Hopeful Adoptive Parents



Understandably, many hopeful adoptive parents are concerned about the cost of adopting a newborn. Because of the multi-faceted process, adoption can be expensive. As you prepare for adoption, consider what you have in savings as well as other avenues to gather the funds required. These may include employer contribution, tax credits, fundraising, loans, and contributions from family, friends, and church. Many adoptive parents have had success raising funds online, and there are faith-based organizations which can help fund or finance your adoption. We can help connect you with many of these resources.

In the state of California, you can expect your adoption to cost between $31,000 to $45,000. Here’s a breakdown of where the money goes:

  • HOME STUDY: Over $2500, for pre-placement home studies and post-birth visits from the social worker.
  • ADOPTION SERVICE PROVIDER: Up to $1,000 to advise parents of his/her rights and to witness the signing of the Adoption Placement Agreement.
  • INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: About $500 to obtain the waiver of 30-day revocable consent.
  • COURT FILINGS: Around $20 if the adoption is finalized in California.
  • SUPPORT FOR BIRTH MOTHER: You can expect this to range from approximately $5,000 to $14,000, depending on birth mother circumstances.
  • ATTORNEY FEES: This also will vary. You can expect to pay between $9,000-$15,000 in most cases, which includes the fees for case workers to assist with the birth mother. 
  • MARKETING: All Adoption California clients receive the highest level of Parent Profiles available through Adoption.com to attract the notice of potential birth parents. This is available on a monthly basis or as a fixed cost.
  • ADDITIONAL COSTS: If the birth mother lives out of state, there may be travel and lodging costs. There may be miscellaneous costs, such as counseling sessions for the birth mother and search fees and newspaper legal notice publication fees if the birth father cannot be located.

Other fees sometimes creep in, so preparation to spend more, rather than less, is recommended. However, a domestic newborn adoption can often be less costly than adopting abroad where you may have to travel to a foreign country multiple times and may take the entire family at least once.

The experienced adoption professionals at Adoption California will help break down costs for you as you meet to discuss the type of adoption you want to have. After your initial meeting, you’ll have a better idea of what you should expect to spend. At that point, a careful examination of your savings and your fundraising plans will take form, and you’ll be able to work toward creating your family through adoption.

The good news is that adoption expenses qualify for a federal adoption tax credit of up to $13,570 if you make less than about $203,540 annually (for the tax year 2017). If you make between $203,540 to $243,540, the tax credit is reduced the closer your income is $243,540. This is a refund on your taxes paid, as opposed to a mere deduction. As we do not hold ourselves as tax experts, you will want to speak to a tax professional if you want to know more about this tax credit.


This content is for informational purposes only, should not be considered or relied upon as legal advice, and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.