Creating Adoption Budget

Sep 28, 2022 By Susan Kelly

If your heart and soul have set your sights on adoption, it is important to have a budget in place prior to starting to ensure you can pay for the cost of adopting and raising children.

Before you do that, consider which kind of adoption appeals to you most. Do you want to take on an elderly child? If yes, adoption through foster care could be the perfect match. If you'd like a new baby in contrast or want to create a multicultural family, then private adoption, whether international or domestic, could be the ideal option.

If there are not enough savings in cash to finance the adoption, consider what you can do to make up the gap. For instance, you could opt to postpone adoption until you've secured the full amount. You can also use credit cards or get a loan against your home equity to cover adoption costs.

If you're looking to finance the costs of adoption, consider the time it will be to repay the loan and the interest rate you'll be paying. It's also possible to think about consolidating debt using a zero percent balance transfer at a low-interest rate or a loan.

Remember to add your Adoption Tax Credit to your budgeting calculation. The credit could put a portion of your money on adoption back into your account at tax time.

Average Cost of Adoption for Foster Parents

In 2019, there were around 424,000 kids placed in foster care across the U.S. While some will be able to return to family, some might remain in foster homes. The children are then allowed to be taken in by foster families.

Compared to other options for adoption in the adoption process, adopting children from foster care is typically the most affordable alternative. The price will differ from state to state; however, adoption through the foster system can be as high as $2,600.

Average Cost of Private Adoption

Private adoption can be done by a private adoption agency or with assistance from an attorney. If you opt for private adoption, you will work with the agency or attorney to choose the birth mother of the child you'd want to adopt. Private adoption might appeal to those who would rather adopt a baby because foster care adoptions are available from newborns to teens.

In terms of costs, private adoptions are much more costly than foster-care adoptions, regardless of whether or not you work with an agency or attorney. Private adoption can cost anywhere between $20,000 and $45,000. The cost difference between foster care adoption is largely based on the amount the adoptive parents pay. Along with the cost of a home study and other fees, you could also be charged:

  • Attorney's fees
  • Costs for document preparation
  • Fees for agency application
  • Adoption fees for consultants
  • Costs for advertising or networking are in line with a birth mother's fee
  • Costs for counseling with the birth family
  • Travel and health care expenses for the mother who gave birth
  • Post-placement expenses

Regarding time the process of using an attorney or an agency could have a quicker timeframe beginning with the initial matching of the child until finalizing the adoption, compared to the foster-care adoption. However, private adoptions can get more complicated when one of the parents isn't willing to consent to the adoption or if there's lengthy paperwork to be completed before the process can be concluded.

Average Cost of Adopting a Child Internationally

Many kids in the U.S. are waiting to be adopted; you could look abroad to discover an additional member in your household. In terms of cost, international adoption generally costs between $25,000 and $70,000.

When it comes to international adoptions, most of the cost usually goes to the placement agency or adoption costs and travel expenses. This includes travel and accommodation between and to the country of adoption for you and your child and any expenses for travel. Alongside those expenses, it is also possible to pay:

  • Visa, passports, and medical exam fee
  • Home study cost
  • Fees for preparing documents and forms

The practical side is that international adoption may be a long wait to be matched with a child and accepted as an adoptive parent. Instead of just one or two years of waiting, it could be contemplating an extended two to five-year period instead of completing an adoption.

For LGBTQ+ families, international adoptions could have more strict restrictions on the people who are eligible to adopt. Certain countries, like aren't able to allow adoptions by gay couples or those who are same-sex. A few countries that restrict trans and same-sex couples from adopting are Poland and China.

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