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Why is adoption so expensive?

My husband'd co-worker and his wife are wanting to adopt a baby. He told my husband that they are looking at spending about 20 thousand dollars on adoption fees. Why does it have to be so expensive? What does all the money go toward?

Answer Question

Asked by Miss-Baby-Baker at 12:57 AM on Jul. 2, 2010 in Adoption

Level 7 (188 Credits)
Answers (18)
  • I don't know, but I don't think it's right that SO MANY babies are sitting without parents, yet it's so expensive. I understand the thorough checks and evaluations of the adoptive parents, but I don't think it's fair that there are people who would be great parents, and very much able financially to support a baby, yet they can't because they don't have $30k saved up.

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 1:02 AM on Jul. 2, 2010

  • I understand that lawyer fees are expensive, but 20 thousand dollars worth? It doesn't make sense. If you go up to someone and offer them 20 thousand for their baby, they would look at that person as sick. Life doesn't have a price, but yet if people want to adopt, it does. Very odd.

    Comment by Miss-Baby-Baker (original poster) at 1:05 AM on Jul. 2, 2010

  • Some agencies require adoptive parents to pay hospital fees, counseling fees, homestudies, background checks, traveling if the birth mother lives far away. I think there should be a detailed invoice of where every penny went and agencies should be non profit.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 8:05 AM on Jul. 2, 2010

  • LovingSAHMommy, babies usually get adopted very quickly, so I don't think it's quite accurate to say that babies are waiting for homes. Very young children are usually not hard to place. The kids who are waiting for homes tend to be older, and they have experienced a great deal of trauma in their young lives (abuse or neglect). Some of them will only be allowed to go to homes with no other children, with is one thing that makes them hard to place. Others have some very difficult behaviors which are a sort of acting out of their frustrations.

    Our most expensive adoption was $10,000 plus the legal fees, and the agency is non-profit. The fees go toward paying for the full-time social worker, the lawyer on call, counseling for women facing an untimely pregnancy, etc.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 9:20 AM on Jul. 2, 2010

  • There are ways to adopt for free- it is called foster-adopt. There are infants available as well as many older children. The laws vary from state to state as to requirements.
    Domestic infant adoption- fees go towards- background checks for prospective adoptive parents, social worker fees for homestudies, attorney fees, paperwork fees, as well as travel fees if going out of state. Again, it varies by agency/attorney and state.

    International- We adopted from China. Our adoption was $26K. Fees included were:
    Homestudy- 4 visits with a social worker ( $3600)
    Agency fee- $3000
    Birth certificates-$60
    Marriage certificates -$10 each
    Medicals- $15 co-pays 4 having paperwork completed was a fee
    Septic tank inspection-$60
    Fingerprints- county (free) state- $30 twice, federal ($280)
    USCIS documents- $610 twice
    passport pics- $16
    state seal-$130
    country seal-$270

    Answer by mcginnisc at 9:35 AM on Jul. 2, 2010

  • ergh...
    Notary fees- $5 per page
    County authentication- $2 per page
    China fees- $5000 ( this is the fee that China charges to process documents)
    Travel for 3 weeks for 2- $2150 ( 2 hotels for 16 nights, meals, 1 in country flight, sight seeing tours, guides, and transportation)
    Flights- $1361 round trip for each adult and $931 for dd's one way trip home
    Chinese fees in country- $3450 ( visa fee, passport fee, notary fee, and orphanage donation fee)
    The US government does give an adoption tax credit of $12K now. When we were able to get it the credit was $11,360 it has increased in the past 3 years though. It is also possible to get employer benefits towards adoption.



    Answer by mcginnisc at 9:41 AM on Jul. 2, 2010

  • Thank you for sharing that. Homestudy fees, fixing up your home to be ready, guardian ad litem, couture processing fees, medical for mom and child, travel fees, and other type of things a state requires adds up. Plus, yes - a lawyer fee as well. So it is not all just greedy lawyers. Even not for profits - which we used - have fees. It is not necessarily always greed involved in every corner. I have known a few greedy lawyers and agencies. I do not recommend them to friends.

    Answer by frogdawg at 10:37 AM on Jul. 2, 2010

  • I just want to make sure no one thought I was calling anyone greedy and I know there are non profits agencies. I have heard of some people saying they paid more than 40-50 grand to adopt. That is ridiculous.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 10:43 AM on Jul. 2, 2010

  • It's simple supply and demand. For every newborn that becomes available for adoption there are about 40 hopeful couples willing to pay to become parents. $20k isn't even that much for adoption, often it's $40k and even $60k isn't unheard of. Just because an agency is non-profit it doesn't mean the workers are volunteers; they still make a living at it. A lot of money is spent on advertising and marketing for women in crisis pregnancy to become birth mothers. Check out my journal about a facillitator that says they spend millions


    Answer by onethentwins at 12:36 PM on Jul. 2, 2010

  • Cont... on the other hand if you adopt from the Foster Care System it can be very inexpensive or even free. Older children and children with special needs are hard to place. Again simple supply and demand.

    Answer by onethentwins at 12:38 PM on Jul. 2, 2010

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