It’s one of the first questions that hopeful adoptive parents ask: How much does adoption cost in North Carolina?
While you can certainly find adoption cost estimates for various adoption processes online, giving an accurate answer to this question based on your individual situation is complicated. Because each adoption is unique, so will be each family’s adoption fees and expenses. To best understand what your cost to adopt in North Carolina might be, it’s recommended that you contact an appropriate adoption professional, like the adoption attorneys at the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC.
While it’s true that adoption is expensive depending on the path you choose, it’s important to understand exactly where these different adoption fees come from, so you can better decide which family-building path is right for you and create an adoption journey that fits your personal budget.
Private Domestic Infant Adoption Costs
If you are considering the private domestic infant adoption process, you’re probably also asking, “How much does it cost to adopt a baby in North Carolina?”
The average cost of adopting a baby through a domestic adoption agency today is more than $41,000 — but your actual cost of adoption in North Carolina will likely differ from that based on your personal situation. There are a number of factors that will impact your overall private adoption costs, and how those factors incorporate into your personal adoption process will be the determining factor in your final price of adoption.
Often, when people ask, “Why is adoption so expensive?” it’s because they have seen adoption costs from adoption agencies. The price of infant adoption will be much higher when working with an adoption agency because of the fact that an agency will provide all of the services you need to complete the adoption.
Adoption agencies can provide almost every service needed to successfully complete an adoption in North Carolina. This means that their agency fees and estimated adoption costs cover almost every aspect of your adoption process, which is why the overall cost can seem expensive. With adoption agencies, adoptive families quite literally get what they pay for — more services for more expense and vice versa.
Some of the extensive services provided by adoption agencies include:
- Screening and evaluation services of birth parents
- Advertising and matching services to find a prospective birth mother
- Counseling and support for hopeful parents and women considering adoption
- Contact mediation services
- Case management services
- Coordination with other adoption professionals
- Coordination with the hospital and medical personnel after the baby is born.
For a more affordable average cost to adopt a child, adoptive families might consider local adoption agencies over larger, national adoption agencies located out of state. As always, you should consider how a program’s services meet your needs and expectations before committing to a specific adoption program.
Every prospective adoptive family will need the legal assistance of an adoption attorney in order to complete an adoption in North Carolina. These professionals will make sure every party’s legal rights are protected during the process, birth parents’ rights are properly terminated and an adoption finalization is properly completed.
Some attorneys have partnerships with adoption agencies, which could bring your legal adoption fees down or require they be included in your agency’s fees. The adoption attorneys at the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC can always discuss our firm’s fee structure for a private domestic infant adoption, whether completed with or without the assistance of an adoption agency.
Home Study Providers
Another crucial part of your overall cost of adoption is your adoption home study. Before you can complete an adoption in North Carolina, you must be approved by a home study professional. Some adoption agencies are licensed to complete these studies and will include these adoption costs in your overall agency fees, while in other situations you may be required to pay an additional professional to complete your home study investigation.
Finally, another reason why adoption is expensive is because of the adoption fees associated with prospective birth mothers. When a woman chooses to place her baby for adoption, all of her adoption services are completely free to her — and her chosen prospective adoptive family will pay for her expenses, as allowable by her state’s adoption laws. Therefore, a portion of your cost of adopting a baby in North Carolina will go towards a prospective birth mother’s living, medical and legal expenses.
As an adoptive parent, you will have the chance to set a budget for the adoption costs you pay toward a prospective birth mother’s living expenses. However, it’s important to consider how this decision will impact your wait time for an adoption opportunity. Typically, the higher your adoption budget for a prospective birth mother’s living expenses, the more opportunities that will be available to you.
An adoption counselor at an experienced adoption agency can help you better understand what your typical cost of adoption living expenses will be and how it will affect your overall wait time.
Other Average Adoption Costs
In addition to the costs associated with private domestic infant adoption, some adoptive parents wish to know more about the adoption costs for other family-building processes in North Carolina. The answer to this question is similar: Your price of adoption will depend upon the professionals you use and your individual situation.
In general, here are some average adoption costs for other adoption processes you may be interested in.
Foster Care Adoption
Foster care adoption is often the most affordable adoption process for prospective adoptive families. On average, the cost of a foster care adoption is either free or minimal. Families who adopt through a public agency will often have their adoption costs funded by the state, while those who adopt through a private adoption incur out-of-pocket expenses that are later reimbursed by federal or state adoption assistance programs.
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International adoption, on the other hand, often has the potential to be the most expensive adoption process available to adoptive parents in the United States. The cost of adoption from different countries varies widely, as different countries require different international adoption fees. That’s not to mention the added costs of travel, legal paperwork, and the time required to be spent in the other country before an adoption can occur.
When adopting internationally, adoption fees can range from $30,000 to $45,000.
Stepparent, Relative and Adult Adoption
For more straightforward legal adoptions like stepparent and relative adoptions, which often legalize an existing parent-child relationship, the cost to adopt in North Carolina is much smaller. Because these kinds of adoptions either don’t require background checks or only require minimal background checks, all of the associated adoption fees are legal. Therefore, the cost for these kinds of adoptions usually averages around $1,500 to $2,500.
No matter what kind of adoption process you’re interested in, it’s important to fully understand what your average adoption cost in North Carolina will be before starting. The Parker Herring Law Group PLLC is happy to discuss our firm’s fee schedule for various adoption processes, and prospective adoptive families can always contact us at 919-821-1860 or online to learn more.