How Much Does It Cost to Place My Child for Adoption?

by | Aug 11, 2023 | Birth Parent Blog

Young woman struggling to pay her bills and wondering about the cost of adoption If you’re thinking about adoption and worried about the financial situation surrounding your choice, you’re not alone. Many women have asked us, “How much does it cost to place my child for adoption?” and “Is adoption free?” While you might already know that parenting is very expensive, most people don’t discuss the money involved in placing a child for adoption.

This can bring up a lot of questions. Is adoption affordable for a birth mother? Is it something you can afford as a teenager or a young woman? Do you need to pay an adoption professional to put together a plan?

If financial difficulties are one of the reasons you might be considering adoption, you might also wonder, “Does putting a child up for adoption cost the mother money?” With Lifetime Adoption, putting a baby up for adoption is always completely free. As a birth mother, 100% of your expenses are paid through financial assistance from our agency and the adoptive parents you choose. Some of the services that are covered for you include:

  • Free 24/7 support and counseling
  • Free adoption planning services
  • No-cost medical care for you and your baby
  • Free legal services to ensure your rights as a birth parent are protected
  • Financial support through living expenses for things like groceries, rent, and utilities, depending on your situation
  • …and more!

These zero-cost services ensure you get the best support and resources available and help keep you on track toward a successful adoption.

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Adoption is Free for Birth Mothers

Adoption is very affordable for a birth mother. In fact, placing a child for adoption is completely free. You are giving another family an amazing gift, and you don’t have to experience financial hardship because of it. Lifetime understands that you’re making a major decision right now, and so we try to make the process as easy as possible for you.

While adoption is free, it’s good to have an understanding of the process involved in making an adoption plan for your child. We will help you learn more about the financial aspect involved in making your decision.

If you’d like to find out how much financial assistance you might be eligible for and to get free information about adoption, contact us by calling or texting 1-800-923-6784. Until then, keep reading to learn more about counseling, medical costs, legal fees, and pregnancy expenses involved with adoption.

What About Counseling?

Lifetime can connect you with a licensed third-party counselor, at no cost to you. Plus, you can talk to a birth mom who has placed her baby for adoption and gone through the journey herself. Speaking with a counselor will help you deal with grief, stress, and any other emotions that pop up as you think about adoption for your baby.

A licensed adoption counselor and peer support are available for you to speak with both before and after your baby’s birth. Having these resources available makes it so that you’re fully confident with the decision of adoption for your baby.

What About Medical Costs?

If you’re on private medical insurance or Medicaid, these should help pay for many of the costs of labor and delivery. Anything else not covered is generally paid for by the adoptive family you have chosen. They will also pay for any costs associated with sonograms and prenatal care.

We encourage you to put together an adoption hospital plan during your pregnancy. Your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime can discuss the costs of your medical bills, and the fees insurance may cover.

What About Legal Fees?

Your legal fees are also covered by the adoptive parents you’ve chosen. You may not realize that you might be working with a lawyer when you choose adoption, but they are there to help protect your rights. Your attorney will be experienced with adoptions and can walk you through the steps necessary, so you understand what you’re agreeing to.

Pregnant woman leaning against brick wall

What About Pregnancy Expenses?

Pregnancy expenses, like the time you have to take off work to have your baby, can be complicated. Then there are the additional expenses like rent, utilities, maternity clothing, and groceries. After all, your circumstances might have to change quite a bit when you are pregnant. You may be able to get help with your living expenses based on what state you live in. Keep in mind that adoption laws vary from state to state on these types of expenses. Your adoption attorney can help you understand the adoption laws in your state.

What About Post-Adoption Costs?

Some costs are associated with life after adoption. For example, you might need to seek therapy or counseling after placement. You might also need funds to go to school. Remember that the counseling which Lifetime connects you to is available before, during, and after the adoption happens. And it’s something that won’t cost you a dime.

Other helpful resources, including scholarship opportunities and help communicating with the adoptive family are also available. Your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime can help you learn more about the resources available to you.

Considering Cost in the Adoption Process

When you first began to think about adoption, the cost might have felt like a huge factor. After all, one of the first things you thought about your pregnancy might have been whether you could afford to become a parent.

You know what’s best for your baby, and you are the only one who can make this decision. Making the decision between parenting and adoption is one of the first things you can do for your baby. It’s an important decision, and you shouldn’t have to worry about costs when you try to work through it.

Pregnancy and childbirth can be expensive, and so can the cost of raising that baby. It’s because of this that many women choose adoption. So, not only is adoption free, you may also be eligible for financial assistance. Through adoption, you’re able to have your pregnancy and delivery costs taken care of for you. You’re also able to know that your baby will be taken care of emotionally, physically, and financially.

To learn more about adoption and get your questions answered, call or text Lifetime Adoption at

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 15, 2020, and has since been updated. 

Mardie Caldwell Certified Open Adoption Practitioner

Written by Mardie Caldwell Certified Open Adoption Practitioner

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is nationally recognized as an expert on open adoption. A Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P.), Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, established in 1986. She has assisted in over 2,000 successful adoptions and was one of the first adoption professionals on the Internet.

Caldwell’s life work is dedicated to educating and helping birth parents find the right adoptive parents for their child. She spreads the word about modern adoption through speaking appearances, webinars, online resources, and as a podcast show host.

She has written several award-winning books, including So I Was Thinking About Adoption, the first book of its kind. There are many reasons women choose adoption, and this short book is a comprehensive resource to make the best plan for you and your baby. Caldwell wrote So I Was Thinking About Adoption as a handy guide to the details of the adoption process.

Caldwell has made over 150 media appearances, including ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN Headline News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, and Dr. Laura.

Read More About Mardie Caldwell

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  1. Ashley Rodgers

    Hello, I am 28 years old and I’m wondering how much adopting a child would cost?

    I’ve worked with children in many different capacities (Childcare, Sunday School, Teaching) and although I enjoy working with them I would like to have a baby of my own.

    Any information would be appreciated.

    • Lifetime Adoption

      Hello Ashley,
      We would love to help you adopt! You can find lots of information on Lifetime’s successful nationwide domestic adoption program here on our website:

      If you have questions, please call Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784 and our adoption experts will assist you.

  2. Kayla

    I’m 27 and considering giving my baby up for adoption but I’m homeless and need shelter and utilities help during my pregnancy

    • Lifetime Adoption

      Hi Kayla,
      Thank you for reaching out! To learn about the assistance that may be available to you during your adoption journey, please call Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784.


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