Blog// LGBT Adoptive Parents

What Determines Adoption Costs?

It is a sad fact that for some adoption can be very expensive, but short of rearranging the entire adoption system, there is little prospective parents can do to avoid this. However, through forward planning and managing expectations, it is easier to form a workable budget which allows the door to adoption to remain open to you. With this in mind, in this article we’ll be breaking down and exploring some of the most common adoption costs you can expect to pay on your adoption journey.


Determining Factors
There can be a variety of factors which can greatly impact on the projected costs of the adoption process that prospective parent(s) will need to consider. The type of adoption, the kind of placement, and the age of the child can all impact what you can expect to pay. Location also plays a strong part in fees, with costs varying from state to state let alone internationally.


Employer Benefits
Depending on your state and your profession, there may be some federal or state credits which are available to you to help offset some of the adoption costs. Some employers may even offer their own type of funding to you. It is worth researching your options to assess the support you might gain.


Types of Adoption and Their Costs
It is not unheard of for adoption costs to reach upward of $40,000 in some instances, of course depending on a variety of factors, most commonly the adoption agency that is chosen. We’ve listed below some of the most common price ranges.

  • Public Agency: $0-2,500. As their prime motivation is placing children from foster care, the costs for public agencies tend to be the lowest of the adoption agencies.

  • Licensed Private Agency: $5,000-40,000+. The costs an agency will charge you really depend from agency to agency.

  • Independent Adoption: $8,000-50,000+. The largest cost of independent adoptions tend to be advertising costs and legal fees.

  • International Adoption: $15,000-30,000+. Because of the extra travel costs and paperwork requirements, international adoption will almost always cost more than domestic adoption. 


General Expenses
There are some costs that all adoptive families will have to pay no matter their chosen style of adoption or agency. These general expenses can include things such as home study costs and court costs, which are unavoidable. Home studies can cost between $500-$3,000, and court costs can reach between $500-$2,000 in costs.


Domestic Adoptions
Within domestic adoption, some common costs include the birth mother’s expenses, which can cost between $500-$5000 or even more, depending on the specifics of the individual birth. There are also travel costs to consider, as many domestic adoptions take place outside of the adoptive parents’ state of residence.  

International Adoption
International adoptions inherently have more fees to cover than domestic adoptions, and can include dossier court costs as well as immigration processing. Other costs that need to be considered include travel costs and any medical care the child may need. There are also likely to be foreign agency fees, translation fees, and processing fees such as for a visa and passport. There are often financial assistance options for international adoptions, so if you feel this method of adoption is most suited to you it is worth investigating those.

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