How much does it cost to adopt a child?

What is the average cost for an adoption?How much does it cost to Adopt? Average costs by adoption type. -

The cost to adopt a child varies from $0 to $50,000 depending on the type of adoption.  Foster or county adoptions typically cost less, ranging from $0 to $2,000 and the children are often older. An adoption of a newborn through a non-profit agency will generally cost between $10,000 and $25,000. Attorney adoptions or private adoptions of newborns generally run from $20,000 to $30,000. International adoptions can range from $30,000 to $45,000 depending on the country, length of stay required, travel arrangements and agency fees.

At first glance, these costs can be staggering to couples looking to grow their family. However, even children that arrive in a more “traditional” way frequently present some serious upfront costs to their parents. Kids are a lot of things — but they are rarely described as cheap.

The bottom line is that these numbers are not the end of your adoption story.

There are countless ways energized parents can make an adoption more affordable, especially considering how social media is changing how birth parents are finding their adoptive families. Adopting couples can seek out a vast network of resources to fundraise and get their loved ones involved with their adoption journey. Some people decide to slim their budgets, expand their income, and fill in the gap with everything from Etsy shops to adoption t-shirts. Families can also take advantage of grants, tax credits, employer programs, low-rate loans, and non-profit resources to raise money for adoption.

What is the average cost of an international adoption?

According to Adoptive Families Magazine, the average cost of an international adoption is $33,671. The cost includes $14,181 for agency fees, $1,818 for dossier preparation/clearance, $6,412 for in-country adoption expenses, $8,210 for major travel expenses, $2,234 for in-country travel expenses, and $816 for child’s passport/visa/medical exams.

Why is adoption so expensive?

Adoption expenses cover a wide range of services, including fees for adoption education and training for hopeful couples, home study fees, and agency fees that help facilitate adoption advertising and counseling for both birth parents and adoptive families. Adoptions also require legal fees to formalize the adoption process and the relinquishment of parental rights. Many adoptive families also help with the medical fees or living expenses for birth mothers. International adoptions have additional fees for visas, passports, healthcare, travel expenses, in addition to any fees required by the placing agency or facility.

Why it is getting harder to adopt?

In the United States, fewer birth moms place children for adoption each year. International adoption has been affected by country-specific regulations that either hinder or completely restrict adoption. Russia and China have taken policy positions that decreased adoption placements from those countries. Russia passed an adoption ban in 2013 to America and halted the adoptions of more than 250 children to their American families.

It is difficult with limited country data to tell if fewer mothers are placing as well in other foreign countries or if placing for international adoption is simply more restricted. In 2012, 8,619 children were adopted internationally by Americans, a 20-year low. The figure is consistent with a general downward decline from 19,471 in 2007 to 17,229 in 2008, 12,782 in 2009, and 11,100 in 2010.

Domestically, many women decide to parent when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Much of the social stigma and economic barriers for single moms has diminished, although single parents do face some unique challenges. According to data from the National Survey of Family Growth, relinquishments from single moms have declined from nearly nine percent in the 1970s to less than one percent of births in 1995, the last year available. Some social researchers cite increased social acceptance of single motherhood, and a higher number of unmarried mothers in their 20s rather than their teens. Read more from a survey of adoptive families at Adoptive Families Magazine.

Why are there fewer children to adopt in the United States?

For a lot of reasons, many birth moms consider adoption and ultimately decide to parent, instead of placing. Honestly — both choices are courageous. Children have a way of making us grow, sometimes in rapid-fire machine-gun bursts of pain, and sometimes in slow and imperceptible stretches of patience, character, integrity, and love (and I’m not just talking about contractions, although — if the uterus fits). Birth moms have no easy choices and big growing pains in front of them regardless of their choices. Let’s celebrate their victories and support them in the battles they face.

However, there are still many children in the foster system that are looking for forever families. Although these children may be older, or have health or behavioral challenges, the adoption process is usually quicker and more cost effective.

Read more about adoption costs from 

How much does it cost to adopt from foster care?

Foster care adoption is the least expensive method of growing your family through adoption and costs an average of $2,744, according to Adoptive Families Magazine. The expenses include $231 for a home study, $1,573 for attorney fees, $342 for travel expenses, and $598 for other miscellaneous expenses.


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