One of the first questions many families have during the adoption process is associated with its cost: How much income do you have to make to be able to adopt a child?
Though the income requirements for adoption don’t necessarily specify a certain dollar amount for adoptive parents to reach, adoption can be expensive, and an adoptive family’s finances will be considered as part of the screening and home study process. Parents wishing to adopt will have to prove that they are able to cover the expenses associated with adopting a child and, at minimum, most adoption professionals require prospective adoptive parents to make an income above the federal poverty level.
Whether the adoptive family is brand-new to parenting or has experience in financially supporting a child, this means that the process of adoption requires a significant amount of financial planning.
To understand whether you are financially prepared for the adoption process, you can learn more about adoption requirements with American Adoptions here. In the meantime, we’ve outlined some information that may help you better assess your financial readiness to adopt below.
Understanding Adoption Costs
Families choosing to adopt an infant are also choosing to make a big financial commitment. If a family is adopting within the U.S., the total cost of their adoption will depend on a number of factors, including the professionals they work with and the state where their adoption takes place. On average, a private domestic adoption will cost adoptive families $35,000–$50,000. With American Adoptions, these costs include the following services necessary for a successful adoption:
- Professional services for adoptive parents such as counseling, educational preparation, and general case management
- Professional services for birth parents, such as initial screening, 24/7 support, and post-placement counseling
- Birth parent expenses including delivery and hospital costs not covered by insurance
- Newborn care and services
- Legal expenses
- Investigative expenses such as state and local background screenings
- Adoptive family and birth parent correspondence
- Media and advertising across the country to ensure adoption opportunities
While these adoption costs can sometimes seem overwhelming, it’s important to understand that every fee involved in the adoption process serves an important purpose; there are many services and professionals necessary to ensure the most successful adoption possible.
There are also less expensive forms of adoption families can consider if they don’t feel prepared to meet the financial requirements for an infant adoption. For example, foster care adoption often costs very little — and sometimes, nothing at all. For families who are open to adopting an older child or sibling group, but who are not prepared to spend as much on their adoption, adopting from foster care can be a wonderful solution.
The Financial Requirements of Adoption
To make sure you are prepared for the financial commitment of adoption, your financial situation will be considered as part of the adoption home study. All states require that the adoptive parents undergo a home study process, which assesses hopeful adoptive parents to make sure they’re emotionally and financially prepared to welcome an adopted child into a stable, loving home. The evaluation of the parents’ finances will vary depending on the professionals they work with and their state’s requirements, so be sure to ask for the specific income requirements for adoption when choosing the home study professional that is right for you.
In general, most home studies will include an evaluation of the following documents:
- A report of overall family income, assets, and debt ratio
- Verification of family income (through a tax document such as a 1040 or W-2 form)
- Proof of health insurance
- Breakdown of monthly living expenses and other costs
- A credit check
The main goal of this evaluation isn’t to determine that an adoptive family is wealthy, but to verify that they are living within their means and maintaining enough of a surplus to cover the financial responsibilities of raising a potential adopted child.
Covering the Expenses
If a family falls short of the financial requirements to adopt, they still have several options to help them continue with the adoption process. These include:
- Filing for an adoption tax credit: How much you can claim depends on the type of adoption and the year in which it is completed, so make sure to stay current with the tax credit requirements that match your needs.
- Applying for grants and loans: This type of aid is made available through some insurance policies, religious organizations, private grants, and special loan programs. Do your research to find which ones are right for you.
- Hosting fundraisers: Many families have successfully raised money for their adoptions by holding community events such as car washes, ice cream socials, and bigger events like a 5K run or walk.
- Considering other forms of adoption: If an adoptive family doesn’t have the financial means to afford an infant adoption, they might consider adopting from foster care; total foster adoption costs are often $2,500 or less, and some expenses may even be reimbursed by the state.
If you’re worried about how much money you have to make to adopt a child, the financial hurdles of adoption can be made more attainable by preparing your finances ahead of time. Setting a budget, living within your means, and setting aside savings early can help prepare you for the financial responsibilities of adoption and ultimately, to care for your new child.
To learn more about the income requirements for adoption with American Adoptions, call 1-800-ADOPTION today or request free adoption information.
Having my own child has been a dream of mine but sadly I can not. I am on state help and want to adopt and collect ssdi. Do I still qualify to adopt a child through foster care?
Hi, Amanda — American Adoptions only completes private domestic infant adoptions, so we recommend you contact a local foster care adoption agency or your Department of Social Services to find out more about income requirements for adoptive families. Good luck!
I have just ine question I am an adult but I live with my mom will I be able to become a parent or would I need to benefit living by myself to adopt.
Hi, Star — All residents in your home will have to undergo the home study investigation: https://www.americanadoptions.com/adopt/home_study As long as your mother passes these clearances, you should be approved to adopt. But, we encourage you to speak with our adoption specialists at 1-800-ADOPTION for more information about adopting in your particular situation.
Hi I just have a quick question. I’m about to move out of my parents house and I want to look into adoption. But, I want to know how much is the financial requirement is to adopt a child? Like do you have to make so much to adopt.
Hi, Elizabeth — We encourage you to call our adoption specialists at 1-800-ADOPTION for more information on this topic!
Hi, i am a single female with own house and an 46 000 annual income, do you think is enough financially to adopt a baby or infant?
Hi, Andrea — We encourage you to call our adoption specialists anytime at 1-800-ADOPTION for more information about our agency’s requirements to adopt. Thanks!
I want to adopt a baby, bt don’t want my husband involved in, is it possible an what are the process, does it cost any pennies? Do I hv right to chose kind of gender an color I want.Thank you.
Hello — If a couple is married, both spouses must be on board and actively involved in the adoption process. For more information, please call our adoption specialists at 1-800-ADOPTION.
I’m moving and getting a new job soon. The house I’m moving into needs a little work. My friend just found out she’s pregnant and doesn’t want it. I am prior service so will that affect my adopting her baby?
Hi, Siera — Your veteran status shouldn’t affect your ability to adopt. However, we encourage you to reach out to our adoption specialists at 1-800-ADOPTION or to a local adoption attorney for more information on an identified adoption process like this. Good luck!
I’m currently on SSdi my husband is employed we’ve been married 27 years interested in fostering to adopt 3 to 5 year old.Please return my reply
Hi, Kendra — American Adoptions only completes private domestic infant adoptions, so we encourage you to reach out to a local foster care agency or your Department of Social Services to start this process. Best of luck!
I would like to adopt a child. And i work as a cashier. Do i qualify to be a adoptive parent.
Hi, there — Please contact our adoption specialists at 1-800-ADOPTION for more information about our agency’s adoption requirements. Thanks!
And this is why the foster system is so full, women chose abortion, and people rather adopt from foreign countries. This is disgusting!
You seem to have misunderstood this article. It’s actually 100% free for a pregnant woman to place a child for adoption. And, adopting from a foreign country is actually far more expensive than adopting within the U.S.
Adopting a child from foster care is almost 100% free for the adoptive parents.
We encourage you to read the following:
I live in the projects and I’m on welfare I want to adopt a child instead of bringing more kids into this world. I’m a mother of two and I would love to grown my family with more children.
Hello my name is Sherita i have no children I would love to adopt an infant new born but am worried about cost are their any program that could assist me if so what is
Yes, there are adoption grants and loans that can help with the costs. You can learn more about this type of assistance here: https://www.americanadoptions.com/adopt/adoption_loans
My new husband wants to adopt my two daughters from a previous marriage. Does the above financial statements apply? Is it different? Do we need a home study?
You’ll need to ask your attorney if a home study is required in your case, but typically, no. And, no, the financial requirements here do not apply to stepparent adoptions. Legally adopting a stepchild is less involved, so it costs less and is a relatively quick process!
Reach out to a local family law practice to learn more- they’ll be best equipped to answer your questions!
Hello I’m here in the DMV AREA IM LOOKING TO ADOPT A NEW BORN IM LOOKING TO DO THOS AS SOON POSSIBLE.I HAVE A SSI INCOME.BUT IM PROVIDING VERY WELL FOR MY SELF TO THE POINT I KNOW I CAN TAKE ON THE RESPONSIBILITY OF CARING FOR A CHILD .WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF BEING ABLE TO ADOPT ?
Hi Am Rahab .Am one month pregnant.Am looking for someone to adopt my unborn child.i don’t know the procedure but all am looking for is a loving caring and able family.
Hi Rahab — For information on placing a child for adoption, please contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our free online form to get more information!