Cost of Adoption Update
A comparison of costs for domestic and international adoptions in 2006 and 2007, the cost of adoption uncertainties, and more
How much did adoptions cost in 2006 and 2007? More than 1,500 AF readers completed our survey on the cost of adoption—thanks to everyone for their valuable input!
Here's a breakdown of the total cost of adoption, before adoption-related employee benefits or tax credits:
- Domestic adoptions, on average, cost less than international adoptions.
- For most adopters, the average "cost" of an adoption was about $20,000-$25,000.
Financial uncertainties of adoption
38% of domestic adoptive parents had a false start, or worked with one or more birthmothers before a match that succeeded. Of those, 75% say unsuccessful attempts cost the family less than $5,000.
14% of international adoptive parents had one or more unsuccessful attempts, which might include switching countries or declining a referral. Of those, 51% say unsuccessful attempts cost less than $5,000.
Travel costs helped push up the totals for international adoptions; Russia and Guatemala rank as the most expensive countries for overseas adoption.
Affording adoption travel
Need help with expenses? We asked our AF reader panel to share tips for saving on travel, which is often the biggest adoption expense, given multiple or extended trips to a destination, domestic or international. Here are your suggestions:
Find more reader tips for savvy traveling at adoptivefamilies.com/travel.
- Ask airlines and hotels about discounts. “When booking our flight, we told the ticket agent that we would be flying back with a baby we were adopting, and got half off the ticket for our daughter,” says Cecy, of Ohio. “While in Nevada, I explained to a hotel manager that we had to stay until the state released us to take our daughter home, and this could be 10 days or more. They discounted our room for the entire stay.”
- Look into local accommodations. “If you’re traveling overseas, stay at a small bed and breakfast or guest house. Many parents stay at ‘Western’ hotels, which are nice, but pricey,” says Samantha, of North Carolina. “B&Bs are often cheaper, and you’ll see more local culture. Experience the country you are in—don’t pick up your child and go home."
- Limit the number of travelers. Melissa, of Illinois, says, “My husband and I traveled alone, leaving our sons with relatives, to save on the cost of tickets.”
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