Cost of adopting a child - in 2023 - The Pricer (2023)

Many people wonder what the actual cost of adopting a child is and what are the typical expenses associated with adding a child to your family through adoption. People usually expect this process to be easy, straightforward, and cheap. But due to the fact that there are quite a few ways to adopt a child, you cannot find a single, easy answer. In the US, the average cost of adopting a child is close to35.000 $, but this average won't help you much as many other factors affect the adoption process and price.

How much does it cost to adopt a domestic infant?

With the help of an adoption attorney or adoption agency, you can opt for a private home adoption (if a biological mother is given away). Adoption costs can vary depending on the birth mother's expenses, including failed adoption matches, medical expenses for the expectant wife, travel, adoption agency/adoption attorney fees, etc. The range for adopting an adoption agency isfrom $5,000 to over $45,000, with almost 60% falling below it$10,000 and $35,000, and the average is close28.000 $. You can find some adoption agencies that have a sliding scale of fees where the adoption process is priced based on your income.

The average newborn adoption by an adoption attorney costs28.000 $, while costs may varybetween $10,000 and $35,000. If you choose an adoption attorney, the adoption costs will be a little less than the adoption agency prices, but that is because the adoption attorney can only complete the adoption paperwork, while the adoption agency also allows the birth mother and the birth mother, and the adoptive family, to do the same hold true. Another aspect to consider is the fact that attorneys do not offer pre- or post-adoption education and support, which makes the agency's expense a little more worthwhile.

How much does an international adoption cost?

Average cost of an international adoption will not help you in any way. Each country has its own pricing for the process. The Family Formation Adoption Country Tables are your best bet. The cost depends on how much the country charges for the process, airfare, and the length of your stay abroad. The top three sending countries for intercountry adoption have the following average costs:

Cost of adopting a child - in 2023 - The Pricer (1)

  • South Korea – The cost range for adoption from South Korea before mid-2013 was$20,000 to $40,000, with the average being slightly more than30.000 $. Not enough families have adopted from South Korea since Korea has required families to stay in the country for a significantly longer period of time. This will significantly increase the cost of adopting from Korea as the cost of living in Seoul is high, not to mention the cost of lost wages.
  • Ethiopia- The cost range for adoption from Ethiopia is$20,000 to $40,000, with the average being slightly below30.000 $.
  • China-The cost range for adoption from China is$20,000 to $40,000, with the average being about30.000 $.

How much does foster family adoption cost?

What you may notice is that foster care adoption is almost free. There are not many families who pay more2.000 $and many of thempays nothing. Adopters from foster parents even receive a monthly allowance to support their children's upbringing.

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Common expenses to prepare for adopting a child


The adoption process actually begins with home study.

As part of a home study, the parents-to-be and their loved ones are screened to ensure that the home the child will be given will be a loving and safe place to live. During a home study, you will be asked to receive documents such as employment records, financial statements, and even a written document from your doctor about your most recent physical exam. They would also have to go through interviews and background checks to make sure everyone is safe. They usually spend somewhere in between$2,000 and $4,000at this stage alone, afterThe Gladney Center for Adoption, a popular adoption agency based out of Fort Worth, Texas. Depending on your family's income, these specific expenses may vary.

This step also includes training and education. This service may be offered by the state agency that administers home study. In this case, you should expect a price between$300 and $600. You may need additional training that you would have to do yourself using online courses or books. These can be approx$100 bis $250 pro Person.

As a home study completion, you must agree to post-internship reporting. Individuals residing in the United States should expect multiple visits from a social worker within six months of the child reaching the new family's home. Post-placement reporting typically costs between$1,500 and $2,000.

search fees

A major expense to consider when working with a lawyer or private agency is finding and matching the mother. Any advertising or costs associated with a counselor may be omitted or included in the total fee when you work with an adoption agency. But you'll likely pay for these services if you're dealing with an independent adoption, and the actual price will depend on how you want to advertise. Some adoption centers estimate approximately$3,000 and $7,500in fees for courtship and counseling in an independent adoption.

birth mother's expenses

Depending on your agreement with the birth mother-to-be, you may have to pay the mother's expenses before you can adopt the newborn. This means not only living expenses or medical bills, but also travel expenses, legal fees and even advice if necessary. Some estimates place this cost anywhere from $6,500 to $8,500 if you choose private adoption.

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legal fees

You certainly understand that adding a new member to your family through adoption also entails many legal requirements, including negotiating the birth mother's costs, court filings, and ending the birth parents' rights. You must also complete the adoption once the post-hire reporting period has passed. If you are dealing with an adoption agency, these fees may be waived or added to your total cost.

Independent adoption usually involves legal fees$7,500 and $17,000,which makes up a large part of the final cost.

Don't forget the adoption tax credit

The adoption tax credit was made permanent in 2013 but is no longer refundable, meaning you must earn enough to actually owe federal taxes in order to benefit from the adoption tax credit. However, you can carry over the credit for five years, so you can use the credit for a total of six years. The maximum adoption credit is$12.970 pro Kindand begins to phase out for familieswith income over $194,580. (Raising a family has tons of resources for the adoption tax credit.)

Before you actually consider adopting a child, read 5 things you should know:

Should the Average Working Family Adopt a Child?

If you are in one of the many families that cannot have children for one reason or another, or if you feel that a child is missing from your life, then adoption is a great choice. It is always better for children to grow up in a family than in a foster family. The only thing to keep in mind is that you should not adopt a child on a whim. You should only take this step if you have a strong need to live a better life and raise a living, breathing person. Having a child comes with a lot of responsibilities and costs, so make sure you're ready to give them the best life possible.


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Alec Powis a thorough and methodical financial and business analyst with over 15 years of experience in analyzing financial statements, analyzing FX derivatives hedging instruments, modeling and risk management, with a long history of writing for major news publications such as Forbes,, Washington mail and many more.

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What is the cheapest price to adopt a child? ›

Working with an agency, you can expect to spend between $30,000 and $60,000, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway. It's slightly less expensive to pursue an independent adoption, which involves working with an attorney. That process ranges in cost from $25,000 to $45,000.

What is the price of adoption in the US? ›

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.

What is the most affordable way to adopt? ›

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 it cheaper to adopt or give birth? ›

Although adoption can be cheaper than birthing a child, your costs could come without the guarantee of having your adoption go through. Review potential costs for all the options you have before committing to starting or expanding your family.

Does it cost money to adopt a child? ›

There are no direct fees charged by the Adoption Authority of Ireland or Tusla - Child and Family Agency or relevant Accredited Body to apply for adoption in Ireland.

What age child is easiest to adopt? ›

The older a child is, the more difficult it is for them to be adopted. The average age of a child in foster care is 7.7 years. While babies are often adopted very quickly, the adoption rates of children over 8 decrease significantly. When a child reaches their teens, the rate drops even more.

Can you adopt for free in the United States? ›

But most adoptions from foster care are free. Families who adopt from foster care usually adopt from a county, state, territory, or tribal public child welfare agency. Adopting a child from foster care is often funded by the state, and in most cases there are few or no fees.

How long is the waiting list to adopt a baby in the USA? ›

Waiting Period for a Domestic Adoption

The wait with a private child adoption agency can also depend on whether the agency uses a fixed waiting list or a pooling/profile program. In general, waiting periods vary from about 6 months up to several years.

Why does it cost so much to adopt a child in the US? ›

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.

Is adoption free in Texas? ›

Foster-to-adopt (State adoption)

According to the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), it only costs between $300 to $400 to adopt a child through the state.

What are adoption prices in Texas? ›

Cost of Adoption in Texas

The cost to adopt a child in Texas of can be anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000 on average. These numbers can vary greatly based on which adoption agency is used, whether the child is a U.S. citizen or comes from another country, whether you're adopting a foster child, and many other factors.

Do you get a monthly check when you adopt a child in Texas? ›

The monthly adoption assistance payments are determined based upon the child's special needs and the adoptive family's circumstances. Assistance is considered for the following types of special needs: Exceptional initial placement expenses. Special maintenance.

How much is it to adopt a child in California? ›

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. These costs may cover everything from adoption attorney fees to licensing fees and everything else in between.


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