Your Guide to Private Domestic Adoption Costs
If you are one of the 20,000 families doing a private domestic adoption this year, there are many expenses to consider. Understanding the costs associated with a private adoption can help the process go a lot more smoothly.
Many private domestic adoptions are done through an agency that matches you with a prospective birth mother. Agencies typically charge a fee for their service, which can range somewhere between $20,000 and $45,000. This fee will include all your other expenses, so it bundles adoption costs into a single price. Often, the only fee not included in the agency fee is the New Jersey adoption lawyer that you might want to hire to protect your own interests.
Home Study Fees
In any private domestic adoption, you will need a home study. This is a protective measure that ensures your home and your family will provide a safe environment for an adoptive child. The home study involves interviews with a social worker, a tour of your home, and other paperwork. Since the home study requires officials to do a lot of research, it can be expensive. Home studies usually cost somewhere between $900 and $3,000. It is possible to fail a home study, which would mean you might have to make some changes and retake it at a later date. This can cause your private domestic adoption costs to increase.
Expenses for the Biological Mother
The majority of private domestic adoptions involve a pregnant woman who plans on giving the child up at birth. Though you are legally not allowed to pay for the child itself, you can compensate the biological mother for her medical and living expenses during the pregnancy. This can include a broad range of costs, including:
- Any medical expenses not covered by insurance
- Prenatal doctor visits and hospital stay
- Maternity clothes
- Legal fees for the mother
- Counseling fees for the mother
While you are not necessarily expected to pay these costs, it is possible that you might need to. Depending on the situation, you might just pay a few thousand, or you might pay tens of thousands of dollars.
In most private domestic adoptions, travel is very common. At the very least, you might end up needing to travel to a nearby town to meet the biological mother and pick up the infant after they are born. In many cases, prospective parents end up having to travel farther distances that necessitate hours of driving or air travel. While waiting for the baby to be born, you might end up needing to spend a few nights at a nearby hotel too. All of these expenses can add up, so be sure to budget in money for your travel fees.
In any adoption, there are some prospective legal fees. First of all, you might need to pay a few hundred dollars to file documents with the court. These court filing fees can cover the costs for submitting petitions to adopt and for finalizing your adoption. Next, you might also want to consider fees for a private adoption lawyer. You need a lawyer during any private domestic adoption because the paperwork for adoption is fairly complicated. A lawyer can help prepare all necessary documents so that there are no unpleasant surprises later. Even if you are working with an agency that prepares documents for you, you might want to hire a lawyer to look over the documents and represent your interests. The right legal preparation reduces your risk of losing the child later on.
If you are in need of a Pennsylvania or New Jersey adoption lawyer, Cofsky & Zeidman can help. We have over 25 years of experience, and our team is here to ensure that your interests are protected in any adoption arrangement. Give our Haddonfield, New Jersey, office a call at 856-429-5005 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.