top

close menu

Get Free Info

Do You Have to Pay to Adopt a Child?

What to Expect to Pay in an Adoption

The financial side of adoption can be a mystery to many hopeful adoptive families. Plenty often wonder, “Does it cost money to adopt a child?”

The short answer: yes. You do have to pay to adopt. But, what you’re paying for and how much you pay will depend on a number of factors, such as:

  • The type of adoption you pursue

  • The adoption professional you choose to work with

  • The unique details of your adoption situation

If you have more specific questions about paying for adoption, you can get free information here or when you call us at 1-800-ADOPTION. Prospective birth parents can get more information on adoption costs and the potential for financial assistance when you complete this online form and connect with one of our adoption specialists today. 

In the meantime, let’s go over the important facts about how to pay for an adoption.

Why Does Adoption Cost Money?

Adoption is a life-changing process, and it has to be done well. That means there are highly important services provided by adoption agencies, social workers, attorneys and more. All of this protects the best interests of the birth parents, adoptive family and child.

Because something this important has to be handled with care, there are costs associated with the process.

While some types of adoption are less expensive than others, all adoption involves some sort of financial cost. There are a number of variables that will influence the cost of adoption, 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 professional, such as a consultant or facilitator is hiding some of its adoption fees, this may be a sign that they are not right to work with and you’re at risk of an adoption scam.

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.

As a full-service, fully licensed infant adoption agency, we’re your guide through every step of the process from the first phone call to the post-placement interactions. And, we’ll provide you with honest and transparent information about your adoption costs.

We also offer our Risk-Sharing Program. In the event of an adoption disruption, we will directly refund you the money you’ve spent on the adoption opportunity so that you can choose how you’d like to use it moving forward.

Since 2009, our program has saved adoptive families around $4.6 million, while other adoption professionals such as consultants and facilitators force you to repay some (if not all) adoption fees to continue pursuing your journey.

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

This can be a difficult topic to discuss for multiple reasons. For one, it can make people feel uncomfortable because of the personal nature of adoption.

We are talking about children — about a birth mother making a brave and selfless 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. But, the cost of adoption is not in any way a transaction for a child. Rather, you are paying to adopt because of the costs associated with the adoption process.

And, the adoption process can be complex. The legal, medical and professional work you need to complete a responsible, ethical and legal domestic infant adoption is extensive.

Your adoption journey will require:

  • Attorneys

  • Physicians

  • Social workers

  • Counselors

  • 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.

Additionally, licensed adoption agencies operate within the boundaries and requirements of:

  • Federal laws

  • State laws

  • 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 adoption cost covers prospective birth mother expenses, such as:

  • Medical care

  • Counseling

  • Allowable living expenses

Rather than handle this directly, you will send the adoption fees to your agency. The agency will establish the correct distribution of funds. In this regard, you should work with an adoption agency that is fully licensed. They will ensure that your adoption process will be held to the highest ethical and legal standards.

Hopefully, this guide has given you a better understanding of your question, “Does it cost money to pay for a child?” For more information on paying for adoption, or to learn about how you can start your adoption process, you can get free information here or when you call us at 1-800-ADOPTION.

Disclaimer
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.

Adoption Home Study

Adoption Home Study Process

Learn what a home study is and why you need one to adopt a child.

Read More

Home Study Questions and Answers

While adoption home studies vary slightly from agency to agency and state to state, there are several key elements that are almost always included in every home study.

Read More

Home Studies: State by State

Find a qualified professional in your state to complete your home study.

Read More
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.

Additional Resources

Adoption Newsletter

Did you know that American Adoptions offers a free bi-weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today to keep up-to-date on the latest in adoption news and information.

Sign Up

Famous Adoptions

Learn which famous Hollywood actors, sports stars, politicians and other icons have been touched by adoption.

Read More

Adoption Glossary

Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

Read More