In fact, though I knew it could be costly, there were other small costs that added up that I hadn’t thought of, including the home study, the lawyer, the cost to make books for parents considering adoption to peruse, etc. The reality is there isn’t a basic cost, but you can budget by researching.
Do Your Research
First and foremost, research agencies, or lawyers in your agency, and get the budget from them, and find out when various fees are due. In our case, we had to pay a very small fee to start the process, which was the home study, then the entire amount was due to the agency before leaving the hospital, with only the lawyer charge due at the time of the court. Look at your finances and figure out how you can budget, and where you can take these chunks of money to cover the costs as they come up.
Find out ALL of the Costs
Again, agencies typically charge one flat rate for the adoption, but that doesn’t cover the home study, lawyer costs, etc. Find out what exactly you’re paying to them, when, and figure out what other fees will be due that they don’t cover. For example, hospital fees and others can add up, so be sure to be prepared. Once you know the total amount, it’s best to start saving and identifying where you will get the money. Though adoptions can take time, there’s also the chance that they won’t, so be prepared to have the total amount. Another tip is to speak to a financial planner and explain your situation—they may have ideas to help you further!
Look for Grants
Grants do exist for people in the adoption process, and it’s something to consider. Becky Fawcett founded Helpusadopt.org when she started the adoption process for her son—the average cost was $40,000, exactly what she had in her savings account. “It was going to take every penny we had to become parents and I realized how fortunate I was,” she says. Helpusadopt.org stands apart from others because it is open to all, there isn’t any application fee, and awards grants up to $15,000 to close the financial gap that many parents face when adopting.
To learn more about how others paid for their adoptions, read this article I wrote for Reader’s Digest.
Julia K. Porter is an educator, writer, and cultural competency consultant. She began her career as a high school English teacher in Brooklyn, NY, and has taught college courses since 2008 and has done nonprofit work. Currently, she is the project manager for Celebrating Cultural uniqueness at Tiffin University.
Julia has a passion for diversity and in educating about the nuances of adoption as that is how she chose to grow her family. Julia holds a Ph.D. in Global Leadership from Indiana Tech, an MA in English Literature from Brooklyn College, and a BS in English Education from Indiana University/Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI). Her personal interests include reading, writing, traveling and experiencing new cultures, and knitting. She lives in Indiana with her husband, Kyle, daughter, Brooklyn, and Australian Shepherd, Hunter. For more information, visit www.juliakayporter.com.