Be Clear on Your Purpose
Every child has the right to have a loving and caring family. Adopting a child can provide that to him/her. Adoption is one of the ways to build your family. It is definitely a legal process as well as a life long commitment to your family. But before adopting a child, you need to be sure of your decision as to why you want to adopt. It has its pros and cons attached to it. Hence, an intense thought process is required before you finalize your decision.
First, you need to address some basic issues like, whether you are ready for a child, whether you want an infant or an older child, should the child have the same racial and cultural background as yours, etc. The cost of adopting a child depends greatly on the type of child adoption process that you choose.
Foster Parent for State
It is the least expensive type of adoption. In this adoption, you can receive payments from the state, for taking care of the child. Depending upon the number of kids you adopt, you may have to pay around $500 per child as the legal expense for home study, and the fees for court and lawyer. The state provides subsidies to the parents who adopt the child, and depending upon the medical history of the child, the state can also provide for 'Medicaid'. The adopting parents also get federal tax credits, state tax credits, and adoption loans and grants.
The IV-E State Adoption Assistance
Under the title IV-E of the Social Security Act, assistance will be provided to the families adopting a child from a foster kid. First the IV-E agency will determine whether the kid is eligible for a federal adoption assistance. Based on the criteria, if the kid qualifies, then the agency gives a one time nonrecurring expense (not exceeding USD 2000) or a monthly recurring expense.
If you choose to adopt from a private, non-profit agency, the cost may vary from USD 20,000 to USD 45,000, depending upon the agency as well as on the child. This fee includes various costs, like medical bill and counseling of birth mother and child, salaries of agency staff, light bill, rent, etc. These non-profit agencies are dependent upon the adoption fees, and they may also get donations from organizations, like churches. Hence, the cost of adopting a child from such agencies is negotiable. Sometimes, you might just have to pay the cost of housing and feeding the birth mother, and the medical bills. At other times, you may be asked to pay a certain amount, that will go to the birth mother, to be spent as per her wish.
International Adoption Costs
International adoptions are costlier. You can opt for independent adoption or adoption through agencies. The fees paid to the agency of the child may be less, but in an international adoption, there are other costs involved. It includes trips to that country, stay for certain durations, visa fees, fees to the foreign country, and legal fees to finalize the adoption in the U.S. The cost of adopting a child internationally, may range in between USD 20,000 to USD 50,000.
Benefits of Interntional Adoption
The plus point of an international adoption is that the risk of the child being given back to his birth parents or family members, is far less. In the domestic adoption, after the child is placed with the adoptive parents, it takes an additional six months before the process is complete. But, in the international adoption, the process is completed before coming back. Also the adoption is finalized in the US court which may increase the cost of adoption but is more secure.
The cost of child adoption also depends upon whether you are planning to adopt a toddler or a grown-up child. It would cost more to adopt a newborn Caucasian child, who has no medical history, as compared to older children. Children with health problems or those who have been traumatized or abused are difficult to place, as very few people accept them with their problems. Hence, their adoption fees is less.
The effects of adoption on both, the parents and the child, should also be considered while adopting. It is a new situation for both the parties. It requires an extra amount of patience from the parent, as the child requires time to adopt the new family and its way of living. The parents should be attentive to the child and ask about his needs, desires, dreams, etc. This would also help to build an emotional bond between them.
An adoption lawyer should always be consulted to understand all the formalities, as well as the legal aspects involved in adoption. It is always better to spend a little more and have a legal representation from the start, to avoid complications and misunderstandings later. Moreover, it hardly matters how much it costs to adopt a child, if you acquire a family, and provide one for the child in return. You are a blessed soul for reaching out to a child in need.