Adoption Cost: Domestic Versus International

family-4962871_1920 (1)Adopting is a big process that often requires prospective parents to start planning a few years in advance. Of course, it’s important to feel you are emotionally prepared for all parenthood has in store. Another big reason, however, is the cost involved. Both domestic and international adoption can be fairly expensive.

It surprises many people to learn that adoption can take a couple years which isn’t that long considering the total cost associated with adoption. Once you start the formal adoption process, you could finish all the steps and bring your new family member home in just a few months or in a few years depending on many factors out of the adoptive parents control. Before they begin in earnest, many families will need a detailed financial plan in place.  There are companies that can assist with budgeting and financial planning that your attorney can share with you. 

Financial planning is a vital step to ensuring long-term stability and happiness for your child.

In addition to seeing to all a child’s needs, you’ll also need funds for the various adoption professionals who’ll help you along the way. Many different professionals can be involved in a successful adoption. When adopting a child from abroad, the complexity increases in certain ways, and the final cost can be higher or lower.

Of course, no one can put a price tag on the value of a loving home or a new addition to the family. But would-be adoptive parents should always go forward with a clear understanding of exactly what’s expected from them. The cost of adoption requires forethought from most families.

The Costs of Domestic Adoption

The costs of domestic adoption vary, as with any adoption. For example, some adoption agencies strive to provide support for families that may not have extravagant financial means. More than 18,000 adoptions of newborn babies take place every year, and these include families from a variety of backgrounds!

The cost of domestic adoption can range anywhere from less than $15,000 to $50,000. The median cost – meaning about half cost more and half cost less – is between $30,000 and $45,000. This covers assistance from adoption agencies and various legal requirements throughout the process.

The Costs of International Adoption

In an average year, domestic newborn adoptions are much more common than international ones. Still, a steady number of parents look abroad each year, often hoping to give a child more opportunities to thrive. Naturally, each country has its own requirements and standards that can affect costs.

Today, most children adopted by Americans internationally originate from China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or Ukraine. However, the total number of children made available for adoption has dropped considerably since the early 2000s. Likewise, more stringent bureaucratic requirements are being enacted.

To give one example, costs of adoption from China were recently estimated at between $15,000 and $35,000. Adoption programs, post-placement fees, processing fees, and international travel will tend to push the final tally higher. The process can also take longer, due to coordinating with foreign agencies.

Manage Adoption Costs Proactively by Getting the Right Help Early

Most of the time, prospective parents begin their journey by contacting adoption agencies in their local area. It can be wise, however, to start with an unexpected source: An adoption attorney can ensure that you make informed decisions about how you wish to build your family through adoption.

Jennifer Fairfax and Catelyn Slattery are trusted adoption attorneys who have helped families in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Their extensive work with the best adoption agencies in these areas enables her to support families in finding the right support network for their unique needs.

To learn more, contact Jennifer Fairfax today.

“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax

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