Preface: Please don’t think of this post as saying “This is how much our child will cost.” This post is an honest look at how much international adoption costs. It’s how much the PROCESS costs...not a child.
Ok, buckle up. We’re going to talk money. It’s uncomfortable to do so, but I think it’s really important for people to understand the financial commitments surrounding adoption.
Like I’ve mentioned before, we know a lot of people who have adopted. We’ve always known this was expensive and adoption fundraising is completely normal to us. However, I know that’s not the case for everyone.
I have read articles that say people who adopt from other countries are buying babies. I have heard people say “if you can’t afford to adopt a child, you can’t afford to raise a child.”
International adoption is really expensive. We are anticipating spending more than $40,000 after travel. I’ve never researched how much it costs to give birth to a child, but I’m pretty sure insurance goes a long way to help cover the costs...which isn’t the case with adoption. We can afford to raise a child, but spending $40,000 to bring them home doesn’t set you up to be in the best financial position once they’re in your arms.
We chose this path, so we are fully prepared to be responsible for all the finances. We will do what it takes to bring our child home.
However, we have witnessed that people are eager to be a part of an adoption journey. A lot of people care deeply about adoption but don’t feel called to actually adopt. We are fundraising because we want our child to know that there was a community who was praying for them and eager for them to join our family.
Why is adoption so expensive?
I don’t have all the answers on why it costs so much, and while it may seem counterintuitive, we pay fees so that the adoption is handled ethically. When you work with a reputable agency, you pay for their experience, wisdom, and professionalism. You aren’t buying a baby.
Like any parent, you would pay whatever it cost to make sure your child is safe and healthy. You are paying knowledgeable people to do their job so that your child is brought home in a safe and ethical way.
What are some of the specific (perhaps unexpected) expenses?
- Documents. Lots and lots and lots of documents. You have to pay to source nearly every document you have to turn in. Certified copies of birth certificates, our marriage certificate, background checks, immigration application, etc. The fee to apply to US Immigration to adopt from another country is around $900. Yikes!
The sealing process. You have to have all your documents notarized and certified, which costs at every step. You have to pay the county clerk, the Secretary of State, the State Department, and the Chinese Embassy to certify your documents.
Postage. Lots and lots and lots of postage. You have to mail a lot of documents all over and you want to make sure they get there safely and securely, so you pay extra for tracking and insurance and speediness.
File reviews - it can cost around $500 to have a pediatrician well-versed in international adoptions to review a potential child’s medical files and discuss it with you.
Translation. Sometimes you have to pay to have documents translated.
Those are the major categories that we know about at this time. As you can see, there’s a lot to juggle.
It’s hard to ask for help and it’s uncomfortable knowing that some people view adoption fundraising in a negative light. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out. If you haven’t read why we’re adopting from China, you can do so here.
If you feel led, you can contribute through our YouCaring fundraiser.
We are also accepting used media to re-sell to raise money for fees. Let us know if you’re decluttering and have books, CDs, DVDs, etc to pass along.
Of course, we'll always accept prayers and good thoughts. :) Thank you for joining us on this journey!
And, per our tradition, a Disney song that somewhat relates!