In my earlier post about adoption, Dimples asks (via a comment):
Why is adoption so expensive? Do you know the breakdown of the costs associated? I am just confused why so much money is needed to adopt when there are so many children in the system that need a loving home. I am pretty sure that there are many folks out there who aren’t able to conceive and would probably welcome the adoption option with open arms but don’t have $10-$20K just lying around.
Answer, sort of: Dimples, Some agencies have a sliding scale based on your income levels, but for us and the agency we’re interested in, we’d have to pay $15,000 to adopt domestically. Your results may vary based on your income, state of residence, and the adoption agency.
For newborn infant adoptions, someone has to reimburse the costs of the birth mother and the birth itself. If you ever saw your real bill for a natural birth, you’d be looking at $10,000-15,000 plus. The adoption agency:
1. Performs the required home study with you (paying for the social worker)
2. Does the background checks and paperwork
3. Has to pay its workers
4. Has to pay its rent and other bills
You can probably do a private adoption (directly with the birth parents through a lawyer) for less money, but you want to choose an established attorney with years of adoption experience.
I agree and totally sympathize with you that because there are so many orphans in the system the process should be much simpler and less expensive. We can have our own children with no state or federal interference on a whim, no matter how qualified we may be as parents, but it takes months and months (even years) to finally bring home an adopted child. However, I am glad that at least SOMEONE is checking people to make sure they can handle a child.
Take heart that many employers offer reimbursements towards adoptions (mine doesn’t, but my wife’s does), and you can get a federal tax credit for up to about $11,000 of your adoption expenses. Also, your state might provide a tax credit. Keep in mind that a credit is actual cash back on the taxes you paid, whereas a deduction just reduces your taxable income.
Lastly, we found out we can pay the agency the $15,000 with a credit card! Nothing like charging up our next son or daughter on Discover and earning cashback rewards! (and rest assured I won’t tell that joke too much…or to our child).
Disclaimer: We are just beginning the adoption process ourselves, so we’re also asking many of these same questions. I’m giving the adoption agencies the benefit of the doubt on this one for now. You should expect an itemized report from ANY agency you work with to show the breakdown of their charges. When we get to that point in the process, we’ll post the information for your consumption.