalized before you are able to bring your baby home, once again causing those travel-related adoption costs to add up.