Growing your family through adoption is one of the most amazing experiences you’ll ever have. If you’re interested in adopting, you’ve likely done some research online only to become overwhelmed by the amount of time, paperwork, and perhaps most of all, the exorbitant cost that can be associated with adoption. But did you know the different types of adoption can vary greatly in terms of the process and cost? Here are some explanations of the three most common types of adoption and their average costs.
Private Domestic Adoptions: $20,000 – $50,000
Private adoption typically involves the adoption of infants whose parents have placed them up for adoption by their own volition. There are two primary types of private adoptions: independent adoptions and agency adoptions. Independent adoptions involve the adoptive family finding a pregnant mother through networking. Then the services of an adoption agency are used to complete the process legally. In an agency adoption, the agency assists the adoptive parent(s) through the whole process, which includes finding adoption opportunities.
A report from Adoptive Families Magazine found that the 2017 average cost was $43,000. One private agency charges $60,000 – $70,000 for their services. A number of variables make up this cost, including fees from attorneys, administrators, physicians, the agency itself and more.
International Adoptions: $15,000 – $50,000
International adoptions involve the adoption of a child from another country. While the cost is comparable to domestic private adoptions, there are different factors that determine the final cost, including frequent travel expenses, medical exams, domestic and foreign legal fees, as well as costs that are unique to the country you’re adopting from.
Recent data shows that international adoptions are becoming significantly less common. This is due to the growing evidence of ethical concerns when adopting internationally. For example, Russia, which once saw some of the highest international adoptions to the US, passed a law that prohibits US families from adopting from Russia. Several other countries have followed suit, as regulations on international adoptions have been found in many instances to not be in the best interest or safety of a child. Some countries may not work with LGBTQ+ adoptive parents, so be fully informed if you choose to go this route.
Adoption from Foster Care: $0 or Minimal Cost
Nationwide, there are 400,000+ youth in foster care. Of these, more than 117,000 youth are waiting to be adopted. Children and teens are in foster care because they have experienced abuse or neglect and courts have determined that it’s not safe to remain in their parents’ home. While the main goal of foster care is to reunify children with their parents as safely and quickly as possible, in some cases this isn’t an option and adoption becomes the new goal. When this occurs, the adoption cost is basically free.
You might be wondering, “Why is there such a difference in cost from the other options?” Typically people who adopt from foster care do so in the state where they currently live, and the costs are funded by the state. This means that in most cases there are very few to no fees at all to adopt from foster care. To adopt from foster care, families must complete a training course (30 hours on average) that will equip them with the tools and parenting skills to care for a child who has experienced trauma. The process can incur some out-of-pocket expenses, but this can be refunded by the state after the adoption is finalized.
Youth in foster care waiting to be adopted span all ages and come from all walks of life. They are in foster care by no fault of their own and are waiting for a forever family to provide them with the love and support they need and deserve. Interested in learning more? KVC is a full-service adoption agency that will assist you every step of the way. Meet some of the youth waiting to be adopted on our KVC Adoptions website, and click here to learn more about starting your adoption journey today!