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Understanding Adoption Costs

Jan 02, 2017

There a millions of individuals around the world who would like to adopt a child. Whether due to fertility issues, an understanding of the need for adoptive parents, or simply to have a diverse family, the costs for adoption can be, at times, an enigma. However, there is no simple answer as to what the true cost of adoption is. These numbers vary greatly depending on the type of adoption that is being pursued, and it can get quite costly in certain circumstances. Below are a few of the costs that adoptive parents can expect to pay when going through the adoption process.

An Adoption Attorney

When people are adopting a child, it is absolutely imperative to hire a well-seasoned adoption attorney. Adoption attorneys oversee all of the intricacies of an adoption that include legal advice, paperwork, monitoring and negotiating additional adoption costs, as well as enforcing the rights of both birth and adoptive parents. This is, in and of itself, an expense that must be budgeted for. Adoption attorney Felice Webster mentions that although other lawyers may be able to assist, and could possibly be less costly, adoption attorneys are part of a specialized field of law and have a very unique scope of service that are specific to the adoption process. Therefore, hiring an adoption attorney is a valid and necessary expense to factor into an adoptive parent's budget.

Adoption Agencies

An adoption agency will do a lot of the legwork for parents who wish to adopt a child. They can sometimes be a sort of one-stop-shop for adoptive parents depending on which type of adoption they are considering. Adoption and foster care expert Jill Boyer recommends that people looking to adopt research the agencies that handle their desired type of adoption. This helps to rule out any illegitimate organizations or those that have questionable practices. In addition, this research should provide potential adoptive parents with a fee schedule and list of services that will help illustrate the cost for working with a specific agency. It is important to remember that although you can have a lot the process taken care of by an agency, you should not feel limited to using all of their services if there are other service providers and organizations that have been recommended for specialized aspects of your adoption. Nonetheless, this is a cost that should be considered.

Medical Costs

Some potential parents are unaware that there are medical costs that are included with adoptions. With an international adoption, adoptive parents may be responsible for vaccinations, medical tests in order for their new child to gain access to the United States and be approved for travel, as well as costs incurred to diagnose or treat any illness the child may have. Domestically, parents adopting newborns have a few more options. Adoption attorney Stephen Ravel reveals that, luckily, private health insurance, state, and federal programs often cover the costs of prenatal care for the birth mother and any costs incurred during her labor and delivery. Ravel also mentions that his firm (and possibly others) sometimes covers the costs of medical care until such time as all parties involved are satisfied that the adoption will be successful. Once the adoption has occurred, the adoptive parents reimburse the firm.

A Birth Mother's Living Expenses

Domestic adoptions can also include the expenses of the birth mother during her pregnancy. These expenses are outside of medical care and can include living expenses as well as expenses for keeping the birth mother healthy throughout the pregnancy. Many adoptive parents are more than willing to assist a birth mother with these costs, but as Webster advises, it is important to work with an agency or an adoption attorney who can navigate the system to ensure that all expenses are legitimate as well as legal within the jurisdiction that the adoption is occurring. She also explains that these expenses may only be payable through an agency or attorney, which is an excellent safeguard for adoptive parents who need to feel confident that the payments are being used for what they are intended for: the care of the birth mother to ensure a safe and comfortable pregnancy.

Although many expenses have been mentioned, there are other fees and costs that are associated with adoption that may need to be budgeted for. The best way to be prepared for these expenses is by working with a professional who is experienced with adoption and its state and federal laws. Researching and anticipating additional costs will ensure that the financial impact on adoptive parents isn't riddled with unexpected charges and costs that could prevent them from going forward with their adoption. When it comes to adoption costs, planning is everything.


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I never realized how costly adoption really is until we started getting into the process of it.

You technically don't have to pay the medical expenses but it is expected with most agencies.

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