Financial Resources for Adoption

The Real Cost of Adoption

Adoption agency fees can be as little as $5,000 or as high as $40,000, depending upon the services offered. For instance, it may cost less to find your own birth mother and have the agency handle just the legal work,” says Kimberly King, adoptive family coordinator for Lifetime Adoption Center (, a national adoption facilitator. This option was chosen by Yamilée Emmanuel-Kelly and Errol Kelly. The couple, who have been married for 18 years, desired a family. After several years of trying for a baby, they decided to adopt directly from a birth mother, with the help of a lawyer and social worker. Yamilée, who had been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, was determined to have the family they always dreamed of.

“We wanted two kids, a boy and a girl. And I was going to find a way to make it happen,” says Yamilée, 42, a high school social studies teacher.

The Kellys sought guidance from Parents Adoption Lifeline, a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based adoption support group. Errol, a 44-year-old IT professional for a local university, had a co-worker who told him about a support group for people who had adopted, those interested in adoption, and those going through the process. In February 2001, a few days after joining the group, the couple received a call from a social worker, saying a young mother was interested in placing her child for adoption. Much to their dismay, the birth mother changed her mind a few weeks later, shortly after giving birth. Then, in April 2001, another opportunity arose. Yamilée and Errol received a call from their lawyer and were matched with a birth mother who was due in August.

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