Adopting a child is one of the most rewarding acts in a family’s life. The fact that the family is offering an opportunity for the adopted child to live life to the fullest can be considered an achievement. Even though the child gets the chance to live a better life than he or she may have otherwise, there are several costs for the parents who plan on adopting the child.
The adoption process can take a toll on the parents emotionally and financially, and it is important to be fully prepared for the process from start to finish. Even though preparing financially and emotionally may be difficult for many parents, having an idea of how to prepare makes the adoption process less impossible and less complicated.
The Cost of Adoption
It is very important to understand the costs of adoption so as to be more financially prepared to adopt a child. Parents can have the option of adopting a child from the United States or internationally.
Of course, an international adoption will be much more expensive than a domestic adoption. The cost of an adoption truly depends on many different factors and what is required in the adoption process.
- An international adoption may cost anywhere between $25,000 to $50,000 for one child.
- The average cost of American newborn adoptions is $37,000 per child.
- Foster care often costs no more than $1,000. This is because of how foster care adoptions are operated.
- Agency fees may also be applied, depending on the type of agency. The biggest cost of the adoption process includes the fee that is charged by the domestic or international adoption agency.
- Other costs that may be included are: The cost of travel, time, mental costs, and other miscellaneous costs.
The parents must be able to travel to get the adopted child. Of course, international travel costs much more than domestic travel, so being able to budget well is very important.
Other hidden costs of the adoption process include: Counseling, processing of fingerprints by the FBI, and background checks.
Understanding the full costs of adoption will help adoptive parents in planning for a better financial future, as well as finding resources to help offset the cost of the adoption process.
Resources that Can be Used for the Adoption Process
Before parents can consider the thought of adoption, they should take into account the resources that they can use during the whole adoption process. There may be a possibility that the adoptive parents may qualify for adoption assistance, as well as grants, loans, and tax credit opportunities. While loans have to be paid back, there are some grants for adoptive parents that do not have to be repaid. Some of these grants for adoptive parents include but are not limited to:
- National Adoption Foundation
- Help Us Adopt
- Gift of Adoption Fund
- A Child Waits Foundation
Aside from these resources that can offset the overall cost of adoption, there are other ways that adoption agencies and organizations can help the parents mentally prepare for the adoption process. These other supportive resources that can be used include:
- Assistance with meeting medical and mental health needs
- Educational assistance for the adopted child
- Emotional support for the adopted child
- Finding short-term care and adoption support groups
- Speaking with a foster care or adoption specialist for more information
There are always groups that are very supportive of the parents and adopted children during the whole process. These resources can help with financial planning for the adoption, and they are also available at all times for emotional and mental support. Adoption can make for a huge change in a family’s life, and any resources that are used can make a huge difference.
Goals that Can be Achieved
Planning for the future is a worthy investment. According to financial expert, Dave Ramsey, it is best to be completely debt-free and have a fully funded emergency fund. Waiting to have more money in a bank account is beneficial for the sake of the child, so as to avoid bringing him or her into a financially stressful household.
Not only is it a good idea to be financially prepared for the adoption process, but also mentally prepared. Some very useful tips on how to prepare for adoption include the following:
- Taking the time to learn about the ins and outs of adoption
- Understanding the potential differences in opinions between the adoptive parents and the birth parents
- Having a birth plan to share with the adoptive parents, birth parents, social workers, and all involved medical personnel
- Expecting the best but planning for surprises
- Staying organized with adoption paperwork
The best way to plan financially is to create and review a written set of financial goals, strategies, and timeline to achieve those goals. Other ways to create an effective financial plan include:
- Understanding tax advantages and preparing a will, in the event that an adoptive parent passes away at the time of adoption
- Building an emergency fund
- Paying off debt with high interest
Understanding employee benefits can be advantageous when planning to adopt a child, depending on the type of employer. As many families choose to adopt, employers have recognized a need to offer adoption benefits to their employees.
Rule of Thumb when Planning to Adopt
Having a plan in place before considering adopting a child is always a good idea. Understanding the requirements that must be met is also very important. Achieving the financial goals for the adoption process to go underway is also the best practice so that neither the parents nor the adopted child has to deal with the stress of not having enough resources or money to get by.
Being able to save money for the adoption process puts parents at least one step ahead of other parents who have looked into adopting a child.
It is always possible for parents to have the rewarding opportunity to adopt. Every child deserves a happy home and a loving family, and being fully prepared for adoption can make the whole process go more smoothly.