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18May, 15

Are you interested in expanding your family, but are overwhelmed by the expense of adoption? You’re not alone, but the truth is, the cost of adoption may not be what you think.

Comparing Costs of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction

Individuals and couples who wish to have a child, but are unable to do so naturally, or who choose alternate ways to grow their family, typically have two options: adoption or assisted reproduction (ART).

On the surface, both possibilities are relatively comparable in cost. The average price of a domestic adoption in the United States ranges from $20,000-$45,000, while a donor egg pregnancy via in vitro fertilization costs between $20,000-$35,000.

However, if you or your partner require a donor embryo, that cost could be $7,500-$20,000. A gestational carrier/surrogacy can drive the cost up even more, from $50,000 to over $100,000.

Tax Credits for Adoption

When comparing costs between adoption and assisted reproduction, one important thing to keep in mind is that adoption offers a federal tax credit. In fact, many employers offer credits as well.

For a couple with combined annual incomes of less than $180,000, the federal adoption credit could be up to $13,190. Employer tax credits typically range from $2,000-$5,000 and are offered by companies like SAS, CISCO, IBM, the United States Department of Defense and many others.

Determining how you will grow your family is both an emotional and a financial decision. When talking with my clients about family planning, I encourage them to understand the financial impact of each alternative and determine how much these tax credits will offset the cost of adoption, to determine their ‘bottom-line’ cost.

How to Afford Adoption

So now that you have done your cost analysis, how do you afford your ‘bottom-line’? Most adoptive families are middle-income and can work out the costs over time. Options for financing an adoption include:

  • Borrowing against home equity, allowing a deduction while waiting for the tax credit
  • Borrowing against a retirement or 401K plan
  • Receiving grants and monies from adoption assistance programs through public and private organizations;
  • Asking family members and relatives to assist with cost

Although it is impossible to put a monetary value on having a child, adoption may offer more options to make your dreams of a family a reality. Remember: where there’s a will, there’s a way!


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