If you’re planning to take a step in life and adopt a child in need of a home, it’s a good idea to start planning for quite some time beforehand, to ensure you are fully prepared. One of the biggest questions on your mind is probably “how much does adopting a baby cost?”. We’ll be looking in depth at the costs of adoption that you are likely to incur in Florida.
The first step in the process is to decide whether you want to adopt through a public agency, private agency or via independent adoption. If you’ve chosen to use a private agency, you’ll need to research which adoption agency is best for you. When selecting an agency it is important to do your homework, make sure the agency is licensed, is staffed with experienced professionals and is responsive to your calls and emails. To get you started we have an agency directory with some of the best private adoption agencies you can find in Florida.
Please note that all of the information in this article is referencing domestic adoption and doesn’t apply to adopting a child internationally.
Breakdown of Potential Adoption Fees
Adoption fees vary for each case so it can be difficult to provide an exact amount that you can expect to pay. The agency fees are typically quite low; the most expensive part of the adoption process for most families is usually the attorney fees. Document preparation and court representation can be anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000+ depending on the attorney you choose.
In many cases you will need to pay various “birth parent expenses”, these cover medical expenses (birth, pre & post natal care), living expenses, legal representation and counselling. Whilst these expenses can be cheap or free when covered by insurance, they can stack up quickly if you aren’t covered. Without insurance, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 – $20,000 for the medical expenses alone.
When using a public adoption agency there will be significantly fewer expenses to pay, with the whole process costing from $0 – $2,500. In comparison, the total cost of adoption through a private adoption agency typically costs from $4,000 – $30,000+. However, it is important to remember that when using a public agency, children will often be older and many public agencies only place children with special needs.
Resources You Can Use to Help Reduce Adoption Costs
Federal Tax Credit – As of January 1st, 1997, a federal adoption tax credit of $5,000 per child is available. This tax credit is available for both domestic and international adoption. Parents adopting a child with special needs domestically will qualify for an extra $1,000 tax credit.
State Tax Credit – Many states in the US also provide a state-level tax credit. Florida does not offer a state tax credit for adoption. Here is a list of the states that do offer a tax credit.
Reimbursement of Adoption Expenses – After the finalisation of the adoption process, families can apply for a reimbursement of the adoption related expenses. This reimbursement can cover any of the costs associated with adoption but is capped at $2,000 per child.
Employer Adoption Benefits – Some employers offer a variety of benefits for hopeful adoptive parents. Some of these benefits include paid or unpaid leave when the child first arrives at the home or a reimbursement of some of the adoption related expenses. Talk to your employer’s human resources department to find out what benefits are available to you.
Adoption Loans – To offset the expenses of adoption that many families can’t afford, the National Adoption Foundation has established a loan bank to assist families. Loan repayments then go towards providing loans for other families looking to adopt a child.
If you have any questions regarding adoption fees in Florida or nationwide, feel free to visit our Adoption Forum.