Adoption Costs and Factors

  • Consulting with adoption counselor

A question that is often asked is about the cost of adoption. Adoptions range from no expenses to $100,000s. Seems extreme, right? These costs depend on many factors. Private, stepparent, second parent, or state adoption. The jurisdictions involved- local, interstate, or international.  The needs of the adopting parent, biological parents, and the child.

Usually, the expensive adoptions are international. They will almost always include an adoption agency or two, which both have large fees. The adopting parents often have immigration, living, and travel expenses. Some countries require multiple visits or extended stays in the child’s home country. As you can imagine, these extras add up quickly.

In-state and interstate private adoptions through an adoption agency are less than international, but still reach $50,000 or more. They are commonly around $20-30,000. If done right, a good portion of this goes to the birth mother for her prenatal care, living expenses, and counseling. A large chunk goes to the adoption agency. Then some is for court, including the certification to adopt and adoption case.

Stepparent and second-parent adoptions are affordable. They can be done easily without an agency. It is best to have help from an attorney, but there are printable forms online. Restrictions and requirements are less due to the relationship between the child and the adopting parent. For example, most will do not have to pay for a home study ($1000+) or an agency fee.

In Arizona and many other states, adoptions that are involving foster care have the adoption expenses reimbursed. Adoption and business attorneys will wait for payment from the state and not require the adoptive parent to pay upfront. This means the adoptive parent will not incur any expenses to adopt.

The state covers the costs for the adopting parent to become a foster parent or certified to adopt, and most adoptions include a monthly adoption subsidy for the child’s care until the child is an adult. So not only are the costs covered for the adoption, but the child is also financially provided for through childhood.

A common hesitation with adopting from foster care is that the adoptive parent is worried the child will be moved after bonding with them. It is understandable but can be prevented or significantly reduced.  Adoptive parents can choose to only take placements that are free for adoption, meaning the parental rights have been terminated. As reunification is no longer an issue, disruptions or moves are less likely.

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Adoption Attorney | Principal , View my profile

Brittany Labadie is the Managing Partner at Lewis Labadie. She has been working with Lewis Labadie since it opened.  Her current focus is with adoption cases, including juvenile adoptions, adult adoptions, foster care adoptions, same-sex adoption, surrogacy adoptions, and when necessary termination of parental rights. She works throughout the State of Arizona.

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