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Building Your Family: Adoption Cost Breakdowns

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Adoption Cost Breakdowns

For an overview of the average cost to adopt by type of adoption, see the categories below. Don't forget that these costs will be offset by the federal adoption tax credit (unless your income exceeds federal limitations) so make sure to keep detailed records of your spending for adoption.

China Ethiopia Independent
domestic
infant
Agency domestic infant Fost-adopt 2
Preparation

Homestudy

$1,000
$3,000
$1,000-
$3,000
$1,000
$2,000
$1,000
$2,000
$0$500

Documentation & Authentication

$1,000
$3,000
$1,000-
$3,000
$500-
$1,000
$800-$1,200 -

I-600 Visa
Application

$700$900 $700$900

Postage/
Telephone

$200$500 $200-$500 $200-$500 $200-$500
Adoption

Application
Fee

$150$600 $150-$600 $100-$600

Program Fee

$5,000- $10,0002 $10,000$15,000 $5,000
$15,000

Child's Passport/
Visa

$300-$400 $200-$500

Child's medical
exams

$100-$200 $300-$600

Gifts

$100-$200 $100-$200

Foreign Fees

$2,000

Orphanage
Donation

$5,000

Post Placement
Fees 1

$300-
$1,000
$500-
$2,000
$400-
$1,000

Attorney Fees

$5,000-
$15,000
$1,000-
$6,000
$0-$1,000

Advertising/
Networking

$0-$5,000

Birth Family
Counseling

$500-
$2,500
$700-
$2,500

Birthmother
Expenses

$0-$6,000 $0-$5,000

Foster Care

$0-$1,000 $0-$1,000
Travel

Airfare, Hotels, Etc.

$5,000-
$15,000
$5,000-
$10,000
$0-$5,000 $0-$3,000 $0-$2,000
Average Cost
(before tax
credit)
$20,000-
$40,000
$30,000-
$40,000
$20,000-
$40,000
$20,000-
$45,000
$0-$3,500
Tax Credit3

Maximum Credit

$12,970 per finalization $12,970 per finalization $12,970 per attempt $12,970 per attempt $12,970

All budgets

1. May be included in program fee or homestudy fee.

2. Costs of adopting a child from foster care may be eligible for reimbursement (up to $2,000) by the child's state, depending on state regulations. Also, adoptions of U.S. children with special needs are eligible for the federal tax credit, regardless of actual expenses.

3. Subject to income limitations.