the cost of adopting

People thinking about adoption always wonder about the cost of adopting. They can be dumbfounded to learn that some adoptions can cost as much as $40,000.

There’s a common misconception among the general populace that it’s free to adopt a child.

I think the rationale is something like this:

  • Adopting a child is a charitable act. (Which is true.)
  • People don’t usually have to pay to do something charitable. (I’m not so sure about that one.)
  • The adoption process is mostly paperwork, which shouldn’t cost much to process. (Not true.)
  • The government probably covers most adoption expenses. (Usually not the case.)

While it is possible to adopt with minimal unreimbursed expenses, nearly all adoptive families encounter at least a few costs in the form of home study expenses and legal fees.

Home Study Expenses arise as part of the home study process, which most adoptive families must undergo. These expenses can include things like travel costs for the social worker conducting the home study and fees for background checks in addition to the cost of the home study itself.

Legal fees vary widely depending on the circumstances of an adoption. In cases where the family’s attorney just needs to file some paperwork, fees can be minimal. If the adoption requires several hearings before a judge, then legal expenses can really add up.

So how does an adoption get to the point of costing tens of thousands of dollars?

The cost of adopting privately (that is, not through foster care), one of the largest expenses can be the pregnancy itself.

Most states allow adoptive families to pay the costs associated with pregnancy to some extent. These costs usually end up being several thousand dollars.

On top of that, any adoptive service, such as an agency, advertiser, or facilitator, needs to charge fees to cover overhead expenses which contribute to the cost of adopting.

Making an adoption happen is a long, intensive process which begins well before the adoptive family is necessarily involved. It requires the attention of several dedicated staff members working full time.

Few in the professional adoption community are happy with how expensive some adoptions end up being, but it’s simply a necessary reality given the level of professional involvement in those adoptions.

The cost of adoption should always be considered when thinking about starting the adoption process.

Leave a Reply