How Much Does it Cost to Adopt a Child

| June 5, 2014 | 0 Comments

Cost of Adoption

cost-of-adopting-babyThere are many issues to consider when deciding to have a family, and financial issues are always among the items to be discussed. Adopting a child has its own set of costs, and the costs can vary considerably depending on the nature of the adoption; where the child is coming form, whether or not the child has special needs, etc.


Usual costs

Travel is a standard cost for virtually any adoption, whether the travel is domestic or international. This price will depend on geographical location. This cost is generally tax deductible.

There will be money spent on doing a background check, which may or may not be paid for by the agency.  The quality of a background check can vary considerably, as can the cost. There are brief “online search” background checks that can be done for under $20.00. On the upper end, it is not uncommon to find better quality background and criminal checks can cost closer to several hundred dollars. There are also agencies that will investigate a potential adopting family or individual using face to face interviews with other family members, friends, co-workers and associates of those who wish to adopt. Those costs can run into the thousands of dollars.

Less Expensive Ways to Adopt

There is an incentive felt around the country to make adoption more of an option for children caught in the social service system. Different states will go to varying lengths to try and keep a child connected to their birthparents. However, if the birthparents continue to e incarcerated or in substance abuse or mental health treatment, some states are becoming increasingly eager to move the child to a foster family placement with the idea being open for more permanent placement. Some states will put subtle or direct pressure on an incarcerated birthparent to sign agreements terminating their parental rights, thus making it much easier to have a child adopted and placed in the care of someone willing to care for the child. To that end, there are state and now Federal programs to facilitate placement.

Looking for Adoption Agencies

There are agencies that will have children available from different nations. Most of these agencies will specialize on one or two countries in order to better take advantage of the resources they have available to develop the contacts needed to facilitate adoptions.


There are also domestic private agencies that can assist someone looking and willing to adopt a child from out of state.

They will have the same type of contacts that international agencies have, except that they focus on local American social service agencies and state officials who work with children, the criminal justice system, and others.  These agencies may be difficult to work with at times, but they also tend to be les expensive to work with once the initial level of trust has been established.

Adopting from the U.S. foster care system is generally the least expensive type of adoption, usually involving little or no cost, and states often provide subsidies to adoptive parents. Stepparent and kinship adoptions (involving blood relatives) are often not very costly, either. Agency and private adoptions can range from $4,000 to $45,000 or more depending on a variety of factors including services provided, travel expenses, birth-mother expenses, requirements in the state, and other factors. International adoptions can range from $6,000 to $35,000.

When making plans with your adoption and placement professional, ask about if there is a payment schedule, and about sliding scale fees, if your financial resources are limited. Some religious or government programs can assist in financing an adoption.

There are a growing number of resources to help manage the cost of adoption, including tax benefits (some of which apply to public agency adoptions as well), loans, employer benefits, and others.