Adopting a child is no easy task. It often comes with stress, worry and fear. One thing that the adoption process almost always comes with is a hefty bill.
When we started this nonprofit, many asked why we focused on adoption. The simple reason is that we believe that parents and children shouldn’t have to pay to be together. As far as we are concerned, if a parent can give unconditional love to a child in need, they should not have to fork out thousands of dollars to do so.
Yes, I said THOUSANDS! It is estimated that the average domestic adoption in the United States costs around $40,000.00. Many people are shocked to learn this and don’t understand how the bill could possibly rack up so high.
Here are the estimated costs associated with adoptions:
Agency Fee: $17,000
Agency adoptions are more expensive because of the actual relationship the agency have with each individual adoptive family and all birth parents. The agency provides counseling and support from the beginning to end by assisting in finding matches that work for both parties. Keep in mind that this average $17,000 cost is for just the application to be accepted as a client with a particular agency.
Legal Fees: $4.000
Due to the complicated process of adoptions, it’s vital to be mindful of the existence of legal fees. Depending on the agency, these meetings with lawyers may occur either at the site of the the agency or the legal firm working the case. Ultimately, the $4,000 projection could be much higher depending on the firm used and the overall complexity of the adoption.
Birth Mother Expenses: $3,000
As was the case with the legal fees, the expected cost related to birth mother expenses can differ significantly depending on the situation. Some factors capable of affecting this number:
- Insurance coverage: Do the birth parents have medical insurance or any other form of medical assistance? Are the adopting family covered by insurance?
- Unique needs of the birth mother and/or baby: During the birth process, does anything come up that will lead to an increased medical bill?
- Varying hospital costs: This amount is generally tough to judge, as hospitals costs can vary substantially depending on the area where they’re located.
Depending on how these factors play out, it’s not out of question to see the medical bills range from zero to $20,000-plus. Additionally, some of the legal fees are put to use here to ensure the money isn’t lost if the adoption fails to proceed.
In order to adopt, the family must first find a compatible pregnant mother. This isn’t something you can always achieve easily. In most cases, it takes significant advertising and networking to find the right fit. Whether it be newspaper advertisements or access to an agency’s extensive networks, the advertising fees are no nominal amount!
The breakdown of estimated costs from above are for an agency adoption. However, two other popular methods (independent and international adoptions) exist as well and will be discussed in detail on a future blog post.
At Hinkle Cares, we are committed to raising funds to help locals who wish to adopt. We believe that deserving parents shouldn’t have the financial burden that comes with adoption. This process is complex enough as it is. Through our partnership with Zoe’s House, we hope to create a worry-free adoption process!
(All financial figures in this article were taken from a survey completed by Adoptive Family Magazine and compiled by American Adoptions)