Raymond W. Godwin

Assisting Families For More Than 25 Years

Our Practice Is Limited to Adoption & Children's Law

Breaking Down the Costs of Adoption

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One of the most daunting issues for many people considering adoption is the financial aspect. It's true that adoptions can range anywhere from $0 (if you adopt through foster care) to $50,000 (if you adopt internationally). In addition, the costs of going through an agency can vary greatly from adopting privately through an attorney. On average, a domestic infant adoption costs around $25,000, but there are a lot of factors that play into these numbers, and you don't have to worry about coming up with all of the money up front.

Because the fees connected with adoption are constantly changing, please contact our office for an up-to-date figure on the costs for your adoption plan.

The following is a breakdown of the most common fees that are associated with adoption. But with anything that requires you invest your hard-earned money, be sure to do your research first.

1. Attorney's fees: Attorney's fees can vary greatly depending on how involved they are in your adoption. If you are working with an agency, then the attorney's responsibilities come in just during finalization and will cost you much less. But remember, you will also be paying agency fees, which can be quite a bit higher than solely working with an attorney. Also, your attorney's fees can be lower if you have matched yourself to a birthmother. The more you can do for yourself, the less your attorney's fees will be.

2. Advertising costs: This fee can be lower depending on where you are advertising and how often you want to advertise.

3. Birth mother's obstetrical and delivery bill: This is actually a very uncommon cost as most birth mothers have their own insurance or receive Medicaid. But you need to be prepared just in case this is something you will need to cover. Remember, though, that when you take care of the birth mother, you are also taking care of the baby. Ensuring that she receives proper care will ensure that the baby is receiving proper care.

4. Counseling for birth mother: This is more often a cost incurred from working with an agency or an attorney whose practice is mainly adoption, which will most likely offer this type of service to the birth mother. Many birth mothers do not expect this to be paid for by the adoptive couple, but it is something to consider as you look into different types of adoption.

5. Birth mother's hospital bill: These fees can, of course, vary, based on how complicated the labor and delivery is. But few adoptive couples are ever responsible for this bill as most birth mothers have some sort of insurance or Medicaid.

6. Infant's hospital nursery bill: You may or may not be responsible for paying this bill, depending on your hospital's policy. Some will hold you responsible if they know you are adopting the child, while others will file the infant under the birth mother's insurance, since you haven't finalized yet. Be sure to talk to your attorney to find out what you are responsible for.

7. Infant's medication, pediatric exam, and circumcision: These fees vary, but your insurance should be able to help you navigate these costs.

8. Living expenses: In many states, a birth mother is allowed to ask for living expenses during her pregnancy and for up to six weeks post-partum. One of the ways you can cut these costs down is to be sure to not be matched with a birth mother until she is at least six months pregnant. You may also be able to find someone who is willing to provide housing for the birth mom or ask your church or friends to help with covering her utilities or providing her groceries for her.

These are just the most common expenses to expect when adopting domestically. You may also have to think about travel expenses if you are adopting from another state or country. But beware of an agency or attorney who asks for all of the fees upfront. Most reputable agencies and attorneys will allow you to break up the fees as you proceed with the adoption, and many will roll over a portion of the fees to another adoption if your adoption is disrupted. Also, be sure to keep a careful record of all your expenses as you may be eligible for the adoption tax credit.

If adoption is something you want to pursue, then don't let money be an obstacle. There are so many ways to afford adoption, and these expenses can be minimal if you do your research and come prepared.

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We can't express enough the appreciation that we have for Ray Godwin. He is well-respected by adoptive families and birth mothers alike for both his candor and his concern for all involved in the adoption process.

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