Our staff at Nightlight often are asked, “Why isn’t adoption free? As wonderful as that would be, in order for an agency to process an adoption in such a way that all parties involved are assured ethical treatment, adequate training, and proper legal oversight (not to mention the cost of licensing, liability insurance, international accreditation, and ongoing professional staff training) fees are inevitable.
Accreditation Costs: The costs of accreditation have risen every year and many agencies have been forced to close due to the high costs, unfortunately some of those costs are passed on to the families. Adoptive families are best served by trained and qualified staff who meet state and international requirements in the areas of education and professional licensure. The services that families receive are getting better and better because of the education the staff is receiving and adoptive parenting training that has been developed.
Post Adoption Services: With an adoption agency our services do not necessarily end with an adoption finalization. Even after the adoption we continue our support for the adoption triad. It is always a good idea to review the fee schedule of the program that you are interested in and to discuss those fees in detail with your provider.
Frequently Asked Questions: A couple more common questions prospective parents have regarding adoption fees would be–
“Are adoption fees refundable?” Adoption fees are not typically refundable due to the fact that an agency is working on your behalf through every stage. Agencies do have exceptions for situations where a family has a disruption or a family decides to switch programs. Every agency has different policies regarding these things, so it would be helpful to discuss this questions in detail with the program coordinator.
“How much does an adoption cost?” That will vary among programs and agencies. International adoption tends to be higher in fees as international travel can be expensive, and each country varies in the required number of trips for an adoption.
Reducing Costs: There are some things that families can consider in order to help reduce the cost of their adoption. Some employers offer adoption benefits; you should check with your HR department. There are various financial institutions that offer adoption loans. Families can apply for adoption grants; we have a list of adoption grant providers on our website. Families can take advantage of the adoption tax credit; you should consult with your tax advisor for further information. In addition to domestic and international adoption programs families may choose to adopt a waiting child or foster a child, as those options often offer a reduced financial obligation.
For more information, you are welcome to schedule a call with our inquiry specialist by calling 502-423- 5780 or by emailing [email protected]. We also have a great webinar that may answer more of these questions!
Written by Lara Kelso | MA, PLPC | Domestic Program Manager