How Much Does it Cost to Adopt?

The cost of an adoption can vary substantially due to a variety of factors. The single biggest factor is the type of adoption. Estimates on each item are difficult to give, so instead we’ve provided a list of costs to look into and be aware of as you’re considering your adoption options.

An international agency adoption will involve an agency fee, international travel and additional fees paid to USCIS. Upon your return to the United States with your child, you will need a New York attorney to either register your child’s adoption or to perform a full re-adoption (in which case you’ll incur some of the expenses associated with a domestic private agency adoption, as well).

A domestic private agency adoption will involve agency fees (which generally cover advertising, a home study, and agency attorney’s fees), attorneys’ fees for the birth parent(s), counseling for the birth parent(s), your own attorneys’ fees, and expenses for the birth mom. Birth mom expenses vary widely based upon her insurance (or sometimes lack thereof) and what other reimbursements she requests. She can be reimbursed for all of her out-of-pocket medical expenses, during the pregnancy and after, and reasonable pregnancy-related expenses during the last two months of her pregnancy and one month after the birth. These expenses can include lost wages if she is out of work or, if she is working, rent, utilities, food, cell phone bill, transportation expenses, and maternity clothes.

A private adoption is generally less expensive than a private agency adoption because you do not have to pay an agency fee. However, your advertising costs will increase the longer it takes you to find a birth mother. You will still have your own attorneys’ fees, attorneys’ fees for the birth parent(s), birth mother expenses, and the expense of the home study.

A foster care adoption is the least expensive type of adoption. Most children adopted from foster care are eligible for an adoption subsidy. The subsidy in New York provides for reimbursement of attorneys’ fees up to $2,000 per child being adopted, which almost always covers all of your attorneys’ fees. The subsidy also provides for continuing payments (like foster care payments) and medical assistance until the child reaches the age of 21. For more information on subsidies in New York, please visit Subsidies vary by state.

You may be eligible for an adoption tax credit in the year you finalize your adoption and you should talk to your tax preparer about this credit.

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