Financial Resources for Adoption

The Real Cost of Adoption

The Kelly’s son, Zakia, was born in August 2001. Overall, the cost was about $11, 000. The process for adopting Zakia, now 11 years old, was roughly five months. Three years later, the couple decided to adopt again, using the same process. Their daughter, Arrianna, was born July 2004. They say the total cost was about $15,000. The Kellys were able to pay for the cost of adopting Zakia through tax refunds, personal savings, and family contributions. In addition to the above, they had a personal loan and money they received from a grant when adopting Arrianna. The couple says the process for adopting Arrianna, now 8 years old, was about six months.

The couple’s advice: “Do your research,” says Yamilée. “We got a $2,000 to $5,000 grant for parents adopting from a private agency; our social worker told us about it. There is money available out there. People are willing to help you.”

Managing the Expense
“If you are looking for a program that is going to walk you through everything from beginning to end, it will probably be more expensive.” Also, some agencies charge fees for parts of the application process such as fingerprinting and criminal background checks. Others require prospective parents to pay medical and housing expenses for the birth mother, says Gloria Hochman, a spokesperson for the National Adoption Center ( If you adopt a child in another state, transportation and housing costs–while you’re waiting to bring your baby home–may need to be added to the amount you’ll need to raise.

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