Recently, we have discussed how to pick an adoption agency and what you should consider as you go through the process. This week, we’ll look at the costs associated with adoption and where that money goes.
Let’s just come out and say it: adoption is expensive. Really expensive. For example, the average cost of a domestic infant adoption through an adoption agency in the United States is anywhere between $35K and $45K.
Many people ask, why is there a large price discrepancy for something that should be a universal process? The answer is relatively simple; adoption agencies are businesses that differ in costs from one another, which means that the cost breakdown of what your $35K-$45K will get you, varies on what the agency deems necessary.
Here are two examples of that breakdown
According to americanadoptions.com the figures for adopting a domestic infant in 2012-2013 was as followed:
- Agency Fees: Adoption Agency: $16,962.
- Legal Fees: Adoption Agency: $4,141.
- Birth Mother Expenses: Adoption Agency: $3,233.
- Marketing: Adoption Agency: $2,340.
- Average Total Cost: $39,966.
According to adoptivefamilies.com the cost of adoption of a domestic infant in 2015-2016 breaks down as followed:
- Home Study Fee: $2,397
- Document Preparation & Authentication: $955
- Adoption Agency Application & Program Fees: $16,442
- Adoption Consultant Fees: $1,999
- Attorney Fees: $4,337
- Advertising/Networking: $1,880
- Birth Family Counseling: $1,069
- Birth Mother Expenses: $3,919
- Foster Care: $71
- Travel Expenses: $2,117
- Post-placement Expenses: $2,063
- All Other Expenses: $5,088
- Total Cost: $42,337
It should be noted that these estimates should be adjusted for inflation and cost of living, but for the most part, they are not far off.
Who has $35K-$45K just sitting around, waiting to be spent? Not many of us, that’s for sure. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to receive financial assistance. First of which is the Federal Adoption Tax Credit. This credit applies to specific expenses such as adoption fees, attorney fees, court costs, and travel expenses. Other than the tax credit, religious agencies and non-profits may offer grants to families that meet their requirements. Some agencies even offer short-term loans if adoptive parents needed extra financial assistance.
If you would like to learn more, there are links at the bottom of the page to the American Adoptions website and the Adoptive Families websites.