Adoption Cost

How much does adoption cost?

Adopting a child is a decision that needs to be carefully thought out, and a process that is often complex. As far as costs go, there can be great variety in the amount you will have to pay depending upon the method of adoption you follow.

General Cost

• If you follow the standard route and adopt from the US foster care system then there may be no cost at all. Those costs that may occur will be small. There is also a system of benefits and subsidies that may be available in select states.
• If you are adopting a step-child the cost is likely to be very low indeed.
• Private adoptions, and international adoptions, can be costly affairs with figures anywhere between $5,000 and $40,000 dollars.
• Expenses such as travel costs and legal state requirements may add to the bill.
• The birthmother may have a right to a fee, this being dependent upon the state or country in which the adoption is taking place.
Any legal expenses must also be taken into account when considering adoption costs.
• Agency fees should be agreed in advance and may be costly.

Extra Cost

• Adopting a child with special needs entitles the parent to a subsidy known as Adoption Assistant Payments, or AAP.
• The amount provided is not linked to the parents’ earnings but to the severity of the disability the child suffers from.
• The average AAP payment is in the region of $350 per month across the USA.
• AAP is not taxable as it is not classed as income.


• Use only licensed adoption agencies.
• Be wary of any request for immediate payment of fees – these are likely to be scams.
• Make sure you take professional legal advice throughout the process.
• Explore the possibility of adoption loans.
• Tax credits are available for some adoption parents.
• Be aware that international adoptions do not qualify for AAP payments.


• For those in the military, investigate the Military Adoption Benefits that may be applicable to your case.
• Look into the possibility of Employer benefits – widely provided by many major employers in the USA.
• Use the internet to search for advice and information in your area.

This brief look at adoption costs will not have covered all the bases but is a general guide to adopting in the in the USA. Make sure that you investigate all aspects of adoption before committing to what will be a life changing decision.

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