What the Heck makes Adoption so Expensive?


What on earth makes adoption so darn expensive.

Unless you’re doing it from foster care (which I whole heartedly advocate for) adopting will cost you money. Usually, it’s a lot of money.

Actually caring for a kid isn’t all that expensive. The day to day needs, even medical bills, aren’t nearly as expensive (usually) as the actual adoption itself. So before you get in someone’s face for adopting before they’re ready, take a look at what it actually costs to adopt.

International adoption, on average, costs about $25,000. Actually, even private domestic adoptions generally cost a big chunk of change, but since I’m adopting internationally, that’s what I’m going to focus on.

Anyway, so why is it so expensive? What on earth costs so much money? Don’t they WANT these kids to get into homes?

Well, you’ve got to realize that it isn’t like all that money goes to one specific person. It’s a bunch of little things (and not so little things) that add up very quickly.

Social worker, passports, and the homestudy. The homestudy is another one of the larger costs, but still not near as much as travel (thank the Lord). The homestudy will cost us about $4000 in total, give or take a couple of hundred. At first I was so frustrated at the cost, but after realizing everything they have to do, I understand why it is so expensive.

Plus, there’s the US Immigration (USCIS) fee, which is almost $900. As well as the little costs of gathering marriage certificates, birth certificates, FBI police clearance, postage, apostille fees.

Then it’s travel. My little dude is in Eastern Europe, so that’s where we’re traveling to. During the time that we’re there Ian, my husband, will have to go home, go back to work, and then come back to finish up the process. International travel is ridiculously expensive. When we initially crunched the numbers, we were planning on just us two going, leaving Axel at home. Not only that, but we misinterpreted the prices as the cost for both of us, when in fact it was for just one. So, after redoing the math on what it will take for all three of us to go, including the extra trips for Ian, will cost us over $11,000. Eleven thousand dollars. That is literally a third of the total cost, and that’s just travel.

Plus there’s the actual adoption fees in and of itself, which is $9,400. Then there’s the cost of actually living in Ukraine for the time we’re there, travelling within the country. Plus travel items and trying to actually plan for an emergency (which happens more often than not, I’m learning). And then let’s think about the actual children. They need a passport, a medical checkup, a visa. On top of that consider the fact that they will also need a car seat to get home in, food, possibly medication.

Most of these are just estimated costs. It could be potentially thousands more.

But what is a child’s life worth to you? Can you put a dollar amount on a child? If you’re a parent, wouldn’t you go to the moon and back in order to make sure they’re safe?

Why would this sweet little boy be worth any less than the one that’s currently sitting four feet away from me?

These are my kids, and I will do anything to make sure that I do my part in getting them home.

That is why you see adopting parents fundraising. That’s why you see people fighting so hard, pulling all nighters days in a row making items to sell, that’s why people are rushing to get hours and hours and hours of paperwork done. It’s all about the kids.

This is about bringing a child home to his mom and dad.

I’m not begging for your money or trying to guilt you into giving me any. But please, if you do feel lead to do so, please donate here. If you can’t donate, share. If anything, try to be a little more understanding of the families that are giving their everything to get their kids home.


2 thoughts on “What the Heck makes Adoption so Expensive?

  1. Holy crap your homestudy was really expensive! We’re lucky as the wife of the agency owner is their social worker, so ours was $750. Not sure how up on this legislation you are, but there is current legislation to improve the adoption tax credit (which currently is around $13K but only is valid after the adoption is final and for those who are in upper income categories because of the way the rules are) so that it’s an actual refund to ALL who adopt, not based on one’s tax liability, so I’m trying to at least get my congresspeople to support that. But yeah, the costs are asinine. We’re about $13k into our Ethiopia adoption and still have the final agency fee and of course the travel paperwork…it’s mind boggling.


    1. We haven’t started the homestudy yet – but that’s what they’re telling me to have ready for when I finally do start. I know the adoption tax credit is there, and I’m super thankful for it, but that won’t do much for us until we’re finally done, as you already know.
      It is INSANE. I knew adoption was expensive, but after looking to why, it really blows my mind as to how all these things really add up.

      Liked by 1 person

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