By Lee Sherman
For most people, the joys of parenthood definitely outweigh the costs. But when it comes to adopting a child, it can be much more expensive than you might have anticipated. In addition to the normal costs of bringing up a child and putting them through school, there are a few other financial considerations you’ll have to consider.
With a sound financial strategy for adoption, you’ll be able to keep those costs as low as possible. You’ll also need to decide whether you are looking to adopt a newborn or an older child as the costs vary greatly.
Choose Foster Care
The least expensive route to adoption is foster care, especially if you are looking to adopt an older child. With foster care, a minor whose birth parents can no longer support them is placed temporarily in homes under the care of a “foster parent” appointed by the state until they are adopted. They may remain in foster care for several years before they are adopted. The placement of the child is handled by a government or a social service agency that specializes in adoption. For the most part, these adoptions are free or can be had for a relatively low cost, perhaps a few thousand dollars. Keep in mind that most children in foster care are around 8 years old however and if you’re looking to adopt a newborn this might not be the best option for you.
If adopting a newborn is your preference, you’ll most likely pay more, probably a lot more. Private domestic adoptions can cost as much as $20,000 to $45,000 and you’ll have to go through an adoption agency to find a birth mother who is putting up her unborn child for adoption first. You’ll be required to pay her expenses during the pregnancy and you’ll also be financially responsible for any complications that may arise. Expenses can include health insurance, attorney’s fees, living expenses, and more.
It’s also possible to adopt a child from another country. While the birth mother’s expenses may be lower in places such as Eastern Europe or Central America, you’ll also need to factor in travel costs and you may need to visit multiple times before the child is born. Long stays can cause the price to go even higher.
Like any financial expenditure, adopting a child is fraught with unforeseen consequences. Financial advisors recommend you plan for these consequences by getting your financial house in order before you go down the route of adopting a child. Make sure you’ve budgeted for an extra mouth at the table, clothes, childcare, education, and the rest of the costs that come with adding a member of the family. Only then should you consider the costs of adoption itself.
Lee Sherman is a contributing writer to www.myperfectfinancialadvisor.com, the premier matchmaker between investors and advisors. Lee is an experienced journalist and editor with over 30 years of expertise with a significant history of writing in the personal finance and technology arenas.