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How adoption is the best option and what is it true cost?

The average cost of adoption option is high, but it is certainly more affordable for certain types of adoption than others. To learn more, read on.

You know first-hand how costly it is when you think of adoption, and how expensive it definitely becomes part of the question of if and when you should or will ever wish to adopt.

What I’ve learned is that for families across America who are struggling with the decision, the sheer expense is not an insignificant part of the adoption story. With the estimated cost of adoption in the U.S. at $43,000, the real cost depends on several different factors.


But I’m investigating the actual (humbling!) hard-line adoption numbers today to try to unpack how the cost varies depending on which route of adoption you end up deciding to go with.

What are the various adoption types and how adoption is the best option ?

There are a variety of different choices you can take if you decide that adoption is right for you.

Adoption from the agency is an adoption option

The most common form of adoption is agency adoption, also known as private adoption, which completes the entire adoption process, including helping you to find parents of birth. Adoption by the agency usually costs about $39,966 in the U.S.

Independent adoption option

when you want to adopt a child through Independent adoption without the support of an organization: you find an expectant mother or baby/child to adopt on your own, and to complete the legal process, you pay for an attorney or adoption agency.

Independent adoption, with an estimated cost of about $34,093, is one of the cheaper choices.

International adoption option

You’ll end up being very familiar with all the ins and outs of international adoption when you adopt a child from another world. This method works similarly to agency adoption, except you’ll work with agencies in whichever country you want to adopt from.

There is no denying that foreign adoptions are far more difficult than U.S.-based adoptions. There are several flights and you are generally supposed to stay in the country where adoption takes place for a long time. However, foreign adoption will take far less time than US adoption.

The most expensive path is for foreign adoptions. Here’s a sample of costs for international adoption:

  • China: 36,338,36 dollars
  • Ethiopia: 45,960 dollars
  • South Korea: 43,795 dollars

Foster care adoption option

The adoption of foster care is the least costly adoption process, with just $2,744 on average. You partner for the foster care system in your state, and you’ll be first on the list if you foster a child who could potentially be up for adoption.

Nevertheless, the aim of the foster care system is still to reunite families, but many foster children are never placed up for adoption. So this can be the most daunting way to expand your family.

How adoption works

I want to jump to unpacking more specifics of the actual operation. There are several steps, as you’ll see, and it’s important to try not to be overwhelmed by the process, especially because it’s a long one.

You need to do your research first on adoption option

There’s a lot to remember when you start thinking about adoption, to make sure it’s the right choice for you. The Adopt America Network is one of the most well-known adoptive family sites and I highly recommend it. But I’m going to share a few other great tools that I have found particularly useful:

Select a choice for adoption option

You’ll need to determine which adoption choice is the best for you once you’ve done your research. Here’s who each choice might be best for, to help you choose:

Adoption option by the Agency could be for you if…

  • The method of adoption is too difficult to handle on your own. Don’t worry, this is why many people have an agency.
  • You will pay a high price to be adopted.

Independent adoption option could be open to you if…

  • For any step of the adoption process, you want to make choices.
  • You already know someone who wants your child to be raised by you.
  • You can bear the higher price tag that comes with independent adoptions being arranged.

Internationally adoption option could be for you if…

Foster care adoption option may be for you if…

  • You are open to adopting a baby of any age.
  • You’re able to first foster a child and, if possible, adopt them.
  • You are searching for the most cost-effective approach to follow.

Complete a home study

When going through the adoption process, there are several phases, including a long application process and a home study.

The home study, required in many states, is usually a very long process and can take 3-6 months to complete. You and your family will need to go through interviews and have many home visits, where you will be met by your caseworker to collect the following data:

  • Background of the family, financial statements and references
  • Training and Occupation
  • Relationships and life in society
  • Regular Habits for Life
  • Experiences of parenting
  • Your home and neighborhood information
  • Readiness and reasons for your preference for adoption
  • References and verifications of history
  • Children’s approval and recommendation The best parent can do for your family

You should read this informative guide to get the full sense of how the home study method works.

A lot of waiting for a member of your family

A built-in and particularly lengthy aspect of the adoption process is the amount of waiting.

Many families use this time to plan for the newest member of their family, including making all the purchases required. Of course, it is also a good time to check your budget to ensure that you have an emergency fund in place.

FAQs for Adoption option

What is an open vs. a closed adoption?

Open adoption is when adoptive parents adopt and raise the infant, but there is always some interaction and role for the child’s birth mother and/or father in the life of your child. Closed adoption is when after the adoptive parents adopt the infant, the birth parents give up their rights to their child and have no relationship with them.

It is worth noting that it is becoming increasingly less popular for closed adoptions. Today, many mothers want to have an interaction with the child they are giving up for adoption.

Why is adoption so costly?

For every adoption process outside the foster system, you’ll be paying quite a lot to adopt your child. Agencies and attorneys are just not inexpensive.

To give you an example, you’ll be paying for the following when you adopt through an agency:

  • An adoption professional service fees
  • Networking Networking (to find a birth mother)
  • Fees for Home Research
  • Costs of Court
  • Costs of Travel
  • Expenses for the birth mother

Am I less likely to get a kid if I’m a single parent?

Children can be entirely adopted by single parents, but many organizations prefer well-educated married couples. So while you’re not less likely to be able to welcome a child as a single individual, you might be put on the waitlist below.

How long is the process of adoption taking?

Depending on the type of adoption you want and the age group you are able to adopt, how long the adoption process takes.

Almost always, adopting a baby will take more time than adopting an older child. You would also find that raising a child abroad takes less time than it does in the U.S.

Adopting by foster care is the easiest way to adopt a child because you’ll need to take less steps. You may be eligible to adopt a child within six-18 months via foster care.

Newborn adoptions can take two-seven years through an organization or independent adoption. It all depends on the credentials and how easily a birth mother can be identified.

It can also take years for foreign adoptions, but sometimes not as many as if you adopted them in the U.S. Such examples are here:

  • China: 4-5 years in China
  • Bulgaria: 1-2 years
  • DR Congo: a period of 3-6 months
  • Mexico: 3-6 months
  • 1-2 years in Nicaragua

How to begin saving for adoption?

Think ahead

The adoption process, as you can see, can also take years. So if you think that in the future you will be able to adopt, start planning years in advance. If that’s the path you want to pursue or prepare to become a foster parent, study adoption agencies.

Getting ahead of the game will only make you that much more prepared when you begin the long adoption process.

Start a savings account just for adoption fees

Opening a high-yield savings account is the perfect way to get started early. Some of the best online savings accounts offer upwards of 1 percent interest on your balance. So just by housing your money with the right bank, you can make some easy money.

The Capital One 360 Efficiency Savings is my personal favourite. On ANY balance, it provides 1.70% and it comes with zero fees. Because of how easy the mobile app is to use, one of the reasons I love this account. I may not only see my Capital One 360 account, but in one location, I can see all my Capital One accounts!

The CIT Savings Builder currently provides 1.80 percent APY if you are searching for a slightly higher APY. But you’re going to need to have a $25,000 OR deposit balance of at least $100 per month, which is a perfect motivation to start saving.

Set up insurance and a will for life

You’ll need to ensure that you have life insurance as well as a will when you welcome a child to your family.

Policygenius is an insurance aggregator that pulls all the premiums from numerous different lenders and arranges them at the best cost if you want to compare all your life insurance options at once. With a simple six-question questionnaire form, Trust & Will lets you decide whether to build a trust or a will.

Adoption alternatives

Artificial insemination

Usually, artificial insemination is sought out by couples who can’t naturally get pregnant by implanting sperm directly into the uterus of the woman. Artificial insemination is not expensive compared to adoption, and usually ranges from $300-$1,000 per cycle.

In vitro fertilization (IVF)

The sperm and the egg are fertilized with IVF in a laboratory and inserted in the uterus. You’re probably already aware that IVF isn’t cheap. In fact, it is often more costly than adoption because it often does not take several cycles in order for a woman to become pregnant. The average cost is between $40,000-$60,000 per period.


Usually, surrogacy is sought out by those who are unable to conceive a child and who do not want to adopt it. Usually, the best way to find a woman willing to be your surrogate is through a surrogacy agency. And the legal side of things is done by them.

Since many individuals go through an organization to find a surrogate, surrogacy is an extremely costly choice. Depending on the organization you use, it can vary anywhere from $50,000-$200,000.


The cost will range from a couple of thousand dollars to ~$50,000, depending on the form of adoption you decide to go for. Usually, the higher price is related to adoption services, while the lower rate is for adoption by foster care.

Bottom line: it takes time and resources for adoption.

In terms of adoption, no matter what path you plan to take, make sure you look at all your choices and start saving early so that you have enough funds to cover the steep cost.

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