How much does it cost to adopt a child in the United States?

How much does it cost to adopt a child in the United States?

  • The amount of money and time you can invest in adopting a child in the United States varies based on the path you decide to take, which can range from less than $1,000 to more than $50,000.

Adopting a child should not be an easy decision, emotionally or financially. American households must consider costs of different types, ranging from the adoption process to covering the needs of the infant depending on her age, who can be from a newborn to an older child.

The cost of adoption depends on the type of procedure you perform and the child you bring into your home. According to some estimates, in addition to the fact that the process can be long, it can cost you from less than $1,000 to more than $50,000 in the United States.

In addition, there are different ways to pay for adoption in the country, from fundraisers and grants to personal loans. Likewise, the costs can also vary depending on the type of adoption you will do.

Adoption through a public agency

Each US state has its own adoption agency, which oversees the licensing, education, placement, and support of adoptive families, popularly known as foster homes.

Starting an adoption process through these public agencies is one of the cheapest options for future parents. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau of the federal Office of the Administration for Children and Families, adopting foster homes is “virtually free.” Most foster adoptions cost less than $1,000, according to Adoptive Families magazine’s most recent adoption cost survey conducted in 2016-17.

This path to adoption is inexpensive due to state and federal adoption assistance programs established to make it more accessible and attractive to adoptive children in foster care. These children are often older and may have experienced trauma or have special needs.

Private adoption

This type of adoption is one where homes work with an agency or attorney to find and adopt children in the United States. You need to pass a home study, placement, counseling, training, and legal documentation.

Due to its characteristics, the cost of a private adoption varies, and working with an agency, you could spend between $30,000 and $60,000, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway. When you work with an attorney it can be a bit cheaper, costing between $25,000 and $45,000.

Many of these adoptions involve newborns, and it is very likely that the bill could grow by covering the birth mother’s medical and other expenses, plus those that have to do with child support.

International adoption

As its name indicates, this process is characterized by the involvement of public or private adoption agencies in countries outside the United States. The cost varies depending on the nation and the organization you work with in search of your child, such as a government office, an agency, an orphanage, a non-profit organization or an individual such as a lawyer.

This type of adoption generates more expenses than the previous ones, because you must also go through an immigration documentation process, including the application for passports and travel visas, as well as the different foreign legal systems. If you choose this path, you can invest a lot of time and money. The Child Welfare Information Gateway estimates that intercountry adoption can take anywhere from one to five years to complete, with an average cost between $20,000 and $50,000.