Just How Much Does Adoption Really Cost?

How much does it cost to adopt? via Babble.comA few weeks ago I asked on Facebook what questions you all had about adoption. We’ve been looking at our side of it for so long I often forget that most people know very little about the unique process.

The number one answer back to me was, “How much does it really cost to adopt?” So I’m going to tell you; from popular international programs to domestic. These aren’t exact figures, because every agency/attorney/situation is different, but they are close enough to get a good idea.

Keep in mind these numbers are before tax credits, employer benefits, or grants. You may have a small heart attack while looking at these, but thousands of regular people (like us) adopt every year. It can be done. There are many programs out there that help with costs.

While it seems like a small fortune, these costs keep things legal, legit, and according to Holt International, include but are not limited to: “costs for personnel, administrative overhead, training, education, legal services and communications, working with government and agency authorities, legal fees, and passport and U.S. visa fees in the child’s country. The fees also cover costs related to the care of your child prior to adoption, including but not limited to costs for food, clothing, shelter, medical care, foster care, orphanage care, and any other services provided directly to your child. It also includes any mandatory donations required by child welfare authorities. This fee may also cover child welfare projects in your child’s country of origin.”

Each country varies in prices, but this should give you a good idea. So click below to get started:

  • India 1 of 13
    It takes 2-3 years to bring a child home. Couples must be married for at least 5 years.
    Source: The Adoption Guide
  • Russia 2 of 13
    Parents must make 2-3 trips over. Russian government focuses on the mental and physical health of prospective parents.
    Source: The Adoption Guide
  • China 3 of 13
    China has a very long wait time of around 4-6 years, with strict income guidelines and a law of one parent being 35 or older.
    Source: Holt International
  • Bulgaria 4 of 13
    Most children are over the age of 5. Married couples and singles can adopt.
    Source: The Adoption Guide
  • Vietnam 5 of 13
    This program is currently suspended in the U.S.
    Source: Holt International
  • U.S. Foster Adoption 6 of 13
    U.S. Foster Adoption
    Up to $5,000
    The costs depend on who you work with for the adoption (agency, social services, attorney). In 2009, the average wait of a child from foster care to adoption was 30 months.
    Source: The Adoption Guide
  • Ethiopia 7 of 13
    In 2010, 43% of children adopted were 1-4 years old. Wait times vary.
    Source: The Adoption Guide
  • S. Korea 8 of 13
    S. Korea
    Usually 1-4 years wait time with children who have moderate to severe special needs being placed quicker.
    Source: Holt International
  • U.S. Domestic Infant Adoption 9 of 13
    U.S. Domestic Infant Adoption
    $25,000-$40,000 or more.
    Usually a short wait time, but costs vary depending on agency or private attorney.
    Source: The Adoption Guide
  • Thailand 10 of 13
    Wait time is 24-30 months with both parents staying for 1-2 weeks there.
    Source: Holt International
  • Haiti 11 of 13
    Mostly older children, one parent must be 35 or older to adopt.
    Source: The Adoption Guide
  • Poland 12 of 13
    Parents must take two trips. First trip approximately two weeks, second trip one week.
    Source: The Adoption Guide
  • Ghana 13 of 13
    Parents must be at least 25 years old and 21 years older than the child with a 1-1 1/2 year wait time.
    Source: The Adoption Guide

All photos from MorgueFile 


Diana blogs on raising a toddler daughter, the loss of her twin boys, and their families’ Korean adoption in progress on the aptly named Hormonal Imbalances.

Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter and Facebook, and pinning working hard on Pinterest.


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