Thinking about it


Hi there
We’re thinking about starting the adoption process, I know it takes awhile, so I was thinking about starting it soon. I was wondering what kind of costs I would be looking at, mostly up front costs. We’re looking at domestic infant, open or closed (is there a difference in cost for open/closed?)
Any info would be great!


I can’t offer any personal insight but I saw someone post this on Facebook and thought it was pretty interesting. Check out the HOLT link on that page too. Has some cost breakdowns.

How Much Does It Cost to Adopt?



We will likely start the process this summer. We are leaning towards foster to adopt. We know two couples who went this route so they will be our support


Congrats on your decision to adopt! This is a journey all on its own!

There are no differences in cost between open/closed adoption per se. Having said that, if you’re working with an agency / in a state that allows birthmother expenses to be paid, you may invest more up front than you would if you weren’t paying these expenses. These may include medical, housing, transportation, maternity clothes… and none of it is reimburseable if the birthmom changes her mind later. So we stayed away from any situation that called for such expenses.

Most agencies have a schedule of fees they will give you up front so you know what’s due when. Generally there’s an application fee of a few hundred dollars to get the ball rolling, followed by homestudy costs, which can range from roughly $1K-3K. Once your homestudy is approved, some agencies have a program fee that puts you on the official waiting list from which they pull profiles to show potential birth parents. This tends to be a good chunk of the full agency fee, so a few thousand dollars. This covers administrative fees, cost of advertising, birthmother counseling.

If you are not matched within a year of completing your homestudy, you will incur another fee to update your homestudy. This is usually less, maybe even half, of what you originally paid for the homestudy.

Once you are matched, the final agency fee is due, I believe right around placement? Many agencies do not refund this fee if the birthmother ends up changing her mind but you already paid this fee. Some agencies do roll it over to your next match. If you can find such an agency, go with them.

The final cost is the finalization of the adoption, usually at least 6 months after placement, and involves court fees of several hundred dollars, I believe, and possible attorney fees.

There is an alternative to agency adoption depending on if your state allows it, called private/independent adoption. If your state allows it, you would hire an adoption agency to do your homestudy only (no placement fees with them), and you would retain your own adoption attorney (make sure it’s an atty specializing in adoption). You would then do your own networking to try to locate a match with a birth mother. There are websites you can post a profile with that help with this, and fliers/business cards/ word of mouth also works for some people.

If you’re successful in finding your own match (your attorney may also suggest some situations as they come across their desk, but they’re not actively looking for a birth mom for you), you would then all meet with your attorney to make legal arrangements, including contacting the hospital where the birth is to take place so they would know this is an adoption situation and they’d allow the adopting parents in.

Again, if the birth mother changes her mind at any time, your attorney fees are not reimbursable. And again, if your homestudy expires, you need to pay to have it updated.

Which option - agency or independent - is cheaper is anyone’s guess, bc it really depends on your luck in finding a match. We pursued independent adoption and had our first match (it evolved into a match later) within 5 months of starting our homestudy (via word of mouth through our support group for private adoption), second match a month after that (via Parent Profiles .com), a third match a month or two after the first failed (through word of mouth via a friend of mine who knew a lady in her church whose granddaughter was pregnant), and a fourth match 6 months after the third match failed (kinship word of mouth). The first match ended when social services got involved and it was no longer as simple as birthparents choosing us. We spent roughly $7,000 total trying to adopt privately. Had it worked, it would’ve been much cheaper than an agency adoption, but as it were, it didn’t work and we got tired of having to advertise ourselves and constantly screen calls and emails.

Finally, some agencies do offer sliding scale fees based on your income. Be sure to meet with several agencies before making your decision.

Good luck!


Well, I was ready for adoption, and starting the process…did a whole bunch of research on it because I knew if I didn’t have research, my husband wouldn’t have even talked about it.
Turns out, no research could change my husbands mind on the fact that he is not ready :frowning:
The next informational meeting to where we would adopt from is in August, so I’m hoping I can change his mind by then! But that is also when if two cycles of IUI don’t work, when we would be on a break…
So…maybe in 6 months I can convince him…


My husband was against adoption until he saw what I went thru with all my IF treatment and drugs. After I researched it and gave him info on it he was much more receptive. I was the one who interviewed agencies and called for information though.


Hi Pasban,

Welcome, glad you here! Where are you in the process now?


Yeah Surrogacy or adoption is the best process to reduce the pregnancy problem.