Many people are surprised to discover that the costs of adopting a child are more than they expected. Some of the fees are for paying the adoption lawyer, while others are for the court costs, document filing, home visits and other aspects of the process. It’s important for prospective adoptive parents to understand how adoptions can be funded before they initiate the process.
Choosing to adopt a child is an exciting process, but many prospective parents are surprised to discover that the costs may range from $20,000 to $45,000 for a domestic adoption and $20,000 to $50,000 for an inter-country adoption. The costs include a variety of services, which range from the expenses of the birth mother to counseling of the adoptive parents and home visits. In some cases, families may be eligible for grants, loans or tax credits for some of the costs associated with a domestic or inter-country adoption.
The Types of Domestic Adoption Costs
The costs of adoption vary based on whether the process goes through an adoption agency, whether it’s a private adoption, and whether it’s a domestic or inter-country adoption. Each agency has different fee structures. In some cases, adoptive parents might already know the birth mother. In such a case, an agency might not be needed, which could reduce some of the costs of adopting a child. The typical types of domestic adoption costs include:
- Home study, which may be one to five visits
- Birth parent medical expenses
- Agency fees
- NJ or PA adoption attorney fees
- Court costs
- Birth certificate filing fees
- Pre- and post-adoption counseling fees
- Adoptive matching fees
Costs Associated with Inter-Country Adoptions
With inter-country adoptions, many parents choose to have the adoption registered in the United States because some foreign adoption decrees are either not valid or may be questionable in their level of legal protection for the parents. Costs associated with inter-country adoptions include:
- Translation fees
- Escort services if the adoptive parents are unable to travel to the child’s international location
- Passport and processing fees
- Medical care, treatment and certification of fitness to travel
- Foreign attorney and agency fees
- Vaccinations required for U.S. entry
- Counseling for the child and the parents
- Tutoring or other communications needs between the parent and child
Costs Associated with Foster Care Adoption
The lowest-cost way to adopt a child is through the local foster care system. This type of an adoption costs an average of $2,744. The fees associated with a foster care adoption include:
- Home study fee
- Attorney fees
- Travel expenses
- Court costs
Finding Funding for the Costs of an Adoption
When a person or couple wants to adopt a child, there are many ways to fund the process. Some of the fees can be paid as they come along, while others must be paid in advance or up front. Because amassing $20,000 to $50,000 in cash all at once could be difficult for many people, one or more of these methods may be used for funding an adoption:
- Grants: Private grants are available for foster care, domestic and international adoptions.
- State subsidies: Some states offer subsidies for certain types of adoptions. The subsidies may be in the form of a reimbursement after the expenses have been paid.
- Tax credits: Some state and federal tax credits may be available for certain costs associated with adoptions.
- Loans: Private loans and loans through faith-based organizations may be available for some of the expenses related to adopting a child.
- Crowdfunding: This is a newer method of paying for an adoption. Crowdfunding makes use of a website, and anyone can contribute money into the fund. The monies contributed are considered to be gifts. In most cases, the amounts gifted to the adoptive parents aren’t taxable.
- Employers: Some employers offer contributions in the forms of grants for employees who want to adopt a child.
- Personal strategies: People in the process of an adoption may consider a variety of strategies to raise funds, such as taking a second job, cashing in an investment, selling personal property like a car, or having bake sales or hosting garage sales in order to generate funds.
Call the law office of Cofsy & Zeidman today at (856) 429-5005 to schedule a consultation with a New Jersey adoption lawyer. You can also visit our main office, which is located at 209 Haddon Avenue, Haddonfield, NJ 08033, for more information.