Adoption,Foster care,United States dollar,Child

Why is it so expensive to adopt a child?

November 28, 2016

(istock) Across the world, there are thousands of children in need of homes. In America, there are thousands of families looking for children to adopt. Sounds like a match made in heaven, right? Until you look at the price tag. Jonathan and Amanda Teixeira of Denver struggled for a couple of years to conceive before deciding to pursue adoption. After talking to friends who had gone through the process, the staggering price seemed insurmountable. “It’s infuriating,” Amanda said. “There are probably a lot of children who don’t have a home that would have one if it wasn’t for this ridiculously insane high cost.” In 2008, the most recent year for which the Child Welfare Information Gateway has statistics, more than 135,000 children were adopted in the United States, including domestic, international and foster care cases. Adoptions can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars — usually a domestic adoption where you privately find birthparents without the help of an agency — to upward of $30,000. Julie Gumm, author of “You Can Adopt Without Debt,” has adopted two of her children internationally. She was constantly being told by couples that they, too, would be interested in adoption — if only they could afford it. Those conversations inspired her to share her family’s experiences with fundraising for adoptions, rather than diving deep into personal loans. “The biggest chunk of adoption fees generally go towards what I would lump together as ‘legal fees,’ ” Gumm said. “Just from the processing of all the legal work that goes into that sort of complicated process. But there’s a lot of variants.” It’s possible to find ways to arrange a private newborn adoption for $6,000 to $8,000. “A lot of it will depend on the specific situation, like if the adoptive family is helping pay for medical expenses,” Gumm said. International adoption often requires couples to travel at least once to the birth country of the child they’re adopting. Sometimes adoptive parents must live in that country for a month or longer. In these cases, travel becomes an additional large cost. In addition, every small legal step along the...

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