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How Much Does Adoption Cost?

The results of the annual Adoptive Families Adoption Cost SurveyFrom the 2012 Adoption Guide



The average cost of adoption, as reported in the latest Adoptive Families adoption cost survey (2010-2011), was around $30,000 (before the federal tax credit and employee adoption benefits).

Highlights of the adoption cost survey:

 

  • The majority of domestic newborn adoptions cost between $20,000 and $40,000, while a strong majority of international adoptions cost more than $25,000.
  • U.S. foster adoption is the least expensive adoption route, by a significant margin, with an average cost of less than $5,000.
  • The average cost of an adoption from Korea is about $38,000.
  • The average cost of an adoption from Ethiopia is about $28,000.
  • The average cost of an adoption from China is about $29,000.
  • The average cost of an adoption from Russia is about $50,000.
  • 35 percent of domestic adopters had at least one "false start," in which adoptive parents worked with one or more birthmothers before a match that succeeded.
  • The majority (71%) of "false starts" cost less than $5,000.

See adoption expenses by category (and download budget worksheets).

 


 

Cost Distribution, by Route

  Less than $5k $5k-
$10k
$10k-
$20k
$20k-
$30k
$30k-
$40k
$40k-
$50k
$50k+

U.S. Agency (newborn)

2% 7% 25% 34% 21% 9% 2%

U.S. Independent (newborn)

8% 8% 24% 31% 20% 5% 5%

U.S. Foster

93% 4% 3% 0% 0% 0% 0%

China

0% 0% 4% 58% 32% 6% 0%

Ethiopia

1% 0% 10% 50% 30% 8% 1%

Russia

0% 0% 0% 3% 17% 45% 35%

South Korea

0% 0% 9% 36% 42% 11% 2%

 

Average Cost, by Route (before adoption tax credit or employee adoption benefits)

  U.S. Agency (Newborn) U.S. Attorney (Newborn) U.S. Foster China Ethiopia Russia South Korea

Preparation

$2,588 $2,218 $285 $4,266 $3,876 $5,181 $3,650

Adoption

$25,446 $23,231 $686 $15,525 $14,804 $31,997 $21,877

Travel/Other

$1,870 $2,285 $521 $9,885 $8,932 $21,457 $6,160

TOTAL

$28,034 $27,734 $1,492 $29,676 $27,612 $58,635 $31,687
 

 

See Affording Adoption to find tips for financing an adoption .

Read how other parents have funded their adoptions.

Find ways to lower adoption travel costs.

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