What are the Costs of International and Domestic Infant Adoption?

Photo use courtesy of user 'soupboy' on Flickr.

In Pursuit of Infant Adoption

When a couple makes the decision to pursue infant adoption, they’ll be surprised to discover the number of options available to them. One of the first decisions they’ll make is whether to adopt domestically or internationally.

Domestic Adoption
Domestic infant adoption is the adoption of an American infant, either directly from the birth parents or from foster care. Either option you choose can be expensive, with costs ranging over several thousands of dollars.

In addition to paying for the costs related to preparing you for the adoption (registration free with agency, home study fee, post match supervision, physical and psychiatric exams), you’ll also need to pay for all of the legal fees (attorney’s fees, court representation) and maybe even some of the fees for the birth parents (including possible medical or living expenses, attorney’s fees and counseling).  This can very quickly add up; the average is around $20,000 to $35,000 and can be even more.

There are hundreds of agencies across the United States that can assist you in domestic adoption.  Before committing to a particular agency, ask lots of questions about their costs and the “what-if’s”.  (What if she backs out? What if we change our mind?) Make sure that the agency provides a great deal of support, not only to you but the birth family as well.  You want to be sure that she understands what she is doing and is given ample time to back out. Check out The Adoption Guide for a sample budget planner and more information.

There are federal tax benefits that are available to assist parents who adopt domestically.  Check with your accountant or tax professional for more information about these credits.

Adopting an Infant Internationally
International infant adoption is often thought to be less expensive than domestic adoption, however, when you add in country adoption fees, the cost of travel and overseas accommodations and legal and immigration fees, the cost can easily rival that of domestic adoption.  Average fees average around $20,000 to $25,000.

Have your say