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How Much Does The Average Adoption Cost
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Each year in the United States, an estimated 120,000 children are welcomed into families through adoption. If adopting a child is something you’d like to consider, the obvious question is: just how much does it cost?
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Costs range from nothing to $40,000, depending on the type of adoption you are seeking.
Licensed adoption agencies in every state assist prospective parents or couples with matched parents. These private institutions operate outside the public welfare system.
The total cost of a private adoption ranges from $20,000 to $45,000. Fees may include a home study to determine a prospective family’s eligibility to adopt a child ($1,500-$4,000), parent preparation and training courses, court documents ($500-$2,000), legal fees ($1,500- 4,000), counseling for the birth parents, and medical and legal expenses of the birth parents.
Each state has its own adoption laws that need to be followed, and this is true of the state in which the adoptive parents live, the state in which the birth mother lives, and the state in which the child is born. If it is different from the other. two. Likewise, each private adoption agency within each state charges its own set of fees. It is important for adoptive parents to get written confirmation of what an agency fee does and does not cover so that no one is surprised by unexpected costs.
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To cover the cost of a private agency adoption, a family may want to tap their home equity.
When birth parents and adoptive parents already know each other, they seek the help of a lawyer for an independent adoption. Costs are usually lower than using a private agency, but typically range from $15,000 to $40,000.
Fees include, but are not necessarily limited to, a home study, legal fees for both adoptive and birth parents, court document fees and medical expenses for the birth mother. State laws govern these medical reimbursements.
A personal loan or savings account may be another way for a family to cover adoption costs.
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The cost of adopting a child outside the United States ranges from $20,000 to $50,000 or more, depending on the country. Expenses due to foreign travel and immigration processing are usually higher. Costs include court fees and mandatory adoption education for adoptive families, adoption agency fees and necessary documentation.
Additional costs may include escort fees if the adoptive parents cannot travel to bring the child to the United States, translation fees, medical treatment for the child, foreign attorney fees, passport and visa processing fees and medical examinations.
American families who adopt a foreign-born child must adhere to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, an agreement with participating countries that protects the rights of children and families and Prosperity protects those involved in adoption.
Creating a Family, a nonprofit adoption education organization, reports that China and South Korea are the top countries for foreign adoptions. The average price of each is about $30,000. Ethiopia was on the list, but it suspended international adoption in May 2017.
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Children of all ages are in the foster care system and are eligible for adoption. While many older children in foster care are available for adoption, it is possible to adopt a child. This is the most cost-effective means of adopting a child, with little to no cost involved because federal and state adoption programs lower the usual financial barriers.
The welfare system’s top priority is to safely reunite a child with birth parents. If the child is removed from the home, the mother or father usually has six months to follow certain conditions while the child is placed in foster care. This time can be extended, depending on the progress of the parents. Therefore, foster children of childbearing age are generally not eligible for adoption.
An exception is made for children who are legally abandoned by their mother or parents in a safe haven or safe surrender program, often within days of their birth, or the mother or child tests positive for illegal drugs at birth. In case of Birth parents are given two weeks to two months (depending on the state) to gain custody if they have a change of heart. After that, the child is free for adoption. There are many different ways that LGBTQ+ people can consider creating a family. Each of these pathways comes with associated constraints making them more or less accessible to those with varying levels of household income. To note, the prices below are often listed as a range, as they vary by region and clinic.
Foster-to-Adopt: Adoptions through the foster care system can usually be completed for less than $2600, and often completely free, as can adoptions through the public child welfare system.
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Domestic Adoption: Adopting a child domestically through an agency or an independent attorney ranges from $20,000-$45,000 depending on where you live and the agency or attorney you choose.
International Adoption: International adoption, one of the most legally challenging options for LGBTQ+ people, has different costs depending on the child’s country of birth. Often, these prices range from $35,000-$70,000.
Second or Step Parent Adoption: Many LGBTQ+ parents choose to complete a step or second parent adoption to preserve the legal parental rights of the child’s non-biological parent. The cost for this type of adoption depends on state requirements, but often runs between $250-$3,000. In some states, home studies can be waived (a savings of $1,000-$2,000), and forms can be filed without an attorney (an average savings of $1,000).
Depending on your path, there are different options to help cover your adoption costs.
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To learn more about adoption for the LGBTQ+ community, please visit the resources below
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