When you decide to adopt a child, you have a variety of options. You can choose between a child of a specific age, gender, or race, or you can be open to any of the above. You can also choose if you want to try to adopt a baby from the U.S. or adopt from another country.
If you do decide to try an international adoption, then you will need to meet certain requirements. You will also need to pay for the adoption process. Today, we will talk about the cost that you can expect to pay for an international adoption and some of the other information you will need to know along the way.
How Much Does it Cost To Adopt from Another Country?
There are numerous costs that go into applying, and going through the process of adopting a child. You will need to pay for the processing, costs for the birth parents, and other various fees. When it comes to international adoption, you will need to pay all of that and more. We will go over all of that in a bit. But, as far as the general cost, many sources, including Considering Aoption.com, state that the average price for international adoption is between $20,000 to $40,000.
The Various Costs That Go Into International Adoption
You may be wondering why the price is so high and what goes into the cost. Essentially, you will be paying for many of the costs associated with domestic adoption plus those necessary for international adoption.
To give you the full picture, we start by explaining the various costs that go into domestic adoptions.
When you stay in the U.S., you can expect to pay for:
The Home Study – Prospective adoptive parents will need to pay for a home study. This is when a caseworker will ask you for an application and various pieces of information, including financial documents, references, medical information, and more. Your home will also be inspected to ensure that it is safe and secure and that your adopted child will have enough space to live and thrive. Average Cost: $1,000 – $3,000.
Legal Fees – All adoptions must be finalized in a United States court. This process makes the adoption official, and although the process doesn’t take too long, it does cost money. The price will depend on the state where you go through the process. Average Cost: $2,500 – $12,000.
Adoption Service Fees – The actual adoption agency will also charge a fee for their part of the process. That money will cover the pay for the case worker, counseling for the birth parent, adoptive parent training and preparation, and the social work necessary to match the child to the family. Average Cost: $5,000 – $40,000
As you can see, the cost of domestic adoption is expensive enough on its own. Now you need to add the various fees that are tied with doing any sort of business on an international level. Additional charges you can expect include:
- Program application fees – Average of $15,000
- Travel expenses for all parties involved – Average of $10,000
- In-country adoption expenses: Average of $7,000
- Dossier preparation and clearance: Average of $2,000
- Child’s passport, visa, and medical exam: Average of $1,000
Cost to Adopt from Different Countries
As you can see, when you adopt from another country, you can expect to pay a hefty price. Of course, the love that you will receive from your adoptive child is priceless. With that said, here is a list of the average cost that you can expect to pay when you adopt from the most popular countries:
- China: $26k – $31k + travel expenses
- Bulgaria: $22k – 29k + travel expenses
- Columbia: $22k – 26k + travel expenses
- Haiti: $26k – 32k + travel expenses
- Latvia: 23k – $30k + travel expenses
- Uganda: 24k – 30k + travel expenses
- The Philippines: $15k – $20k + travel expenses
- Ukraine: $23k – 32k + travel expenses
- Poland: 20k – 27k + travel expenses
- Thailand: $15k – 20k + travel expenses
- South Korea: $32k – 38k + travel expenses
- Taiwan: 22k – 27k + travel expenses
You likely noticed that every cost on this list does not include travel expenses. Those particular costs will depend on how long you need to stay in the other country and the cost of living in that particular area while you are there. The adoption process can typically take between five days to four weeks. With that said, you can expect to pay additional travel expenses in the amount of $5,000 – $15,000.
Tips for Finding the Funds to Pay for International Adoption
Even though the love of a child is priceless, many people may see these costs and believe that adopting a baby from another country is simply too expensive. However, all may not be lost. There are many tactics that you can try to ease the burden of paying these excessive fees:
Once you set your mind on the country where you hope to adopt your child, it is a good idea to reach out to an adoption agency and research the cost. Once you have an idea, you can start saving. Avoid the temptation to take out a loan or put all of this money on a credit card. When the adoption service inevitably reviews your finances, if they see that you have a lot of debt, they may see that as a red flag.
Instead, you should find a way to pay off all of your existing debts. Create a budget and see what you can cut out of your monthly expenses so you can put that money towards your existing credit card debt. Once you are debt free, you can put more money into savings, and that money should be used exclusively for your adoption needs.
You should also do your research online to find adoption grants. There are many grants currently in existence, including those from the A Child Waits Foundation and the JSC Foundation. You will need to look at the requirements for these grants, as they may require that you are below a certain income level or that you have a particular religious affiliation. Either way, it costs next to nothing to apply, so it can’t hurt to try.
Speak to your Employer
If you are currently employed (and you will likely need to be to be approved for adoption), then you might consider speaking to your manager or the HR department about potential adoption assistance programs. They likely won’t pay for the entire adoption, but they will contribute some money to the cause, and it could make a world of difference. Adoption assistance programs are becoming a more common benefit at many companies so ask around.
Ask Friends or Family
If the other options don’t work or you're still short on funds, then you may consider turning to friends and family for some assistance. You will be amazed at how willing your loved ones will be to help you build your family. If you make an agreement with a family member, then make sure to get in writing in case they expect something that you didn’t promise.
Host Fundraising Events
In the case that you don’t want to turn to your direct family, you can still earn some cash by hosting a fundraising event. This doesn’t have to be an over-the-top event. Instead, you can have a big yard sale or sell your items online. You might even try creating a page on a crowdfunding website like Kickstarter where you can make your case and see what kind of money you can earn.
As you can see, the costs to adopt from another country can vary greatly based on where you plan to adopt, the time of year, and the agency that you work with. Either way, you can expect to pay a substantial sum. With that said, we wish you the best in your exciting new endeavor.
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