Once you’ve told people about your plan to adopt, you may get asked, “Why does adoption cost so much money?” People who ask questions like this might pose it negatively, maybe even adding, “Babies who need a home should be free!” So how do you answer prying questions like these about the cost of adoption?
The reality is that your answer depends on who you’re chatting with.
If it’s someone close to you, you could share more details on the process hopeful adoptive parents must undergo before they can bring their baby home.
To answer people who you’re not as close with (or feel like spending a lot of time educating!), you might just explain that there are many processes and professionals involved in helping a family adopt a child.
Unlike foster care, the cost of infant adoption is not paid for by taxpayers. So hopeful adoptive parents can expect to incur several costs along the way to a variety of professionals. Adoption is expensive because the process to adopt a baby legally requires the involvement of social workers, attorneys, physicians, government administrators, adoption coordinators, counselors, and more. As you can see, the adoption process can be complicated and takes skilled professionals to complete.
Adoptions completed by fully licensed agencies like Lifetime must meet high ethical standards, meaning more paperwork and higher costs. So while most people are initially surprised to hear how much adoption costs, understanding what it takes to complete a successful adoption process clarifies why the costs exist. Adoption professionals are there to ensure that the adoption is handled safely and legally.
What Do Lifetime Adoption’s Fees Include?
Deciding to adopt a baby is very exciting. It can also be a little confusing and feel a bit overwhelming. Luckily, Lifetime Adoption provides many services to hopeful adoptive parents, like:
- Nationwide outreach to birth mothers through social media ads, marketing to hospitals, pregnancy centers, doctors, campuses, counselors, churches, etc. (anywhere a pregnant woman might consider her options)
- Support as you create your adoption profile, website, and video using Lifetime’s exclusive, proven recipe for success
- A one-on-one review of your adoption profile
- Private website for clients, packed with helpful webinars, tips, guidelines, answers, and articles
- 24-hour availability for support and services to all birth mothers
- Licensed, third-party counseling for birth mothers
- Complete support throughout your match
- Collaboration with the attorneys working on your match
- Communication with the hospital where your baby will be born
- Recommendations for adoption loans, grants, savings, and extra assistance
- Experienced support so that you can get ready to adopt
- Referrals to home study providers and attorneys to help you achieve a safe, successful adoption
How Will We Afford Adoption?
Lifetime has several payment options. After you apply and become pre-approved to adopt, we’ll share payment options that could work for your family’s needs. In addition, we can provide ideas for an affordable adoption, including referrals for adoption loans and grants, and fundraising.
If you think about it, adoption is more affordable than most infertility treatments. And, your investment in adoption comes with a higher chance that you’ll end up with a baby than cycles of IVF or treatment do.
An Adoption Tax Credit is also available; you can claim your adoption on your taxes and receive a credit for the year you finalize your adoption. Finding out more from the IRS about this tax credit now and learning the credit you are entitled to can help set your adoption budget. Keep in mind that you get money back with the Adoption Tax Credit—not receive a deduction.
Adoption benefits through your employer are also a possibility, and this type of benefit is becoming more widely available. To find out if your company offers an adoption benefit, ask your HR/Payroll department. Adoption benefits do not cost a company anything to provide. Depending on the company, adoption benefits can range from $1,000 to over $10,000. If you want to help your company start an adoption benefit program, visit the Dave Thomas Foundation online. The Foundation can send you a packet of information to give to your HR department for review.
Adoption Can Be Affordable
The average couple can find the money to adopt if they’re willing to do some planning and research. Why not take advantage of every funding option available to you when there are so many children who need the warm and secure home you have to offer? Completing your family with adoption will soon be more than just a dream!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 13, 2019, and has since been updated.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is a nationally-recognized adoption expert and the Founder of Lifetime Adoption Agency. She has been working in adoption since 1986 and is also an award-winning author and speaker.
Mardie knows the sorrow of coping with infertility, and is an adoptive parent who experienced many of the challenges adoptive families might face. In various media appearances worldwide, publications, and her podcast, Mardie important steps that must be taken to complete a safe and secure adoption. Having adopted her son, Mardie knows firsthand the joys of raising an adopted child.
Mardie’s life mission is to help adoptive parents and birth parents find each other. With Lifetime Adoption Agency, she seeks to build happy families and provide precious infants and children with a loving and secure future.