Costs to Adopt

Costs of Adoption for LGBTQ Moms

The cost to adopt a child ranges from free up to $70,000. It’s difficult to predict the exact outlay you may face to build your family through adoption because each situation is unique. There are, however, some general ranges that may be helpful.

  • Costs by Type of Adoption

    • Domestic Adoption through an Adoption Agency – $30,000 – $50,000
    • Independent Private Adoption – $20,000 – $50,000
    • International Adoption – $30,000 to $70,000
    • Foster-to-Adopt – free to $2,000
  • Factors that Influence Cost

    There are many factors that influence the cost of adoption. For example expenses paid to the birthmother, advertising costs, and legal fees can vary greatly state-by-state and case-by-case. The type of adoption also has an affect on cost. Adoptions through agencies usually require agency fees, independent adoptions may carry higher advertising costs in order to locate a child and international adoptions typically require higher legal and travel expenses.

    The length of the process also has an impact on cost. Hundreds of thousands of families are built through adoption each year, however, sometimes it takes multiple attempts to achieve a successful adoption, each one adding to the overall cost.

    Fostering-to-adopt from a public child welfare agency usually involves few, if any, costs to the adoptive family as it is funded by the state. Foster parents receive money to help cover the costs of caring for the child, as well as medical assistance.

  • Where Does the Money Go?

    Some common adoption expenses include*:

    • Legal fees (May include costs in different states or countries)
    • Court fees
    • Expenses paid to the birth mother (As permitted by state law, you may be required to pay for some of the birth mother’s expenses, such as medical fees, living expenses and counseling.)
    • Travel expenses
    • Advertising costs
    • Agency fees
    • Home study fees

    *Some fees and expenses are not refundable should either the birth mother or adoptive parents change their minds.

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