Adoption Cost

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Adoption cost in the United States is influenced by a number of possible factors. One is the type of adoption, whether it be public or private, domestic or international. Another is the state of adoption. A third is whether the agency charges a fee based on family income. Another is the country of origin of a foreign-born child.

The Range of Adoption Costs

The fundamental breakdown in adoption cost is across four types. First are domestic agency adoptions. Second are domestic private agencies. Third are domestic independent adoptions. Fourth are international adoptions, whether private agency or independent adoptions.

There are several categories of adoption cost. One is the agency fees. These include application fee, pre-placement preparation, post-placement supervision, parent physical health exams, and sometimes psychiatric evaluation. The range for a domestic adoption is roughly from $1,300 to $6,000. For an international adoption, the agency fee in the adoption cost is considerably higher, from $10,000 to $30,000.

Attorney fees figure into adoption costs as well. These involve document preparation and court petition, and range from about $2,500 to $20,000. Advertising runs from $500 to $5,000. Birth parent expenses include medical and living expenses, legal representation, and counseling. These might range from $1,500 to $20,000.


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