The Average Cost of Adoption: Nonprofit vs For-Profit Adoption Agencies

on January 6, 2018

The Average Cost of Adoption: Nonprofit vs For-Profit Adoption Agencies

Posted in Adoption Stories

Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Adoption Agencies: How Much Do They Cost?

If you’re thinking about adoption, one of the things that might come to your mind first is “How much will this cost?” If this is true, just know that you’re not alone! Many wonder about the cost of adoption, or how nonprofit vs for-profit adoption agencies compare when it comes to cost.

The average cost of a domestic infant adoption through an adoption agency in the United States is anywhere between $35K and $45K.

Many people ask: why is there a large price discrepancy for something that should be a universal process? The answer is relatively simple; adoption agencies are businesses. They offer services to birth parents and hopeful adoptive parents; they have employees and offices and have to follow stringent laws and regulations. Their costs differ from one another, which means that the cost breakdown of what your $35K-$45K will get you, varies on what the agency deems necessary.

Here are Two Examples of that Breakdown:

According to the figures for adopting a domestic infant in 2012-2013 was as followed:

  • Agency Fees: Adoption Agency: $16,962.
  • Legal Fees: Adoption Agency: $4,141.
  • Birth Mother Expenses: Adoption Agency: $3,233.
  • Marketing: Adoption Agency: $2,340.  
  • Average Total Cost: $39,966.

According to the cost of adoption of a domestic infant in 2015-2016 breaks down as followed:

  • Home Study Fee: $2,397
  • Document Preparation & Authentication: $955
  • Adoption Agency Application & Program Fees: $16,442
  • Adoption Consultant Fees: $1,999
  • Attorney Fees: $4,337
  • Advertising/Networking: $1,880
  • Birth Family Counseling: $1,069
  • Birth Mother Expenses: $3,919
  • Foster Care: $71
  • Travel Expenses: $2,117
  • Post-placement Expenses: $2,063
  • All Other Expenses: $5,088
  • Total Cost: $42,337

It should be noted that these estimates should be adjusted for inflation and cost of living, but for the most part, they are not far off.

Financial Assistance

Who has $35K-$45K just sitting around, waiting to be spent? Not many of us, that’s for sure. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to receive financial assistance. First of which is the Federal Adoption Tax Credit. This credit applies to specific expenses such as adoption fees, attorney fees, court costs, and travel expenses. Other than the tax credit, religious agencies and non-profits may offer grants to families that meet their requirements. Some agencies even offer short-term loans if adoptive parents needed extra financial assistance.

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