American Adoptions – How Much Does Private Adoption Cost in California? [And why?] (2023)

American Adoptions – How Much Does Private Adoption Cost in California? [And why?] (1)

Adoption can truly be a wonderful experience for you, your family and the child you adopt. But we also know that it can come with a lot of worries, like, "How much does it cost to adopt a child in California?"

Every hopeful adoptive parent thinks of thoseCost of Adopting a Childin California, and there's nothing wrong with that. If you are someone looking to start and expand your family, it is incredibly important for you to think about and understand all of the costs of adoption in California.

Our team at American Adoptions understands this and we always strive to be transparent and honest in our responses and the information we provide about all adoption costs and fees in California.

Here we discuss important information you need to know about how much it costs to adopt a child in California.

So how much does it cost to adopt a child?

When you think about adopting a child or newborn, the question that always crosses your mind is how much does it cost to adopt a child in California. There aremany factorsthat go into the final answer to this question. It's not that anyone is trying to avoid the question; we are just being honest.

California adoption costs cover a wide range of areas of the adoption process:

Overall, the average adoption cost in California typically ranges from $40,000 to $70,000 for domestic infant adoption. We understand thatpretty much in the price range, and may be a little shocking to some. However, it is important to realize that the price range will be different with every adoption agency out there.

The costs listed above vary by countryadoption professionalwho you work with and the quality of the services you receive.

It's also important to note that there can be a difference between the total cost of an adoption in California and the estimate you might get from different adoption professionals.

Any professional you choose to work with should provide an estimate of the total cost of the adoption. When you receive an offer from the adoption worker, always ask exactly what it isincluded in this quoteand if they have fixed referral fees. There, if you ask, you can find out what hidden fees might be included that weren't previously discussed or that you had ever considered up to this point.

At American Adoptions, the average adoption cost in California includes:

  • livelihood

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  • Medical expenses for the biological mother and the child

  • Attorney and Termination Fees

  • agency fees

  • Non-Forfeiting Ad Fees

  • Travel for agency if required

We have fixed agency fees and we vow never to give a misleadingly low estimate. We believe in deliveryFull service and top qualityand, most importantly, being open and honest with potential adoptive families about adoption costs in California.

agency fees

Adoption costs in California are broken down into two main cost areas:agency fees and variable expenses.

We start with the agency fees, which are all monies paid to the adoption professional you work with for your adoption. These fees cover all services that contribute to the overall adoption process and experience. The main types of agency fees you can expect from most adoption agencies are:

  • advertising services

  • Matching Services

  • Advice and support

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advertising services

Most adoptive families work with an adoption agency or other professionals because they need helpFinding a future birth mother. Advertising spend typically accounts for a large portion of agency spend and helps provide an adoptive family with an adoption opportunity.

The amount of money the adoption counselor spends on advertising often corresponds to the number of expectant mothers they are working with at any given time. The more advertising and the more expectant mothers, the better your chancesget an adoption opportunity.

Adoption costs in California can add up quickly, especially for the birth mother. You don't want to wait long to add to your family, so being willing to work with your agency a little more with advertising can help speed up the experience andhelp you financiallyin other areas of the adoption process.

Matching Services

placement services provided by an adoption agencyare designed to help birth mothers who are considering adoption and who have connected with an adoption agency find the right adoptive family for their adoption plan. Services such as assisting the birth mother in contacting the adoptive family, assisting the birth mother in contacting a social worker, and even profile developments for adoptive families may all be included in the matching services.

Advice and support

Adoptive families are usually asked to cover the costscosts of the consultation(and more) to keep pregnant women free to adopt. Counseling is one of the most important services for women facing an unplanned pregnancy and deciding on an adoption plan.

Support such as counseling and other related services enable women in these situations to address their fears and concerns about placing their child for adoption. It is a time of processing, grieving and coming to terms with all the thoughts and emotions they are experiencing during the adoption process.

Counseling may only be a small part of the cost you pay to adopt in California, but remember that this service provides vital support to pregnant women. It can help them stay fully committed to their adoption plan. This is helpful for you, the adoptive parent, to have a successful adoption and let the birth mother know that her child will always be loved and cared for.

Variable expenses

Variable expensesare the expenses required in any adoption in California. These may vary by agency, state and other factors. It is really up to the adoption professional to minimize the total cost of all variable expenses in the adoption.

Legal services and costs

Legal services and costs tend to account for a larger portion of total adoption costs in California. An adoption attorney or solicitor is required during the adoption process to ensure that all legal requirements are met and processed successfully.

While it is difficult to determine what the total cost of adoption would be in California for legal feesDifferences in each state for adoption laws and procedures, it is important to have solid legal advice and support during your adoption.


women considering adoptionoften need help covering financial costs, including basic living expenses. Adoptive families can pay for rent, groceries, utilities, clothing and more. The adoptive family pays living expenses to the adoption professional, who then takes legal action to recover these expenses for the prospective birth parent.

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If a birth mother does not get the support she needs, especially financially, from the adoption agency or the professional she is working with, this can lead to problems with the adoptionadoption can proceed. She may choose to find another adoption agency or professional to work with, or she may change her mind about going through with the adoption altogether. Because of this, it is important for the birth mother to know that she will have support from the adoption agency and the prospective adoptive family throughout her pregnancy and adoption process.

Medical Expenses

Adoptive families are generally expected to cover the costsCost of all adoption treatment costsfor the biological mother and the child who are not covered by the biological mother's insurance. This can add up quickly and make up a large portion of the overall cost of adopting in California, especially if the birth mother's insurance pays little to nothing or is simply non-existent.

This is not to prevent you from considering adoption for yourself and your family. However, it is a good topic to talk about with your adoption agency. It's best to get a full picture of how they support the birth mother and provide guidance to the adopting family about adoption costs in California.

Do you have more questions about adoption costs in California?

We understandadoption costsin California covers a lot of ground and can add up quickly for adoptive families like you. We are not providing this information to discourage you from adopting. Instead, we strive to provide you with complete, honest, and transparent information so you feel more prepared as you begin your adoption process.

The above information on the cost of adopting a child in California is a lot to process and we understand if you have additional questions or don't understand some of these points. We don't want you to get confused through your adoption process, so we encourage you toClick herefor more free information.

We want you to be ready and confident when you decide to start your adoption journey. Reach out to us - we are here to guide you to a successful adoption experience.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. is providing this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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How much does it cost to adopt privately in California? ›

Overall, average California adoption costs typically range anywhere from $40,000 to $70,000 for domestic infant adoption. We understand that is quite the price range, and can be a little shocking to some. However, it's important to know that price range will vary with each adoption agency out there.

How much does adoption cost in California? ›

The costs related to adoption and adoption services can vary widely depending on the option selected. When going through an agency, whether domestic or international, costs can easily exceed $30,000 upon completion. Even private adoptions can cost up to $8,000 in some instances.

How does private adoption work in California? ›

An independent adoption (also called an Open or Private Adoption) is when the birth parents and the adoptive parents make an agreement that the adoption should go forward. There is no adoption agency involved. They are more direct than Agency Adoptions. The birth parents can meet the adoptive parents.

Why does US adoption cost so much? ›

Adoption is expensive because the process to legally adopt a baby requires the involvement of attorneys, social workers, physicians, government administrators, adoption specialists, counselors and more.

How long does a private adoption take in California? ›

How long will it take to adopt a child? In an agency adoption, depending on the workload of the agency selected, it will take anywhere from six months to a year to complete an adoption family assessment. Most adoptive placements occur one to several months after the family assessment has been approved.

Is private adoption legal in California? ›

Legal Formalities and Fees for Independent Adoption in California. Independent adoption is also known as “private adoption.” As we mentioned above, it is the California adoption process where the biological parents can choose a hopeful parent to adopt their child.

How much does it cost to adopt a child from USA? ›

Cost of a domestic adoption

According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average costs of adopting a child in the United States is between $20,000 and $45,000.

Is it hard to adopt a child in California? ›

In California, hopeful parents must be at least 10 years older than the child they are adopting, with exceptions for stepparent or relative adoptions. All adoptive parents must complete a home study, including criminal background (fingerprint) checks, before they will be approved to adopt in California.

What is the cheapest adoption? ›

Foster care adoption is the least expensive adoption process, with the average being just $2,744. You work with your state's foster care system, and if you foster a child that may eventually be up for adoption, you'll be first on the list.

What is the least expensive adoption? ›

Foster care adoption is the least expensive adoption process, with the average being just $2,744. You work with your state's foster care system, and if you foster a child that may eventually be up for adoption, you'll be first on the list.

Is California still a closed adoption state? ›

An adoption in which identifying information about the birth parents and adoptive parents is not made available. California is a “closed adoption” state where all identifying information is considered confidential so records containing this confidential information are usually sealed as a result of state law and /or ...

How many kids are waiting to be adopted in California? ›

Another 13,091 children in California foster care were waiting to be adopted.

How much does it cost to adopt someone over 18 in California? ›

There is no fee for an adult adoption. When you file your papers, ask the Probate Clerk for a hearing date. Or, call the Probate Department.


1. 10 Steps to Take For Foster Care Adoption
(Lucrece Bundy | Adoptions Simplified)
2. Where To Start With The Adoption Process
(Lucrece Bundy | Adoptions Simplified)
3. Does It Cost Money to "Put a Child Up" for Adoption?
(American Adoptions)
4. Benefits of Private Adoption
(A is 4 Adoption - Orange County)
5. Independent Adoptions in California - Legal Action Workshop
(Legal Action Workshop)
6. How to Adopt | Private Domestic Adoption
(Melissa Heeg)
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