Many couples are initially overwhelmed by the costs of adopting, but many factors contribute to the costs of adoption, including the costs of necessary legal work, advertising or networking fees, travel expenses, among others.
Understanding the Costs of Adopting Domestically and Internationally
Domestic and international adoption each have unique costs. Couples adopting internationally will have to worry about the cost of a visa. Conversely, couples adopting domestically may be asked to provide living expenses for the expectant mother, such as help with rent or utility payments, and services, like birth parent counseling, which are atypical expenses in international adoptions. Additionally, the costs of adopting internationally vary according to the country, the amount of required travel and the quality of services provided by the international adoption professional.
Both types of adoption require advertising and networking to find matches for families, but methods, and therefore costs, differ. Home study costs also vary between the two types of adoption.
But some of the costs of adopting are consistent. Fees for professional services for adoptive families, like counseling and education, should be expected. One of the important costs of adoption is the legal work; sound legal counsel is indispensable in creating a safe and secure adoption. Lastly, medical expenses for the adopted child and/or the delivery and hospital expenses should be expected among the costs of adopting.
Comparing Costs of Adoption Among Adoption Professionals
Adoption professionals have different fee structures and at-risk fees, which makes comparisons challenging. It is important to thoroughly understand the risks associated with each adoption professional and explore the different types of adoption professionals.
Adoptive clients often ask, "Should I pick a program that is less expensive than other programs?" The costs of adopting come down to several factors: quality of service, safety and time. An adoption professional who charges less may sacrifice safety or service or have lengthier wait times. You will have to ask yourself if lower costs of adoption are worth such a sacrifice.
Unfortunately, not all adoption professionals are regulated. Their fee estimates cannot be verified, and their services are not monitored by an outside independent government body. This makes it difficult to determine the quality of services. Meanwhile, professionals who are properly regulated must adhere to state laws and regulations. While regulations help with safety, the government does not track wait times, so you still must do your own research to verify the accuracy of an adoption professional’s reported wait times.
As with any financial endeavor, adoption requires families to weigh cost and benefit against each other, but it’s important to understand that the costs of adopting should correlate with services and wait times offered by an adoption professional.
Read the following to learn more about the costs of private adoption, or to speak with an Adoption Specialist to learn more about the costs of adopting with American Adoptions, call 1-800-ADOPTION.
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