Adoption Cost

Last week I posted suggestions on how to save money in order to fiance an adoption. Several people asked me why adoption is so expensive and why there is such a big difference in the possible cost of individual adoption situations. There are many factors that affect how much the adoption of a child will cost. These factors can include which state you live in, which state you are adopting from, the type of agency you are using just to name a few.

Listed below are several expenses related to adoption that we incurred during our adoption journey:

  • Home study:  $1500 to $2000 for first study to be completed and around $600 each year for renewal.
  • Legal Documents (finger prints, FBI, 911, etc…) $10-100 each time needed. These small charges add up over time and may have to be repeated several times if your adoption process is lengthy.
  • Pre and Post Placements Visits:  $50-$175 each visit. The state of GA requires three post placement visits prior to finalization. Our pre-placement visits where included with our home study cost.
  • Agency Application Fees: $100-$200 per agency
  • Adoption Agency Fees: 12,000-30,000 (+).  Usually half of this fee is due at the time you are “matched” with a child and the other half is due when you take custody of the child. This fee may or may not include birth-mother expenses, and medical bills incurred by the birth-mother. Also, these fees may or may not be refundable should some failure of the match have occurred. Be sure to read any contract carefully so that you know all of the agency rules. Most agencies will not give you an itemized bill breaking down what your money is being used for. The thing I hate most about adoption is that  many agencies adjust the price of adoption based on the skin color of the child. The lighter the skin of the child the more expensive the adoption will be.  In my mind the adoptions should all cost the same and race should not matter.
  • Birth-Mother Expenses: 0-$10,000. Sometimes these fees are included in the agency fee’s, but most of the time they are in addition to agency fees. The fee is normally dependent on what is acceptable by state law, and how early you are matching during the pregnancy. David and I determined what we could afford toward these expenses and passed on any situation in which the expenses were out of our budget range. Our decision to limit what we were willing to pay in fees for  birth-mother expenses is one reason our adoption process took so long. It should be noted that all expenses paid to the birth-mother are considered to be gifts and are not refundable should the woman decide to parent the child or decide that you are not the right parents for the child.
  • Legal fees: $1000-$5000. This fee depends on how much of incurred legal fees are covered in the agency fee. It is advisable to obtain an attorney of your own that is in no way connected to the adoption agency.
  • Travel and Lodging: $1000-$5000. This is a ballpark figure. Your travel and lodging will depend on how far you have to go in order to pick up your baby and how long you will have to stay in the state in which the child was born. We ended up being out of our home state for 17 days, waiting on clearance to bring Madilyn home. We were lucky that the hotel gave us a big discount on the bill. The car rental place was not so generous.

Money is a huge factor in adoption. The largest amount of the money is paid out to the adoption agency. Next week I will address the topic of what to look for when signing with an adoption agency.

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