How much does Adoption cost? Granted, this is not the most basic question about Adoption. It is however, one of the most important. Many couples are philosophically on-board with the idea of caring for the fatherless through adoption, but consider it to be out of God’s will for them because it costs too much.
So, here is a brief summary on what Adoption costs.
First of all, I’m not trying to be tricky, but I am equivocating … to a degree. When I say that Adoption costs everything, I mean two things.
First, I mean that the Adoption we receive into the family of God, cost a great deal. The price was the perfect blood sacrifice of the Son of God. This point is important to dwell on, because this attribute of God’s character should be our fundamental driving motivation towards caring for the fatherless through Adoption. The Scriptures resound with evidence of God’s heart to care for the fatherless and Christ’s sacrificial purchase of Adoption for all those who believe in his name.
Second, I mean that to engage in caring for the fatherless through Adoption will cost you a lifetime of loving service; and often without earthly return. The path of parenting, whether by biology or Adoption, is arduous. There is no going back. I remember sitting in a lovely, romantic restaurant with my wife in Hungary, the night before we were to receive custody of our son. We talked about where our life had been and where it was going. In a sense, that was our last supper together. After that, everything would change. I think we probably spent a lot of time that dinner just staring wide-eyed into space.
A little-known-fact in Christian circles is that there is absolutely no financial cost for a family who adopts out of foster care.
“What!” That was the response of one of my best friends when I relayed this information to him during our Thursday-morning run. I saw him later that evening and his head had been exploding about it all day.
Right now in Alabama, there are approximately 5,700 children in the foster care system. 60 – 75% of these children either already are, or will be available for Adoption. Most of the children that are available for Adoption are over the age of 10, and I think it is generally wise counsel to only adopt a child that is younger than your youngest child in the home.
However, here is another factoid to blow your mind. In the county I live in, Montgomery County, Alabama, there are currently more infants than there are homes to put them in. So, if a family is willing to take the foster-to-adopt track, they are very likely to be placed with an infant whose parents will have their parental rights terminated because of abuse, neglect, or abandonment, thus creating the need for the infant to have a forever family.
All in Between.
This is where things get a little more complicated. An international adoption can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $32,000. Factors affecting the cost of an international adoption usually include the country one is adopting from and the agency one works with.
Trying to discern the cost of domestic adoption (not from foster care) is even more complicated. The following table illustrates the potential costs associated with different types of adoption and the main factors affecting the range.
|Type of Adoption||Cost Range||Main Factors|
|International Adoption||$25,000 – $32,000||Country and agency|
|Birth Mother (Agency)||$12,000 – $50,000||Agency and attorney fees|
|Private Adoption (non-Agency)||$1,500 – $20,000||Attorney fees|
|Embryo Adoption||$5,300 – $9,700||Open or closed; need for subsequent transfers; need for additional medication.|
|Relative Adoption (Step/ Grandparent)||$1,500 – $7,000||Attorney fees|
So, what does Adoption cost? Everything, Nothing, and All in Between.
Photo by Jayel Aheram.
 For example, if you have three children in the home, ages 10, 6, and 4, then most counselors would recommend adopting a child less than 4 years old.
 Remember the “60 – 75%” from above.
 See http://lifelineadoption.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/New-quicklooks1.pdf.
 See http://lifelineadoption.org/adoption/domestic/fees/. See also Catholic Social Services of Montgomery; there fee is partially based on income.
 See http://www.embryodonation.org/pdf/NEDC_Fee_Schedule.pdf.