What It Costs

A few days ago, the New York Times had an article titled What I Spent To Adopt My Child.  Sharing some statistics, facts and excerpts today.

Each adoption process shares the same ultimate purpose: to unite children who need families with those that want children. Yet, despite this common goal, the price tag of adoption in the United States varies widely.

The cost depends on what path you choose: If adopting through the public foster care system, your total out-of-pocket expenses can be next to nothing. If you hope to adopt a newborn, however, the cost can reach $45,000 or sometimes higher if you’re adopting from outside the country.

There are two main paths to adopt an infant in the United States: through a lawyer, often referred to as an “independent adoption,” or through an agency. An independent adoption can cost $15,000 to $40,000.  My youngest sister chose through a lawyer.  Some of her living and medical expenses were covered by the adoptive parents.  Prospective parents are responsible for finding a birth mother.  My sister received several packets from hopeful adoptive parents and shared them with me for my own impressions about her choice.  Her choice was always her own and she always knew she was going to surrender her baby from early on in her pregnancy.

My other sister’s surrender went through an agency.  When adopting through an agency, costs can vary by state, ranging from $20,000 to $45,000.  The cost covers organizational, legal and medical expenses. And all agencies operate differently.  It is up to the prospective parents to carefully review what is and is not covered in their rate prior to signing with any agency.

One same sex male couple in this article who adopted a 9 year boy out of Foster Care comes the closest to one of the better outcomes.  Older children in Foster Care need loving and stable homes more than most of the infant adoptions (which are primarily due to financially unsupported mothers).  This couple recently celebrated 14 years of marriage.  Seems stable enough to me.  One of the partners in this relationship is an adult adoptee.  When asked to total the out-of-pocket expenses this couple allocated toward their adoption, one said, “At the risk of sounding glib — gas money. Otherwise, nothing. No processing fees, or surprise $1,000 bills here and there, and that’s very typical of the foster care experience.”

You can search the NY Times for this article.  I’ll even give you the link – What I Spent To Adopt My Child.

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