Understanding the Cost of Domestic Agency Adoption

Thinking about domestic agency adoption? Read this cost breakdown to understand the potential expenses.

domestic agency adoption

For an overview of the average cost of a domestic, agency adoption, see the categories below. Don’t forget that the cost of adoption will be offset by the federal adoption tax credit (unless your income exceeds federal limitations) so make sure to keep detailed records of fees and payments during your adoption process.


Homestudy: $1,000–$2,000

Documentation & Authentication: $800-$1,200

Postage/Telephone: $200-$500

Application Fee: $100-$600

Program Fee: $5,000–$15,000

Attorney Fees: $1,000-$6,000

Birth Family Counseling: $700-$2,500

Birth Mother Expenses: $0-$5,000

Foster Care: $0-$1,000

Airfare, Hotels, Etc.: $0-$3,000

AVERAGE COST (before tax credit): $20,000-$45,000

MAXIMUM TAX CREDIT: $13,190 per attempt

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. Visit the IRS website for more info.

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