Affording Adoption

Domestic newborn adoptions usually average about $40,000 in expenses to complete, while international adoptions canvary from $35,000-45,000 depending on the country from which a family adopts. These numbers can be drastically reduced through various sources of financial assistance, such as employee benefits, grants, or loans.

As few families can pay these costs on their own outright, it is recommended that parents hoping to adopt through either of these two channels apply for private grants and begin fundraising efforts early in the adoption process.

Adopting from the U.S. foster care system is generally the least expensive type of adoption, usually involving little or no cost, and states often provide subsidies to adoptive parents.

Stepparent and kinship adoptions are often not very costly.

There are a growing number of resources to help manage the cost of adoption, including an Adoption Tax Credit, Adoption Loans, Adoption Subsidies, Adoption Fundraising, Adoption Subsidies, and employer-provided Adoption Benefits

Adoption Costs

Agency and private adoptions can range from $5,000 to $40,000 or more, depending on a variety of factors including services provided, travel expenses, birthmother expenses, requirements in the state, and other factors.

Prospective adoptive parents may be concerned about the costs of adopting a child and their ability to meet those costs. Becoming a parent is rarely free of expenses—pregnancy and childbirth can be expensive and even more so without adequate insurance—and adoptive parents may be faced with initial costs that seem challenging.

Affording Adoption: Additional Resources

Employer-Provided Adoption Benefits

Employee adoption benefits vary but they are becoming more and more available. In 1990, one study found only 12 percent of employers offered benefits to adoptive parents: by 2004 the proportion had increased to 39 percent, with an average maximum reimbursement of $3,879 for adoption expenses.

Employers that offer adoption benefits cite advantages for their companies including maintenance of productivity, retention of good employees, a positive public image, and equity in benefits for all employees.

Adoption Tax Credit

Tax benefits for adoption include both a tax credit for qualified adoption expenses paid to adopt an eligible child and an exclusion for employer-provided adoption assistance. Currently the credit has a maximum amount (dollar limitation) of $12,970 per child.

Sources of Financial Assistance

Aside from employer or tax-related benefits, there are a variety of sources of non-profit and government-based assistance available to prospective parents. These can include Adoption Fundraising, private Adoption Grants, and specialized Adoption Loans for domestic and international adoptions, and Adoption Subsidies for foster-related adoptions.

See Category: Adoption Grants for a list of granting organizations.

See Category: Adoption Loans for a list of available lenders.

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