What Will You Spend Trying To Adopt A Baby?

Adoptive parents with baby

Ever wondered how much your adoption might cost? It's not unheard of to spend $40,000-$50,000 or more to adopt a child. But a lot will depend on the precise situation you are looking for. Adopting a newborn, adopting through foster care, employing an attorney or an agency, domestic versus international adoption - these are just some of the variants that might affect the total cost. But adopting may not always be as pricey as we have come to expect. A recent study in the NY Times compares the adoption choices of three different families to help illustrate these variations. And while these are just individual cases and not necessarily indicative of national averages, the findings are somewhat surprising.

Adopting through foster care.
While adopting through foster care may not be for everyone, any associated fees are often subsidized by the government. In fact, the family featured in the Times piece receives a monthly stipend of $1000 and other excellent means of support, making this the least expensive option to adopt by far.

Agency adoption.
Traditionally, this is considered the most expensive adoption path. And yet the parent featured in Times study managed to keep expenses down by receiving an adoption grant in the amount of $13,000. The professional fees from her agency were also waived ($15,000) because of the fact that her child was considered special needs. The final cost for her adoption is a manageable $20,000.

International adoption. The third family featured in the story adopted a child from South Africa. And while they had to spend six weeks living there, the cost of the adoption is a reasonable $21,000.

So is it realistic to think your adoption might cost $20,000 or less? Perhaps not. But for families willing to think outside of the box and explore, there are certainly some cost-saving options. Grants and other means of funding are available. Everyone knows adoption is still expensive and perhaps unreasonably so. But if adoption is really what you want, then you have likely already reached the conclusion that it is totally worth it.