Expenses Adopting Parents Should Expect
According to recent research, the average cost of an independent adoption is more than $34,000, and the average cost of an agency adoption is nearly $40,000. An interesting note is that adoptions in which an attorney represented the adopting parents were less expensive. An important advantage of hiring our NJ adoption attorney is being able to prepare for the ancillary expenses that come with adopting a child.
The most basic cost associated with adoption is the filing fee, which courts charge in order to process your adoption filing. Filing fees are standard in the state in which the adoption is being processed. While this is a fixed cost, there can be other related charges, such as:
- Documentation fees
- Immigration processing
- Expenses related to witnesses
- Court expenses for the birth mother
Undergoing a home study prior to adopting is a requirement for people in New Jersey. A big role our NJ adoption attorney can play in your adoption is helping you understand what is required of you and how to minimize the costs. Starting a home study requires some basics, such as driver’s licenses, marriage certificates, birth certificates and so forth. You may also need to provide tax returns, documents concerning assets, proof of various insurance policies and so forth. The home study itself does comprise multiple in-home assessments, but it is, at its core, an educational program provided by an independent party designed to prepare individuals who want to adopt children. Topics of study include:
- Needs of children
- What prospective parents should expect
- Responsibilities that come with being an adoptive parent
- Relationships with social workers
Birth Mother Expenses
Covering expenses for the birth mother is often expected. This is true when coordinating a private adoption, but it can also be the case when dealing with an agency because the needs of the mother can go above and beyond what the company is able to provide based on the fees it charges. Certainly, during a private adoption, the adopting parent is expected to cover “everything.” Nevertheless, even in more structured scenarios, the adopting parent may elect to pay more in the best interest of the child. These additional expenses can include:
- Legal fees
- Medical expenses
- Prescriptions, vitamins and nutrition
- Traveling costs
- Counseling fees
- Temporary living expenses
When you set out to adopt a child, you have certain goals in mind. Achieving them may require you to travel as well as the birth mother. Be mindful that travel expenses extend beyond just fuel costs to those related to accommodations away from home, meals eaten each day, traveling and even wear and tear on the vehicles used. There can be ways to offset these expenses, but these will certainly be costs that you will need to manage on a day-to-day basis with assistance from your legal representation.
Tax Credit and State Subsidies
When it comes to adoption expenses, while much of the focus is often on debits, there can be credits as well. Tax credits, for instance, are an important reason to consult with a lawyer, and such credits can actually cover not only your personal expenses but any amount your employer contributed, which is something that many companies are willing to do. There are also subsidies available from states, including New Jersey, that make adoptions more practical for everyone.
The Local Representation You Need
Are you considering adoption? Have you begun the adoption process and now require legal assistance? The law office of Cofsky & Zeidman, LLC, would love to assist you. Our law firm focuses only on adoptions, and we have more than 25 years of experience. Our focus extends to private adoptions, agency adoptions, stepparent adoptions, assisted reproduction and more. Initial consultations are provided at no cost and without obligation, and you can contact us online or call our office in Haddonfield, New Jersey, at (856) 429-5005 or our office in Woodbury, New Jersey, at (856) 845-2555.