close menu

Does it Cost Money to Put a Child Up for Adoption?

15 Questions About How to Find Adoptive Parents for Free

Because financial hardship is one of the reasons you might be considering placing your baby for adoption, you might also be wondering, “Does putting a child up for adoption cost the mother money?” 

The answer is: No, it does not cost anything to place your baby for adoption. 

To get free, basic information about adoption, contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION now or start by browsing profiles of waiting adoptive parents.

At American Adoptions, it is always 100% free to put a baby up for adoption. As a prospective birth mother, one hundred percent of your expenses are paid for through financial assistance with our agency and by the adoptive family. Some of the services that we cover for you include:

  • Free 24/7 support and counseling

  • Free adoption planning and case management services

  • Free medical care for you and your baby

  • Free legal services to ensure your rights are protected

  • Free financial support through living expenses for things like rent, groceries, and utilities, depending on your circumstances

  • And more

These zero-cost services help keep you on track toward a successful adoption and ensure you are getting the best support and resources available. 

To find out what adoption financial assistance you might be eligible for and to get free information about adoption, contact us online or by calling 1-800-ADOPTION. Until then, keep reading to find answers to 15 questions expectant parents have about how much putting a baby up for adoption costs:

“Does Putting a Baby Up for Adoption Cost Money” and 15 Other Questions Women Ask

When you’re financially struggling and unable to provide for a baby at this time, you may find yourself wondering, “Does it cost to give a child up for adoption?” Or, “How do I find an adoptive family for my baby for free?”

Here are 15 questions pregnant women have asked about the costs of placing a baby for adoption:

1. “Is adoption free for pregnant mothers?”

Yes. Adoption is always free for pregnant mothers. Not only is putting a child up for adoption free, but you may also be eligible to receive financial support.

Jessica, a birth mom and one of our scholarship recipients, talks about how her financial struggles were one reason why she chose adoption for her daughter.

“It was a difficult decision being that I already had two kids, was recently divorced from their father and also took care of my disabled mother. I also love and adore kids. But financially, I could not afford another child. I was already struggling to make ends meet since the divorce,” Jessica explains. “I knew it was the right decision.”

2. “Is giving a baby up for adoption free for the biological father, too?”

Yes. Some expectant fathers are involved in helping the expectant mother place their baby for adoption. Adoption is free for both expectant parents as they navigate this experience together. 

3. “Will it cost me money if I’m looking for a family to adopt my baby for free?”

Free profiles of adoptive families are available here. It does not cost you any money to look at profiles of potential parents for your baby, to learn more about that family, or to choose them as your baby’s family. 

From start to finish, the entire process of placing your baby for adoption is free. 

We know that financial strain can be scary, and you’re worried for the future of your baby. Adoption is one way to give you and your child the futures you deserve, and it’s what birth mom Cori chose. 

“I continued to wait tables throughout my pregnancy, and I continued to barely get by. The bills kept adding up and the mere thought of taking on another child was so daunting and overwhelming that it kept me awake and pacing the floors on a nightly basis,” Cori says. “I miss him, but I know how wonderful his life is and will be. He will have a loving, secure home to rest his head in for the rest of his life.”

4. “How much does it cost to give a child up to the state versus working with a private adoption agency?”

Many pregnant women assume that it will cost them money to place their baby through a private adoption agency, so they believe that relinquishing their child to the state (foster care) is their only option. However, it’s 100% free to place your child through an adoption agency, and it actually gives you more options and rights than you’d have if Child Protective Services were to get involved. (For example, the right to choose your child’s adoptive parents and to have an open adoption.)

Additionally, a parent can’t voluntarily give their child to the state in most cases, but they can choose to place their baby with a permanent family through a licensed adoption agency. 

5. “Does giving a baby up for adoption cost money if you do it through an adoption agency?”

No. It is 100% free to place your baby for adoption through American Adoptions, or any agency.

Not only is “giving up a baby for adoption” free, but you also have access to free services that include: 

  • Free help finding and choosing the right family for your child.
  • Unlimited access to free profiles of waiting families who have been screened and approved to adopt a baby.
  • Free medical care for you and the baby.
  • A free attorney throughout the legal steps, separate from the adoptive family’s representation.
  • Free counseling and emotional support before, during and after the adoption.
  • Financial support for things like your rent, groceries and utilities, depending on your eligibility.
  • And much more.

If you’re financially struggling and think that parenting this baby might not be best for you and your family, you’re not alone. Janelle and her husband were excited to have a child, but when they found out they were having twins they knew they weren’t financially prepared. 

“We were having trouble paying our bills and our rent and affording food, and that was when we made the decision to look into adoption,” Janelle says. “[There was] no hesitation going into the adoption process... I already loved the babies, even though they weren’t born, and I knew that’s what they needed. For me, there was no question after I made that decision.”

6. “Does it cost to do adoption for my baby if we don’t work with an adoption agency?”

No. It’s always free to choose adoption for your baby. However, we encourage you to work with a licensed professional like American Adoptions for your safety. Agencies like us help ensure that you are never responsible for any pregnancy- or adoption-related costs, and they can also provide you with access to free services you might not otherwise receive. 

By working with a licensed agency, you can also get financial assistance to cover living expenses during your pregnancy, such as rent, utilities, groceries and more. Some women are financially struggling to the point of facing homelessness. American Adoptions can help you continue to pay your rent or can help you find someplace where you can hopefully stay long after your child is born. 

Sara was in a similar situation and was living with her mother. When her mother made it clear she couldn’t afford to allow Sara and her 3-year-old to stay, Sara told her, “‘I'm pregnant, I'm placing the baby up for adoption and they’re going to help me get a place.’” And we did. “It was a really stressful day but things continuously got better,” Sara said.

Tara received similar support, which helped her get back on her feet. “American Adoptions also helped me by providing me with a place to live and the resources I needed to get back on my feet. I am very thankful to them for that,” Tara said.

7. “Is putting a baby up for adoption free for the people who adopt my baby, too? Do they get money to adopt my child?”

Adoption is always free for the pregnant mother. However, that means that the adoptive family and agency will cover the woman’s pregnancy- and adoption-related costs. 

In foster care, the foster family may receive a small stipend to help offset some childcare costs. In a permanent adoption, adoptive families do not receive financial incentives – they simply want to be parents.

8. “How much does putting a baby up for adoption cost if I want counseling services?”

It is 100% free to place a baby for adoption, and the services that you receive through American Adoptions are also free. That includes free counseling services before, during and after the adoption, to ensure that you feel informed and supported.

The adoption process is an emotional time, and having someone to talk to about your feelings is essential to a healthy adoption process. Whether you have an important question needing to be answered, an emergency, or you just need someone to talk to, we’ll be here. Your adoption specialist will be available by phone 24/7 for support, education, and counseling — all at no cost to you.

9. “Does putting a child up for adoption cost money for the biological parents after the adoption process is complete?”

No. Before, during and after the process, adoption is free for the birth parents. If you choose to place your baby for adoption, you will never be responsible for any costs incurred by the child. The adoptive parents become financially, legally and emotionally responsible for the child.

Additionally, you’ll have continued access to several ongoing birth parent resources for free after the adoption, should you ever need them. This includes:

  • Post-adoption counseling
  • Scholarship opportunities to eligible birth parents
  • Referrals to helpful post-adoption resources
  • Post-adoption communication support between you, your child, and the adoptive family for up to 18 years if you choose an open adoption
  • Help with navigating direct post-adoption communication between you, your child, and the adoptive family if you choose an open adoption
  • And more

Watch this video to learn more about birth parent living expenses and how it can help you stay afloat throughout your pregnancy and beyond:

10. “Do you pay to put your child up for adoption if the child is already born, or an older child?”

Not all adoption agencies are licensed to complete the adoptions of older children. However, it is always free to place a baby or child for adoption, whether you’re:

  • Thinking about adoption for your unborn baby
  • In labor at the hospital
  • Recovering in the hospital after delivery
  • At home with your newborn
  • Or even after you’ve been parenting your child

If you feel that’s what’s best for you and your child, you can still choose adoption, and it’s still free.

11. “How much does giving a baby up for adoption cost in medical fees?”

Nothing. When it comes to medical expenses, the average cost of “giving a baby up” for adoption is $0. That's because when you are “giving up” a baby for adoption, fees not covered by insurance or Medicaid will be paid for by the adoptive family. 

American Adoptions will help you receive prenatal care (if you haven’t already), as well as any other medical care you or your baby might need for a healthy pregnancy. We will also work closely with you to create an adoption hospital plan that perfectly fits your wishes for when your due date arrives.

Having an adoption birth plan in place allows you to focus on a healthy pregnancy without worrying about the costs of medical bills.

12. “When it comes to legal fees for the potential birth parents, how much is putting a baby up for adoption?”

Nothing. American Adoptions and the adoptive family will cover the cost of your attorney and legal expenses. Your attorney is separate from the adoptive parents’, to ensure you are fairly and equally represented throughout the legal steps of your adoption. These legal services, like every service you receive throughout your adoption process, will be completely free to you.

13. “What about maternity leave and time off from work? Does it cost to put your baby up for adoption in that sense?” 

You will need to take time off to recover from childbirth, and we know this can be a scary thought if you’re financially struggling. So, these two facts may help ease your mind:

  • Parental leave for adoption works similarly to traditional maternity leave, in most cases. Parental leave for both the birth mother and the adoptive parents is protected by the FMLA. American Adoptions can give you the tools you need to talk to your employer about giving you appropriate time to physically recover.​
  • You may be eligible to receive living expenses to help you cover lost wages, rent, utilities, and other bills. Your American Adoptions specialist will work with you to understand your financial needs during your pregnancy, and then make sure you receive the living expenses for which you are eligible by your state laws and court-ruled financial need.

We’ll help set you up for success after the adoption is complete, so you won’t be left unemployed and struggling as a result of your pregnancy.

14. “Why is it free to give a baby up for adoption?”

Facing an unplanned pregnancy is stressful, and choosing adoption for your baby is one of the most emotionally challenging decisions you’ll ever have to make. It takes great love and many physical, mental, and emotional sacrifices to give this incredible gift to your child and to another family — it shouldn’t take financial sacrifices, as well. That’s why there are no costs to put a baby up for adoption. 

Pregnancy and childbirth alone can be extremely costly, let alone the cost of raising that baby. This is why many women choose adoption for their children. Through adoption, they’re able to have the costs of their pregnancy and delivery taken care of, and they’re also able to ensure that their baby will be taken care of — emotionally, mentally, and physically, as well as financially.

15. “What else should I know about how much cost to put a child for adoption?”

One of the reasons why many women choose adoption is because they’re not financially prepared for this baby at this time. So, not only is putting a baby up for adoption free, but you may also be eligible for financial assistance in the form of living expenses.

You’ll also receive all of the services of your adoption process for free. When you place a baby with a family through American Adoptions, it means that you’ll receive free counseling before, during, and after the adoption; free medical and legal services; the support system you need, and so much more.

We understand this is one of the biggest and toughest decisions you’ll make in your life, but it can also be one of the best. Call us at 1-800-ADOPTION or contact us online now for free adoption information.


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

Request Free Information
View More Waiting Familes
Want to speak to someone who has chosen adoption?
Meet Michelle — A Proud Birth Mom
Ask an Adoption Question