How to Fund an Adoption
While the cost of a private adoption may vary state to state, the average cost is $20,000 to $30,000.
In a private adoption (agency or independent), the expenses are typically born by the adoptive parent or parents. These expenses may include: adoption agency fees; attorney fees (for an attorney for the adoptive parents and sometimes, an attorney for the birth parents); medical and other living expenses for the birth mother; foster care expenses; process servers; filing fees; and birth certificate revision fees.
You, as the adoptive parent or parents, will have to decide how you will fund the expense of adoption. You may need to consider preparing for adoption by beginning to save for the eventual expenses. You may also need to consider refinancing your home, borrowing money from family and friends, taking out a loan, or using a credit card.
You can also research and apply for grants. In 2015, for its 25th anniversary celebration, the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA) founded the Family Formation Charitable Trust to which you can apply for a grant and/or assistance towards the adoption process (and ART methods of family formation). There are other organizations that provide this same type of assistance to families. A simple internet search will reveal numerous options.
Lastly, when planning for the expenses of adoption, you should educate yourself on the Adoption Tax Credit. Its purpose is to help American families afford adoption. Calculating your future tax liability could help you decide how to borrow and from who and for how long a period.
Prospective adoptive parents who are struggling to fund a private adoption may want to consider adopting from foster care. Most expenses in an adoption from foster care (also known as a public adoption) are paid for by the state or county with custody of the child. The adoptive family may even receive an ongoing subsidy for adopting a child from foster care with special needs. Learn more about adopting from foster care.