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5 Common Questions About Adoption Costs

And American Adoptions' Policies on Each

Because adoption is an emotional, personal journey for hopeful adoptive families, conversations about the cost of adoption can be uncomfortable. How can you put a price on something as important as building your family?

Getting comfortable with an adoption professional and asking all the questions you have about adoption costs can better prepare you for the process of starting or growing your family.

Even though all adoption professionals share the same goal of building families through adoption, not all provide the same level of service and use the same fee structure to determine the cost of adopting a child in the U.S. 

This guide will answer five of the most common questions hopeful adoptive families have asked us about adoption costs.

Why Choose American Adoptions?

  • Short wait times
  • We protect your budget
  • A licensed, regulated agency

Learn more about the advantages of choosing American Adoptions, here.

5 Adoption Cost Questions to Ask Your Adoption Professional

At American Adoptions, we are committed to complete transparency concerning the cost of adopting a child. An adoptive family deserves to know how much the process will cost and exactly what type of service they will be receiving in return.

While some professionals, like adoption consultants and adoption facilitators, mislead families about their fees, you won’t find that with American Adoptions. If you’re wondering how much it costs to adopt, you’ve come to the right place.

So, along with the following five adoption cost questions, you can also see our policies on each.

This is in hopes of showing you, with 100% clarity, that we are here for you every step of the way and will make your expenses worth every penny.

1. What is Included in the Total Cost of Adoption with Your Agency?

When you are conducting your research, the total cost of adopting a child is important to your budget planning.

This may seem obvious, but the total cost of adoption may end up quite different than the quote you receive from some agencies if you’re not careful.

There are adoption professionals whose original cost estimate lowballs the actual total cost, which results in surprise fees you aren’t prepared for as the process goes along.

When you receive a quote from an adoption professional for services during the adoption process, ask specifically what is included in that quote.

Questions to Consider:

  • Does it include living expenses, medical expenses, legal and termination fees, agency fees and advertising fees?

  • Is the agency fee a fixed fee?

  • Is it possible that there will be additional fees down the line?

  • Are the fees set on an expiring contract?

Depending on the answers these professionals give you should help determine how much you’re willing to spend on their total cost of adoption.

With American Adoptions, our total average adoption costs include:

  • Living and medical expenses for the birth parent and baby

  • Legal fees

  • Agency fees

  • Marketing and advertising fees

  • Travel for the agency (if necessary)

Our agency fees are fixed, and we will never give a low quote to make our agency look better.We believe in the excellent services our team provides and in being completely honest with any prospective adoptive family about the cost of adoption.

2. What Expenses Are Variable with Your Agency?

Every adoption situation is unique, and certain expenses usually vary based on your specific circumstance.

These include adoption costs pertaining to the prospective birth parents, such as:

These adoption costs are going to be flexible with any professional. Additionally, some agencies charge other types of variable expenses like living, legal and medical costs that can greatly increase or decrease your cost of adoption.

But, American Adoptions includes variable expenses in the average total cost of adoption quoted to you.

Advertising is one of the most common expenses to increase the longer it takes to find your family an adoption opportunity.

Other adoption professionals might not be straightforward about how many prospective birth parents or hopeful adoptive families they are working with.

Wait times will fluctuate depending on how many people one professional assists. But, with American Adoptions, our advertising costs are clearly laid out from the beginning.

3. How Does Your Agency Make Sure the Cost of Adoption Stays within Our Adoption Budget?

Even though the variable expenses listed above may shift during the adoption process, you still set a budget at the beginning of your adoption.

Different adoption professionals have different ways of keeping the total cost of adoption in the U.S. within your set budget.

Some of these ways are more effective than others. Sometimes, variable expenses can push the overall cost of adoption beyond a family’s set budget. For example:

  • What happens if the prospective birth mother is unable to get on Medicaid, dramatically increasing medical expenses?

  • What happens if all of the family’s advertising funds have been used without finding an adoption opportunity?

  • Will you be forced to spend over your budget? What if that isn’t an option?

These are just a few examples of questions you should ask an adoption professional about the cost of adopting a baby.

American Adoptions’ families have an opportunity to set the boundaries for their adoption through an Adoption Planning Questionnaire.

This is a chance to outline what you are looking for in an adoption situation, and also to set a maximum budget for the adoption plan with the help of your adoption specialist.

If you are presented with a situation but certain criteria or the cost of the adoption is above or outside the criteria set forth in your questionnaire, you may decline the situation.

But, many of the families who are faced with this choice decide to accept the adoption opportunity and find ways to meet the new criteria.

4. How Are Birth Parent Expenses Handled with Your Agency?

Birth parent expenses are the court-approved funds that adoptive families provide to prospective birth parents to help cover their pregnancy-related expenses. This can include items such as:

  • Rent

  • Maternity clothing

  • Utilities

  • Personal hygiene

  • Groceries

Birth parent expenses contribute to total adoption costs, and the way an adoption professional handles these expenses is important.

At American Adoptions, an adoption specialist works with each prospective birth parent to assess their personal needs and help create a budget based on both their needs and applicable state law.

American Adoptions then follows the budget and guidelines for the provision of living expenses, attempting to directly pay third parties such as:

  • Landlords

  • Doctors

  • And utility companies

This ensures that all of the adoptive family’s funds are used in the correct way while helping control the cost of adopting a baby.

Why Choose American Adoptions?

  • Short wait times
  • We protect your budget
  • A licensed, regulated agency

Learn more about the advantages of choosing American Adoptions, here.

5. What Happens if the Prospective Birth Parent Chooses to Parent?

Adoption disruptions are not extremely common, but they are possible. Any hopeful adoptive parent should be aware of this.

If you are in an adoption that doesn’t work out, what happens to the funds you have already put toward the adoption?

The answer depends on who you work with. The most common answer, unfortunately, is that you have lost that money.

That means that an adoption disruption will not only be emotionally difficult but also financially challenging.

We don’t believe that a disruption should derail your dreams of becoming a family, which is why we provide financial protection. Since 2009, our financial protection has saved families more than $4.6 million.

When an adoption doesn’t work out, we put your money back in your pocket so that you can carry on with your dream of building a family.

This approach gives you the most security and freedom. It also keeps your advertising expense valid, so you may immediately regain active status to pursue new adoption opportunities if or when you’re ready.


These are more common questions American Adoptions receive about the cost of adoption, but there are plenty more from hopeful adoptive parents.

Why Choose American Adoptions?

  • Short wait times
  • We protect your budget
  • A licensed, regulated agency

Learn more about the advantages of choosing American Adoptions, here.

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