There are two types of domestic adoption that occur in the United States. One is public adoptions and the other is private adoptions.

Public adoptions are facilitated by government-funded organizations that deal with involuntary placements of children whose parents were deemed unfit or unable to raise their children. These adoptions are typically at little to no cost to the adoptive couple, as your tax dollars are indirectly paying for the public services to assist with the foster care system and state adoptions.

Private adoptions are voluntary placements by birth parents. These adoptions are not government-funded, nor do private agencies receive tax dollars to assist and help offset the cost associated with the entire placement. In these types of adoptions, the adoptive couples incur the total cost of the adoption. The total average cost of these adoptions can be broken up into several categories based on the needs of the birth mothers who are voluntarily relinquishing their parental rights. Those categories typically include:

  • advertising to locate the potential birth parents
  • counseling and relinquishment proceedings
  • living expenses needed by the birth mother during her pregnancy
  • medical expenses that are uncovered, but needed by the birth mother and/or child
  • foster care, if needed
  • legal and termination fees to finalize the matter in a court of law

Normally in private adoptions, not all fees are due upfront based on the agency you choose and the policies and procedures of that agency.