When prospective parents are considering adoption as a way to build their family, it’s normal for them to ask, “How much does adoption cost?”

The cost of adoption in Kansas City varies based on many different factors, so it’s impossible to give a clear answer to this question. The best way to find out how much adoption costs is by speaking to an experienced adoption professional, like attorney Kevin Kenney. Only then can you get a better idea of what your adoption process may cost you and whether it’s the right choice for you.

In general, your personal adoption costs will be determined by:

  • The professional(s) you use
  • The adoption process you pursue
  • Your own budget

Because the adoption process plays a huge role in the cost of adoption, all prospective adoptive parents should research all of their options before deciding what is best for them. For example, a foster care adoption is much cheaper than a private domestic infant adoption, which is usually much cheaper than an international adoption. All of these are usually more expensive than relative and stepparent adoptions. Therefore, it’s encouraged that a prospective adoptive family knows which adoption process they’ll pursue before asking, “How much does an adoption cost?”

Many adoptive parents who approach attorney Kevin Kenney are interested the adoption fees associated with a private domestic infant adoption, which is what this article will focus on. If you have questions about the adoption costs of another process, please call Kevin at 913-671-8008.

The Cost of Private Domestic Adoption

The average cost of adopting a child through a private infant adoption is around $20,000 to $50,000 — but what you will actually pay for your individual adoption will be determined by your personal preferences and situation. To better understand why adoption is so expensive, it’s important to understand the different professionals and the adoption fees that can be involved. Which professionals you use will often be a determining factor in your adoption cost in Kansas City.

Adoption Agencies

Often, when people ask, “Why is adoption so expensive?” it’s because they have researched the fees associated with private infant adoption agencies. These fees will vary by professional, but they can often average around $30,000–$40,000.

While these adoption costs can seem steep, it’s important to understand that many adoption agencies complete all of the necessary services you need for your private infant adoption. This means that all of the adoption costs associated with other adoption professionals (listed below) are often included in those agency fees, and prospective adoptive parents will not need to pay additional adoption costs to hire additional professionals.

The reason why these agency adoption fees can be expensive is because of the extensive services provided by these professionals, including:

  • Screening and evaluation services
  • Advertising and matching services for finding an adoption opportunity
  • Counseling and support for adoptive parents and pregnant women considering adoption
  • Case management services
  • Contact mediation services
  • Coordination with hospital professionals
  • And more

Often, the total adoption cost an adoption agency charges will be based on the number of services they provide. In other words, the agency adoption fees are often worth the price. When a prospective adoptive parent chooses to pursue an independent adoption without an agency, they will have to gather all of these services themselves through different professionals. It’s not uncommon for those costs to add up to more than the agency adoption fees.

When choosing an adoption agency, prospective adoptive parents should ask questions about the professional’s fee structure and services. Most agencies will be transparent and explain exactly what services they include in their programs.

Adoption Attorneys

Every adoption requires the legal assistance of an adoption attorney. Because some of these adoption professionals have relationships with adoption agencies and their clients, their adoption fees can sometimes be paid through the agency’s overhead fees. If you hire an adoption agency for your adoption process, ask them about their policy with legal fees.

Adoption attorneys are an integral part of the adoption costs you will pay, as you cannot complete an adoption without the legal guidance they provide.

Attorney Kevin Kenney will always discuss his law firm’s fee structure for various adoption processes, including how working with one of his agency partners will influence the adoption costs paid.

Home Study Providers

Another adoption professional that may add to your overall cost to adopt will be your home study provider. All prospective families wishing to adopt must complete a home study investigation before receiving an adoption placement. Some agencies are licensed to complete home studies on their own and, thus, these costs are included in their agency fees. If you complete an adoption without an agency, you can expect to pay an additional professional to complete your home study investigation.

Living Expenses

One of the reasons that private infant adoption can seem so expensive is because of the adoption costs associated with a prospective birth mother. Adoption will always be free to any pregnant woman considering this decision and, depending on her state laws, her pregnancy costs and living expenses will be covered by the adoptive parents with whom she chooses to place her child. A portion of the domestic private adoption costs prospective adoptive parents pay is to help a prospective birth mother through this difficult period in her life and make adoption as easy as possible for her.

Prospective adoptive parents are able to set a budget for birth mother expenses based on how much they can afford, but it’s important to consider that a lower budget for living expenses may reduce the adoption opportunities available and increase the time spent waiting for a match. Kevin Kenney can discuss the costs of birth mother living expenses with you in more detail, as well as the specific laws in your state. He can also connect you with an appropriate adoption professional to help you find a match and coordinate these payments.

Other Costs

In addition to these adoption costs, there are additional variable costs that will differ with each adoption. For example, if a prospective birth mother and adoptive parents are located in different states, there will be additional travel costs and legal costs for interstate adoption placements. If an adoption professional does not provide post-placement services, prospective adoptive parents may need to pay additional adoption fees to a professional who can manage post-placement mediation.

Another thing to consider is the adoption costs of a disrupted adoption. If a prospective birth mother changes her mind, adoption costs put into that adoption opportunity often cannot be recouped, and prospective adoptive parents can lose money. That’s why Kevin Kenney recommends that adoptive parents work with an adoption agency that provides a risk-sharing protection program in case of these situations.

Determining Your Adoption Costs in Kansas City

Because there are so many aspects that come into play when considering the price of adoption, it’s important that prospective adoptive parents speak with experienced adoption professionals when determining their true cost of adoption in Kansas City. Only then can they receive an accurate estimate based on their adoption preferences and individual situation.

To learn more about the legal costs of adoption in Kansas City, please contact Kevin Kenney today.