When you’re considering adoption, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the decisions and steps involved in the process. These are some of the questions we hear most regularly from our clients who are just beginning to think about adopting a child. Wherever you are in the process, we’re here to talk and help you start on one of the most important journeys your family will take.
It’s important to remember that every adoption is different. This goes for most aspects of the process, but it’s especially true when it comes to cost. However, you can get an idea of likely expenses and begin your financial planning with a few up-front decisions. Domestic adoptions often range from $20,000 to $40,000, with fees going toward your agency, legal expenses, and the birth mother’s medical and living expenses. It’s always smart to ask a prospective agency what is included in its fees. International adoptions typically range from $20,000 to $50,000, depending on the country. Adoptions from foster care are sometimes reimbursable.
If you’re trying to grow your family through adoption, the cost can seem daunting. First, you’ll want to check to see if your workplace has an adoption assistance program. These programs can provide substantial reimbursement for your adoption expenses. The Federal Adoption Tax Credit also provides some relief, though it is currently non-refundable.
Domestic infant adoption can move fairly quickly, but you’ll likely wait at least a year. Typically, it takes several months of interviews, paperwork, and home studies to be approved to adopt. After you’re cleared, you wait for a birth mother to select your profile. Depending on how far along she is in her pregnancy, you may spend several more months waiting or find yourself rushing to make it to her home state for the birth. Adoptions from foster care are also somewhat unpredictable. It takes about 6 months to be approved as a foster parent. After that, you wait until a child who is available for adoption to be placed with you. Internationally, the timeline varies for every family and depends on the country. Families typically spend up to 3 years waiting to be matched with a child, though it can take less time if the family is open to adopting a child with special needs.
Adoption involves the transfer of parental rights. With domestic infant adoptions, this usually means the birth parents voluntarily terminate their parental rights. The length of time they have to do this varies by state, as does the period of time when they may revoke their consent. Adoptions from the foster system involve the involuntary termination of rights—typically after the state has made a reasonable effort to reunify the child with his or her biological parents. In either case, once the biological parents’ rights are terminated, the adoptive parents submit a petition to the court for a hearing to finalize the adoption. A judge signs the decree of adoption, and, as a final step, the child is issued a new birth certificate.
The Marietta adoption attorneys at Bivek, Brubaker & Prescott LLC have years of experience dealing with all types of adoption cases. We can help you understand the process and proceed on a sound legal footing. Contact us or call (404) 793-6530 today to speak with one of our highly qualified adoption attorneys.