Affording Adoption – FCCA’s Adoption Costs and Programs
If you are researching your family-building options, you likely have some concerns about affording adoption. You may be wondering, How much does adoption cost? Why is adoption so expensive? What kind of adoption financial assistance is available?
Adoption expenses vary widely depending on a number of factors, and some forms of adoption may be more affordable than you think. Below, learn more about the variety of adoption programs offered by FCCA, and the adoption fees for each.
How Much Does it Cost to Adopt a Child from Foster Care?
Many foster care adoption costs are subsidized by the state, making this one of the most affordable forms of adoption. In fact, the only out-of-pocket cost associated with adoption from foster care is often the adoption home study and the fingerprints.
FCCA can provide all of the services you need to adopt a waiting child from the California foster system at minimal cost. The average cost of adopting a child through our fos-adopt program is about $2,000 total. This cost includes:
- Pre-adoption education and training (no charge)
- FCCA’s home study fee: $1,500
- Matching and child referral services (no charge)
- Fingerprinting and medical exam costs required for licensing (usually less than $200 total for each family)
- Mileage for the home visit (charged at the IRS rate only for travel prior to placement of a child)
- Legal document services to finalize the adoption (no additional cost if you use FCCA’s finalization services)
Families who choose to work directly with a public state or county foster agency may incur no out-of-pocket expenses. However, many families find that the fees charged by FCCA are well worth the advantages our agency offers; most notably, our program focuses exclusively on adoption (rather than traditional foster care) and specializes in low-risk cases. This provides our adoptive families with a sense of security throughout the adoption process that most foster-to-adopt programs simply can’t offer.
In addition, families who adopt through our California Waiting Child Program may be eligible for the following financial assistance:
- Adoption Assistance Payments: Almost all children in the California foster system qualify as “special needs” and are eligible for monthly adoption subsidy payments and MediCal coverage until age 18. FCCA will help you determine whether your child is eligible for the Adoption Assistance Program and can assist you with completing the required application.
- Federal Adoption Tax Credit: Families who adopt from the foster care system may claim certain adoption expenses on their taxes. If your child qualifies as “special needs” due to being adopted from foster care, you may be able to claim the maximum IRS adoption credit, regardless of your actual expenses.
With so many children waiting for loving, permanent homes in the U.S. foster system, cost should never be a barrier to foster care adoption. Please click on this link to learn more about our California Waiting Child Program and the services included in our fos-adopt program fees.
How Much is it to Adopt a Child Internationally?
It is difficult to estimate an average cost to adopt a child internationally — expenses vary widely based on the country and program from which a family chooses to adopt.
In general, because of the extensive paperwork process and travel involved, the cost to adopt from another country can be significant. Your overall international adoption cost will include the following expenses:
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) application and registration
- Adoption program fees, which include services like compiling your dossier, communicating with international adoption authorities, and referral/matching services
- Home study and pre-adoption training
- Documentation and authentication of adoption paperwork
- Travel costs, including airfare, accommodations, in-country transportation and more
- Legal costs to finalize the adoption and re-adopt in the United States
Regardless of the country or child-placing program you are using to adopt, you can expect to pay the following for FCCA’s international adoption services:
- Home study fee: $2,200
- Post-placement services: $1,200
- Additional miscellaneous costs for mileage, fingerprinting and medical exams
Please note that these estimates do not include travel expenses or the program fee charged by your child-placing agency for matching and other necessary adoption services.
If you are adopting through our Hong Kong adoption program, we will provide all of the adoption services you need to complete the entire process, including child search and matching services. The fee structure for this program is as follows (excluding home study and post-placement fees, which are listed in the previous paragraph):
- Program fee if you are using an FCCA home study: $4,000
- Program fee if you are using a non-FCCA home study: $6,000
- USCIS fees: about $1,200
- Miscellaneous expenses: about $800
- Variable travel expenses
How Much Does it Cost to Adopt a Baby in California?
Because of the number of professionals and services required to complete an infant adoption in the United States, domestic infant adoption can be expensive; in 2015, the average cost to adopt a newborn through an agency was $41,532, and it was $35,594 to adopt through an attorney.
This leads many parents considering infant adoption to ask: Why does adoption cost so much? In addition to the home study and post-placement services required in every adoption, private adoption costs also include:
- Advertising and matching services to find a prospective birth mother
- Counseling and support to ensure the expectant mother is committed to her adoption plan
- Legal services to terminate the birth parents’ rights and finalize the adoption
- Living expenses during the birth mother’s pregnancy and recovery period
- Medical expenses to cover the costs of the birth mother’s prenatal care and hospital stay
- And more
The cost for each of these services can be influenced by a number of factors, including the birth mother’s living situation and financial needs, her insurance situation, the professional you use for advertising and matching services, the legal circumstances of the case, and more. You can read the following for a more detailed breakdown of domestic infant adoption services and the costs of each.
FCCA offers home study, post-placement and finalization services for private infant adoptions in California. Families who adopt an infant through FCCA can expect to pay about $10,000 for these services. This fee does not include variable living expenses, medical expenses, or legal expenses if the matter becomes contested.
While the cost of adopting a baby can be significant, there are many adoption funding options available to couples looking to adopt, including:
- Adoption grants and loans
- Adoption tax credits
- Online adoption fundraisers
- Traditional adoption fundraising
- Employer benefits
- And more
Because domestic infant adoption expenses can vary significantly based on your individual circumstances, please contact an FCCA office near you to discuss your adoption goals. We can schedule a free, initial consultation with you to explain our services and fees in more detail.
For many hopeful parents, the cost of adoption is an important factor to consider before beginning the adoption process. FCCA is committed to helping you reach your adoption goals. If you would like more information about adoption costs, our services, and available adoption financial assistance, contact us today or attend an upcoming adoption information session.