Cost: $8,000 to $40,000
The plus side of Independent Adoption is that you will not be dealing with an agency, so you can form a bond with the birth parents and feel secure that they know exactly who will be adopting their child. However, going it agency-free also means running the risk of a birth mother or birth parents changing her (their) mind(s) after the baby is born. If this occurs, there are no guarantees that the money you spend leading up to the baby’s birth will be reimbursed.
- Medical expenses for the birth mother (as allowed by law)* 0 (if mother has insurance) to $20,000
- Your own legal fees $2,500 to $12,000 or more (depending on the state)
- Legal fees for representing adoptive and birth parents $2,500 to $12,000 or more (depending on the state)
- Allowable fees for advertising* $500 to $5,000
- Additional medical expenses (birth complications)
- Counseling for the birth parents $500 – $2,000
- Home Study $300 – $3,000
* Approximately 45 States, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands specify in their statutes the type of birth parent expenses a prospective adoptive family is allowed to pay, according to Child Welfare Information Gateway. The actual dollar amount is usually limited to “reasonable and customary.” State laws restrict many of these costs, including any reimbursements to the birth mother. Some states may also restrict advertisements seeking expectant parents/birth mother.
For more resources and questions, see the Child Welfare Information Gateway: http://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/faq.cfm