The Ins and Outs of Financing Adoption

Make sure you're prepared for the financial obligations that go along with adoption.


How much does adoption really cost, and how will you pay for it?

Many loving parents who consider adoption are anxious about the high financial costs which may be associated with both the adoption process and the many services that waiting children with special needs may require. Below are resources to help families plan for or defray adoption costs.

Costs of Adoption

There are many factors that influence the cost of adoption. The average cost of adopting a child in the United States varies according to the type of placement:

  • Public agency adoptions, where children are adopted from the foster care system, range from zero to $2,500.
  • Private agency adoption ranges from $4,000 to $30,000 or more.
  • Independent adoption ranges from $8,000 to $30,000 or more.
  • Adopting a child from another country through either a private agency or an independent adoption ranges from $7,000 to $25,000 or more.
Free Booklet

The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) has developed a booklet titled "How to Make Adoption an Affordable Option." This booklet provides information for all prospective adoptive parents regarding financial assistance, benefits, and tax breaks for all types of adoptions. It also provides a breakdown of what fees may be involved in the adoption process. The booklet is available on the NEFE Web site at