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Quick & Affordable Domestic Adoption

By Cynthia Gomez ; Updated April 18, 2017
Many children in the United States are awaiting adoption.

If you have ever dreamed of adopting a child, you may have been deterred by the idea that adoptions cost a great deal of money. While international adoptions and even private domestic adoptions can come with a hefty price tag, there are ways to adopt a child quickly and inexpensively, if you’re willing to put in the required work.

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There are various routes to adopting a child into your family. While many people may be most familiar with international adoptions simply because so many celebrities choose to adopt children from overseas, this is also typically the most expensive type of adoption. There are many children in the United States awaiting adoption, an option that requires far less money than an international adoption. Additionally, you may choose whether to adopt through a private agency or a public agency, and to do a closed or open adoption.

Domestic, Private Agency Adoptions

International, private adoptions are the most expensive version of adoption. A cheaper alternative is the private adoptions of children in the United States through adoption agencies. According to Adoption.com, these types of adoptions can cost anywhere between $4,000 and $30,000, so it’s important to do your research to find an agency with services that fit your budget. Typically included in this cost is birth parent counseling, a home study of the adoptive parents and the home environment, birth expenses, and post-placement supervision. Some agencies use a sliding scale based on the adoptive family’s income to make adoption more affordable.

Domestic, Public Agency Adoptions

Public agencies in every state have children waiting to be adopted. While many of these children have special needs, others are simply children who have been removed from their parents for neglect or abuse and are in foster care with the birth parents’ rights terminated by a court. This is the cheapest way to adopt a child, with the out-of-pocket cost often being zero. Additionally, some states offer parents who choose this route a subsidy for the child’s care until the age of 18. However, in addition to a home study, you may be required to complete an intensive parenting course and submit large quantities of documentation.

Defraying Costs

Some employers offer partial reimbursement of costs, which can greatly defray any adoption costs you incur. Ask if your employer offers such benefits. Additionally, most states participate in a federal match program that reimburses adoptive parents for certain, non-recurring expenses related to adopting a child, up to $2,000, notes Adoption.com.


If participating in a private adoption in which a parent is choosing to give up the child, agreeing to an open adoption can eliminate any indecision on the birth parent’s part, which may slow down the adoption process. Additionally, if you choose to adopt through a public agency, you may be able to adopt more quickly by adopting an older child or child with disabilities.

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About the Author

Cynthia Gomez has been writing and editing professionally for more than a decade. She is currently an editor at a major publishing company, where she works on various trade journals. Gomez also spent many years working as a newspaper reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northeastern University.

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