Adoption Expenses Explained: Why Is Adoption So Costly?

By RedWallPPC
May 3, 2024

Adopting a child is a big decision. Around 110,000 children are adopted each year in the U.S.

Parents can have all kinds of reasons for adopting, but not everyone is able to do so. Something that many couples come to realize is that adoption is far from inexpensive.

Why is adoption so expensive? In this guide, we’ll go over the typical expenses that you may need to cover.

Why Is Adoption So Expensive?

Adoption can cost a lot because of everything it involves. It requires attorneys, social workers, government administrators, counselors, adoption specialists, and more.

The adoption process can be a very emotional one, but it’s also a legal one. It can only happen through fully licensed adoption agencies, and these agencies need to hold high ethical standards. There’s typically a lot of paperwork and administrative work, which results in high costs.

Agency Fees

All adoption agencies have fees so that they’re able to do what they do. These cover basic operating costs and professional services and can vary depending on how an agency works.

Variable Adoption Costs

Variable adoption costs consist of a range of expenses that can vary between different adoption situations. In most cases, these fees go toward the needs of the prospective birth mother. As such, they’ll depend on her unique needs.

It’s worth noting that adoption laws vary from state to state. This can also affect variable costs. Some of these include:

Medical Expenses

In some cases, some of the medical fees of the mother will be covered by Medicaid or other health insurance. Any additional medical fees will usually be a part of the variable adoption costs.

Legal Fees

There are various legal elements to any adoption. An adoption attorney is essential to navigate the legal aspects including things like the consent to the adoption and the termination of parental rights. In most cases, the adoptive family will take on these fees.


Adoption is a big decision, and it’s not uncommon for families to adopt from mothers who live quite far away. The mother may then need to travel, so the adopting family will usually cover the costs of transportation and lodging.

Living Expenses

Depending on the situation, the adoption laws may detail that the variable adoption costs will include living expenses for the mother. The adopting family will need to cover these and they can last throughout the pregnancy.

The Adoption Process

The overall process can vary, but at Heart of Adoptions, we follow a six-step journey:

  1. Contact us
  2. Complete your application
  3. We will perform a home study
  4. Complete your adoption profile
  5. We’ll coordinate and oversee the placement of your child
  6. We provide post-placement supervision to ensure everything is going well

Are You Ready For Adoption?

The question “Why is adoption so expensive?” is a complicated one, and it can vary in every situation. At Heart of Adoptions, we’ll work to help you complete your family and can guide you through the entire experience.

Our adoption agency has completed over 2,250 child placements to date and is ready for more. Take a look at our newborn adoption program page to find out more about what we do.