close menu

“What does adoption mean to a child?”

Watch Video
Call 1-800-ADOPTION Contact us anytime, an adoption professional is here to help Free Info Free Info

Get Free Info

How Much Does It Cost To Adopt A Child?

A List of Private Adoption Costs

Easily the most common question we are asked is "How much does it cost to adopt a child?"

There are many factors that determine how much it costs to adopt a child, including:

  • whether you adopt through a domestic adoption agency, a domestic independent adoption, an international adoption professional or the foster care system.

  • the variable adoption expenses (medical, legal, living) required to complete the adoption.

  • the type of adoption professional you choose and how they structure their costs.

American Adoptions specializes in private domestic adoptions of healthy newborns for adoptive couples. Our average total adoption costs for our two adoption programs are:

  • Traditional Program: $44,000 - $48,000

  • Agency-Assisted Program: $40,000 - $43,000

Adoption Costs Benefits of American Adoptions

American Adoptions includes several important benefits worked into our total adoption costs, all of which helped our adoptive families collectively save hundreds of thousands of dollars last year:

1. Fixed Agency Fees

Our agency fees remain fixed regardless of the total cost of the adoption or the number of hours required by our staff to complete the entire adoption process.

2. Refunds

On average, 75 percent of adoptive families receive a refund from their adoption, ranging from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. American Adoptions always prepares families financially for the worst-case scenario by collecting medical expenses to cover any retainers, co-pays or out-of-pocket medical expenses not covered by Medicaid or other insurances. Once the adoption is finalized and all final billing is complete, unused money for medical expenses is given directly back to the adoptive family.

3. Adoption Disruption Insurance/No Rollover Policy

Most adoption professionals are unable to offer any kind of adoption disruption insurance, but the ones who do usually use a “rollover” process, meaning they roll your lost money over into a future adoption situation. So what are the disadvantages of this policy?

  • You and your money are stuck with the adoption professional in hopes that you will receive another adoption opportunity, yet there is no guarantee that you will.

  • If you locate an adoption opportunity with another adoption professional, you are unable to pursue it with the money you’ve already invested.

  • If the adoption professional goes out of business, your money is lost forever.

Instead of using the rollover process, American Adoptions makes it very simple for families with our Risk-Sharing Program. In the event of an adoption disruption, any post-activation money you’ve invested with our agency, such as living expenses, medical expenses, legal expenses, termination expenses and fixed agency fees are directly refunded to you so that you can pursue another adoption situation immediately. Even though some families suffer emotional disappointments, they never suffer financial disappointments.

If you are concerned with how much adopting a child may cost, remember that you set your maximum adoption budget and will be presented adoption situations of women who fall within or below your budget based on the total cost of the adoption. You may also be presented with adoption situations where the adoption cost is above your budget, based on the birth mother’s circumstances throughout her pregnancy. You are not obligated to accept these adoption opportunities; however, many families have pursued these situations outside of their budget because they were able to adopt sooner.

List of Private Adoption Costs with American Adoptions

Some prospective adoptive families wonder why it costs a significant amount of money to adopt a child, especially when the cost of foster care adoption is minimal.

The following is an itemized list of American Adoptions’ services and fees required to successfully complete an adoption:

Professional Services for Adoptive Parents

  • Counseling and educational preparation for adopting a child

  • Orientation conferences, meetings and adoption seminars

  • Arrange, coordinate and oversee entire adoption process

  • Support and education throughout adoption process

  • Contact with home study professional

  • Hospital documentation, retrieval of medical records

  • General case management services and file documentation

  • Risk-Sharing Program in the event of a disruption

  • Post-adoption support gatherings and events

Professional Services for Birth Parents

  • Screening and evaluating of birth parents’ commitment to adoption

  • Adoption counseling and education

  • 24/7 support throughout adoption process

  • Develop adoption plan around birth mother’s needs and wishes

  • Develop hospital plan and coordinate with health professionals

  • Arrange housing and travel arrangements if necessary

  • Post-placement adoption counseling

  • Birth Mother Scholarship Fund

Birth Parent Expenses

Newborn Care and Services

  • Hospital costs not covered by Medicaid or insurance

  • Original birth certificates

  • Physical examinations by a pediatrician

  • Any necessary foster care services

Legal Expenses

  • Termination of parental rights, including publications, court costs, attorney fees

  • Finalization of adoption

  • Legal counsel for adoptive family and birth mother based on state laws

  • Court reporting services

Investigative Expenses

  • State and local background screenings

  • State abuse registry clearances

  • Diligent search for birth fathers

Adoptive Family and Birth Parent Correspondence


  • Extensive advertising: Google/Bing, Yellow Pages, crisis pregnancy centers, hospital/maternity wards, networking with other adoption professionals, branding and marketing across the country 

  • Internal media team: Dedicated to consistenly improving and building affiliate website to stay high on search engine rankings, all in an effort to locate as many adoption opportunities as possible for our adoptive families.

  • Adoptive Family Profile services

  • Adoptive Family Video Profile services

  • Website updates and maintenance

Office Expenses

  • Rent

  • Phones

  • Office Supplies

  • Postage

  • Utilities


  • Salaries

  • Health insurance

  • Mileage reimbursement

This is just a brief look into the overall process of growing a family through adoption. To learn more details about how much it costs to adopt a child with American Adoptions, call 1-800-ADOPTION today or request free adoption information.

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 accepts a limited number of families into our gender-specific program. Please contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION to learn whether we are currently accepting families into this program. With this option, families pay an additional Gender-Specific Fee to help our agency locate and work with birth mothers meeting this additional criterion. This fee is in addition to other program fees and covers additional advertising. The fee is not considered part of your adoption budget. 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