What is the total cost of adoption?

Father holding is newly adopted son in a chest carrier

Many people — expectant mothers and adoptive parents especially — often ask the question: How much does adoption cost? As a nationwide Christian open adoption agency, Lifetime Adoption has an intimate understanding of the answers to this question.

However, let us state at the outset that working with Lifetime means there is never any cost to birth parents to place a child for adoption. All services from Lifetime are free to place a child for adoption. There is help for expectant mothers with the financial burden of pregnancy including adoption legal fees, pregnancy-related expenses, and medical bills not covered by insurance and counseling fees.

Adoptive parents choosing to adopt a child through Lifetime Adoption pay a one-time flat fee that covers all of Lifetime’s services, including those provided to expectant parents. Still, the question “how much does it cost to adopt a baby?” actually requires something of a multifaceted answer since there are many ways to help defray those costs through a variety of helpful funding mechanisms

Adoption Costs: A Partial Breakdown

Nationally, adoption costs can range anywhere from $0 to more than $50,000. The overall costs for domestic infant adoption can vary based on multiple factors, which we list below. It can also vary based on whether you use an agency or an attorney to facilitate your adoption plans.

To determine how much it costs to adopt a child in the United States we must consider the cost of the adoption process itself alongside a wide range of other potential expenses. These additional costs can — and often do — include travel expenses, legal fees for adoption attorneys, adoption agency fees, birth mother expenses if any, and more.

Finally, we must also take into account the cost of the initial home study, which can range from $1,500 to $5,000. This includes a review of documents, interviews with family members, and background checks. This provides our team with a quality overview of a potential new home for the child as well as an initial assessment of the adopting parents.

Adoption Costs and Options

As you can see, the total cost of adoption can vary situation by situation and state by state. That being said, adoptions from Lifetime Adoptions tend to be more affordable than other professionals, with greater success, less failed adoptions, and more services for your money. Our fee is a one-time flat fee, allowing you to set up a budget and plan for what you intend to spend.

The most important thing of all is to find a loving home for the children. We work with expectant mothers across the nation. It is on their behalf and in honor of their loving choice that we work so hard and look so far and wide to find suitable homes for their children.

For more information on financing an adoption or on adoption grants, please click here.

Federal Adoption Tax Credit

Lifetime Adoption also suggests that you consider the availability of the Federal Adoption Tax Credit. This can help you with the costs of adoption and is currently set at $14,080 per child. There’s lots of fine print, so it’s a good idea to do some research.

“Tax benefits for adoption,” the IRS writes, “include both a tax credit for qualified adoption expenses paid to adopt an eligible child and an exclusion from income for employer-provided adoption assistance. The credit is nonrefundable, which means it’s limited to your tax liability for the year. However, any credit in excess of your tax liability may be carried forward for up to five years. The maximum amount (dollar limit) for 2019 is $14,080 per child.”

The credit can be applied to offset adoption costs such as legal fees, adoption program fees, home study costs, and other expenses.

As you review our material on financing an adoption, please remember that Lifetime Adoption is here to help answer any questions you may have about the cost of adoption. For birth parents, we’re available via phone call or text 24 hours a day. Our number is 1-800-923-6784. Adoptive parents can reach us by calling 530-271-1740 or by utilizing the resources located on our contact page.

About the Cost of Adoption

As the National Adoption Foundation puts it, the costs “should not scare parents from attempting to adopt. It is important to remember that the cost varies depending upon how the parents choose to adopt and that there are grant programs available to help with the cost of adoption.”

The Foundation also lists basic expenses for adoption, including:

  • Evaluation and training of prospective parents
  • Child abuse and criminal background checks
  • Medical evaluations
  • Cost of childbirth itself (prenatal and postnatal)
  • Potential court costs
  • Post-adoption counseling for birth parents
  • Post-adoption monitoring for adoptive parents

Lifetime Adoption

At Lifetime Adoption, birth mothers receive our services for free. This includes access to an extraordinary amount of information, counseling, and continuing education opportunities.

We are pioneers in our field. In fact, we were the first agency of its kind to feature an online adoption platform.  For more than 30 years, we’ve built a vital network that connects birth parents with adoptive parents.

Our specialty is in assisting birth families through the open adoption process — no matter where they reside in the U.S. Lifetime helps find good homes for about 15 children every month. Most (about 92%) are newborns. We do not handle adoptions involving teens. Furthermore, although we can and do work with American military members serving overseas, we do not do international adoptions.

Get in touch with us today. We’re ready to speak with you about the costs of adoption, the types of adoption, or anything adoption-related.

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There are many factors that affect the total costs of adoption, so the average cost of adoption varies for each situation.

Our adoptions tend to be more affordable than other professionals, with greater success, less failed adoptions, and more services for your money. Our fee is a one-time flat fee, allowing you to set up a budget and plan for what you intend to spend.

Our fee is paid by adoptive parents for a two-year contract. In special circumstances, there are adoption grants for families to help defray the cost of adoption in order to find loving homes for children. Click here to find out more information about adoption grants that may be available to you.

To learn more about the cost of Lifetime’s adoption services and adoptive family fees, please request more information here.

Adoptive parents will need to budget for fixed and flexible adoption costs. Attorney and home study fees are definite, whereas location and travel costs may be considered flexible expenses. If the child is in another state, you will need to plan for travel expenses. Another expense is photo and printing costs for your family profiles. In addition, some states allow adoptive parents to pay pregnancy related expenses for the birth mother, if they wish. Adoptive parents let us know their budget in advance and we work toward keeping this in mind when a birth parent has expenses. Please note, however, that some state laws prohibit adopting parents from paying birth mother expenses. You’ll need to check with your attorney to see what, if any, birth mother expenses you would be allowed to pay.

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