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Do You Have to Pay to Adopt a Child?

The Reason Adoption Costs Money

Do you have to pay to adopt a child? It’s a question plenty of hopeful adoptive parents ask. The financial side of adoption is a mystery to most people, largely because the adoption process is misunderstood.

The short answer is, yes. You do have to pay to adopt. What you are paying for, and how much you pay, depends on a number of factors. The type of adoption you pursue, the adoption professional you choose to work with and the unique details of your adoption situation will all impact what paying for adoption means for you.

This can be a difficult topic to discuss for multiple reasons. First, it can make people feel uncomfortable. We’ll dive into why that is later on. Second, the detailed answer to the question, “How much do you have to pay for adoption?” will depend on your unique adoption situation. To have a more detailed discussion with an adoption professional about paying to adopt, you can request free information here. 

Prospective birth mothers can get more information on adoption costs and the potential for financial assistance by completing this online form to connect with a professional. 

In the meantime, let’s go over the important facts about paying for adoption.

Does Adoption Cost Money?

Yes, it does cost money to adopt a child. While some types of adoption are less expensive than others, all adoption involves some sort of financial cost. This cost will be influenced by a number of variables, like the type of adoption you choose and the adoption professional you work with.

When determining how much it will take to pay for adoption, seek out adoption professionals who are completely honest and transparent. If an adoption agency is hiding some of its adoption fees, that may be a sign that they are not right to work with. The best way to approach paying for adoption is to be totally open about what it will cost, which is exactly what American Adoptions is committed to doing.

Why Does it Cost to Adopt a Child? What Are You Paying For?

One of the reasons the topic of paying for adoption makes a lot of people uncomfortable is the personal nature of adoption. We are talking about children — about a birth mother making a brave choice and an adoptive family showing a courageous level of love and commitment. Something about bringing money into that equation feels wrong, but that is largely because of a misunderstanding about what the money goes toward.

Do you have to pay for adoption? Yes, but you are not “buying a child.” That false idea, that paying for adoption is some sort of transaction for the baby, is what can make many people feel uncomfortable about the subject. However, the cost of adoption is not in any way a transaction for a child. Rather, you have to pay for adoption because of the costs associated with the adoption process.

The legal, medical and professional work needed to complete a responsible, ethical and legal domestic infant adoption is extensive. The adoption process can be complex. It requires attorneys, physicians, social workers, counselors and administrators — not to mention the other aspects of an adoption agency, like advertising, that help find successful adoption opportunities for hopeful adoptive families. When a family is paying for adoption, they are paying to support all of these necessary functions.

Licensed adoption agencies operate within the boundaries and requirements of federal laws, state laws and other regulations. These are all safeguards to ensure that everyone involved in the adoption — the prospective birth mother, the hopeful adoptive family and the child — are treated fairly. In order to meet these standards and provide the best services possible, adoptive families do have to pay to adopt.

How to Pay for an Adoption

Where does the money actually go? How do you pay for an adoption?

In nearly all cases, your money will go to your adoption agency. They will distribute it to the right places and make sure every dollar is used correctly. For example, one part of the cost of adoption covers prospective birth mother expenses, such as medical care and allowable living expenses. Rather than handle this directly, you will send the adoption fees to your agency, which will ensure the correct distribution of funds. In this regard, it is always important to work with an adoption agency that is fully licensed, which ensures that the adoption process will be held to the highest ethical and legal standards.

Hopefully this guide has given you a better understanding about your question, “Do you pay for adoption?” For more information, or to learn about how you can start your adoption process, request free information here.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do we need to retain our own attorney?

No, American Adoptions has established relationships with some of the best adoption attorneys in the nation. Because adoption laws vary from state to state and between counties, it is important to utilize the services of an adoption attorney who specializes in the state where the adoption will finalize, which is unknown until you match with an expectant mother. You have the right to retain your own attorney, but doing so may be an additional, unnecessary expense.

Can we choose the gender of our baby?

American Adoptions does not allow gender specificity in adoption. Any family who wishes to be gender-specific in their adoption should contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION and ask about the possibility of an exception waiver before taking any other steps toward adoption with our agency. Any families who do receive an exception to be gender-specific may also incur an additional fee, which helps cover the additional advertising costs of such a request.

Please note that gender specificity will likely increase your wait time significantly.

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