You may have a heart for adoption, but find the prospect of the expense rather daunting. Learning about the reality of the costs involved, however, can give you a sense of what you are dealing with and a financial goal. It will be far less discouraging in the end if you learn about the fees and costs associated with adoption ahead of time. This also avoids getting partly through the process only to find out you can not afford it.

The expenses vary by state, agency, and the type of adoption. There are also various financial resources that can make adoption more affordable. Following is a general list of costs to give you an idea.

1. Agency fees

These vary quite widely, and the same agency usually has different fees for different countries. The categories and approximate costs of agency fees are:

*Application fee: $175-$200
*Home inspection or home study: $1500-$2500
*Dossier fees (international adoption), which involve legal documents from the child’s country of origin: $2500-$3000
*Adoption program fee, which varies by country: $7500-$12,250
*Orphanage fee (international adoptions)-some countries require that a donation be made to the orphanage in which the child lived, and differ by country. In China, the orphanage fee is between $3000-$4000. Be sure to ask your agency about this fee.

2. Post-placement supervision costs range between $200.00 to $1500.00.

3. Legal fees

Varying between $500 and $4000, legal fees encompass the preparation of paperwork and documents related to the adoption.

4. Health/medical care

You may pay for the prenatal care, delivery, and living costs for the time between the child’s birth and the time he or she comes into your home. These expenses can range from $10,500-$32,000.

Health and medical expenses for the child could potentially be relatively high or on-going, perhaps involving counseling, medication, or other specialized care. These costs are entirely dependent on the medical condition of the child.

5. Education costs

The cost of educating an adopted child is no different from any other child unless the adopted child has special needs (such as a learning disability). In an international adoption, there is also the possibility that the child’s education will need to include learning English. In these cases, it’s possible that extra counseling, tutors, or alternative education (such as homeschooling) will need to be implemented.

There are various loans, grants and scholarships available to assist eligible adopted children with college tuition and other educational costs. Some states, such as Connecticut, offer assistance to aid in the tuition costs of post-secondary education. Your local department of education will have information specific to your state.

6. Financial resources

There is also financial assistance for the actual costs of adoption. Your employer may offer expense reimbursements through an adoption foundation. Many states offer subsidies and the federal government offers tax credits for adoptive families.

While the state federal aid is usually confined to domestic adoptions and those through the U.S. foster care system, that is not necessarily the case; it is worth looking into. Check with various banks, too – some of them offer low-interest loans to cover adoption costs.

Once you get a handle on some of the costs, you may find that adoption is a possibility for you.

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