Adoption is a beautiful process that gives a child a loving home and couples the gift of parenthood. Considering the real-life benefits of this, the cost associated with adoption is usually a shock to many.
So, why is the whole process of adoption so expensive especially in the US?
Basically, adoption is expensive because of the legal requirements needed by law. Government agencies, adoption agency programs, lawyers, physicians, counselors, social workers, and many more are all involved in the process, with each step and personnel attracting a fee.
Read on to find out more about how the legal, moral, and ethical requirements needed to protect both child and prospective parents contribute to the high adoption costs.
The average cost of domestic adoption is around $20,000-$45,000. The cost varies depending on the type of channel that prospective parents choose to take.
There are different pathways such as foster care, newborn adoption, and other case-by-case situations.
Additionally, the choice of attorney and adoption agency also attracts different fees. In most cases, foster adoption is mostly free since the state covers the costs.
According to various sources, California is the most expensive state to adopt a child with fees ranging from $40,000 to $70,000.
With an average adoption cost of 0$ to $2500, Alaska ranks among the least expensive state to adopt a child in the US.
International adoption is one of the most expensive legal processes adoptive parents take on their journey to form a loving family. The services involved greatly add to the cost of bringing a bundle of joy home.
Sometimes, travel and a short stay at the country of adoption is necessary and even legally required. This adds to the ballooned cost of personnel and government agencies fees involved in the process.
- South Korea: $32,000 – $38,000 + travel
- Haiti: $26,000 – $32,000 + travel
- China: $26,000 – $31,000 + travel
- Uganda: $24,000 – $30,000 + travel + cost of living in Uganda to foster the child for one year.
- Ukraine: $23,000 – $32,000 + travel
- Thailand: $15,000 – $20,000 + travel
- The Philippines: $15,000 – $20,000 + travel
- Poland: $20,000 – $27,000 + travel
- India: $21,000 – $25,000 + travel
- Taiwan: $22,000 – $27,000 + travel
Foster care adoption is the most affordable form of adoption in the US. Foster care children are those considered wards of the state. Therefore, most of the costs associated with this pathway are paid for or subsidized by taxes.
Applicable costs include home study fees which can range from $1,000 to $5,000. Other fees associated with foster care adoption include agency fees if one is used, and Matching and Advertising fees. Additionally, some states reimburse the costs incurred during the adoption process. I
Adoption costs may negatively be associated with putting a price tag on a child. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
Adoption is a life-long commitment that requires sound legal and ethical structures to protect vulnerable children and ensure adoptive parents are ready for the big commitment.
Considering the importance of adoption in the lives of all parties involved, why is adoption so expensive in the US?
The legal side of adoption requires an expert. As such, an attorney is almost always required to smooth the process. Attorneys don’t come cheap and the fees considerably add to the total cost of adoption.
Adoption agencies are important in assisting prospective parents to meet children who need a home.
This could be through arranging meetings with an expectant mother or visiting orphanages within or outside the country. All these services attract a substantial fee.
For international adoption, travel fees also make up a huge chunk of the final cost. Some cases may require adoptive parents to travel more than once to the source country.
Some of the child’s birth countries also require couples to live within the adoption country for a period of time. All these expenses add up to a substantial amount that inexplicably makes the whole process very expensive.
Counselors form part of the experts involved in adoption. Their work is to determine whether a couple is fit to adopt a child into their home. This has obvious legal and moral benefits for both the child and the prospective parents.
Counselors are also usually legally required as part of the process, adding to the already pilling list of fees.
Adopting a newborn child can take two forms, through a lawyer or through an agency. Both of these channels have varying costs owing to their distinct set-ups. Generally, the cost could be anywhere between $5,000 to $40,000.
There are different pathways to adopting an older child. However, the average costs range from $2500 and $45,000. Foster care adoption is the most affordable.
The Channel of adoption will dictate how much it will cost to adopt a teenager. However, the adoption cost ranges between $10,000 and $30,000
Foster care adoption is as good as free. Most of the costs are covered by the state. Any additional fees are usually low or can be avoided altogether. Some states also pay back any costs incurred.