The Cost

Some people have this idea that a significant portion of our adoption cost goes to paying people off in-country. Pay off the judge, pay off adoption officials. Dear Americans, this is almost entirely an urban legend, and in the case of our adoption, we are not paying anyone off. Someone made a comment to me that we will literally hand over thousands of dollars to some Eastern European to buy our children. Um, no.

There is also a misconception that international adoption is more expensive than domestic adoption. It can be… theoretically, a domestic adoption could have no or very little cost. But, I imagine that they only time this happens is if you are adopting a child with several special needs. I know very little about domestic adoption, except that the cost is comparable to an international adoption, but the cost breakdown is different. With a domestic adoption, you have attorney fees, frequently birth parent expenses (often medical, and possibly living expenses), possibly travel expenses and of course all of those base expenses which come with adoption– home study, application fee, etc.

Each country you can adopt from internationally has different costs. Some are very inexpensive, some are very expensive. It depends on whether it’s a Hague country, how long you need to be in country, whether you need to work with an agency, etc.

It is easy to say that adoption is expensive. It is expensive. Having a baby is also expensive. A vaginal birth in a hospital can cost up to $20,000 (although it typically costs more like $8000-$10000) and a c-section can cost up to $25000. This is not including prenatal care or factoring in things like time in the NICU or an extended hospital stay. But of course, most of us reading this have medical insurance.

Here is the cost breakdown for the country we’re adopting from & the organization we’re working with:

$2000  homestudy 
$1000   USCIS,i-600a and fingerprinting 
$5000   flights 
$8600   facilitator fees 
$1700  first trip lodging ($80/nt 3 weeks) 
$1100  second trip lodging ($80/nt 2 weeks) 
$450  first trip food/other supplies ($20/day 3 weeks) 
$250  second trip food/other supplies ($20/day 2 weeks) 
$600  passport   
$550  Visa and Medical 
$2000  transportation (in country) 
$1000  orphanage donation/dossier preparation costs 
Second Child:
$1000  flight 
$670  second i-600 fee for unrelated child 
$2000  facilitator additional fee (from same orphanage) 
$600  passport 
$550  Visa and medical 
$500  additional orphanage donation 
Total $29570

Almost $30000. A new Hummer. 20% down payment on a small house. Panasonic’s 85″ plasma TV. 

Or, the lives of these two children? 



9 thoughts on “The Cost”

  1. There will come a time when you are asked these questions, and you will find your snark. Something like 'oh, thats nice, but how many children have you adopted from foster care?' yeah thats what I thought. :)The questions normally come from those who are genuinly curious though.And who could look at those sweet little faces and say someone else is more deserving of a family? Every child deserves a family.

  2. We've adopted internationally twice and are going the domestic route this time. Shockingly the fees for caucasian babies are higher than our international adoption fees! The fees are reduced if you are open to minorities or children with special needs. Yes, this in America! Ugh!

  3. Your kids are worth those 30000 and so much more! Every child deserves a family, and I'm so happy there will be two less orphans in this world through your adoption!

  4. Yep, 2 c-sections, the first one cost $25,000 and I don't know how much the 2nd one cost but it was a little less since it was planned and my hospital stay was shorter. And yes, I have wonderful health insurance. Children are always expensive no matter how you chose to have them. And the giving birth or adoption part is just the beginning of it. But they are absolutely more than worth it. The blessing of watching a child learn and grow is like no other.

  5. The international adoption option when else do you go on "vacation" and come home with such an incredible souvinor… Go get those beautiful babies and enjoy your time in country, they are worth every penny and more…Annette..Momma to my own Russian"Souvinor" Alina 11

  6. Congratulations, it is super exciting what you are doing…as it is not for everyone. I will say that though, a vaginal birth is about $2,000-$2,500 in KS. Depending on insurance and flex spending accounts it could be less.

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