Adoption FAQ #5: “How Expensive?”

As we are still waiting word of a travel date to go to Ethiopia to unite with our son, I am still having a great time answering questions concerning adoption for inquiring minds.  One of the most frequent questions we have received is “How expensive is one of those babies?” or “Why do they cost so much?”

First off, babies don’t cost money.  You pay for many legal fees, but you do not pay for the child.  In typical adoption expenses, you must pay for home studies, passports, legal paperwork, and so much more.  The list is very long, but all these fees add up to a substantial amount.

Second, there is not much financial discrepancy between domestic adoption and international adoption.  Actually, some recent figures say that international adoption costs can range from $7,000 to $30,000.  Shockingly, domestic adoption fees can range from $5,000 to $40,000.  That’s right – some domestic adoption fees are greater than some international adoption fees.  The difference being what type of agency and what type of stipulations you put on they type of child you want to adopt.  If you want to go the DSS adoption route, most fees are taken care of, but private agencies will cost you.

Third, while those fees seem a tad overwhelming to some families, the cost to adopt a child is less in most cases than the purchase of most automobiles.  Most people’s cars cost more than what it would take to bring a precious child into their home to find their forever family.  Yes, the fees are a huge commitment and sacrifice, but in light of what we spend money on, it’s not that much.

Fourth, God is not short on cash.  If you believe God leading you to adopt, God will provide the resources.  God has stretched our faith over these months, and we have been amazed at every step of the way concerning how God provides.  It’s been a wonderful partnership of God providing money we weren’t expecting and our willingness to do a little bit more and save a little bit more on our part.  God provided and we were willing to sacrifice.  We have always had enough due to God’s faithfulness.  I wish I had time to tell you all the stories of how He has shown up and done exceedingly abundantly more than what we could think or ask of Him (Eph 3:20).

If your finances are in trouble and you want to adopt, let one of these precious children be the stimulus to get your finances in shape.  To adopt, people comb through your finances relentlessly, so in order for some to adopt, you are going to need to clean some things up first.  Here are some steps to get you started:

  • Plan a monthly budget – Work with your spouse and spend every dollar on paper before you actually spend it.  See where your extra is going.
  • – We just started using this online site a couple of weeks ago, but this FREE service from the people at Turbo Tax that can help evaluate your finances and get you on track.
  • Crown Financial Class – North Side is offering Crown Financial classes that are starting this Sunday.  It is a 10 week study that will transform your finances.  Call the church office to sign up.
  • Financial Counseling – Did you know that we have North Side staff members that have been through Dave Ramsey training?  We have people on staff that will work with you for free to get a handle on your finances.
  • Scholarships – There are plenty of scholarships, grants, and matching grants available out there, you just need to apply.  In the coming months, North Side will have a matching grant fund available for prospective adoptive parents.  Before you apply for these scholarships though, these groups want to see you are being wise with the money you have right now.  They do NOT give away money to people who do not have a handle on their personal finances.

Yes, the cost associated with adoption is great, but the blessing is even greater!

3 thoughts on “Adoption FAQ #5: “How Expensive?””

  1. That was great, Travis. For people (like me) that read your blogs but are too far away to be a part of your Northside meetings, I would encourage you to go into more specifics of foster care adoption. For instance, for both our girls, we only paid $150 in court costs for their adoptions. Also, our 3-year old has special needs. Because of this, she will continue to get a $250 stipend per month until she is 18 years old. In addition, there is a $1,500 health stipend that is available per year for anything that Medicaid does not cover. (Right now we are blessed to be able to use this for her to see a Christian therapist.) I know that numbers are different for some people- children with greater needs have greater funds available for them. We would love to adopt privately or internationally, if God calls us to do that. And we know that, although we don’t have much financially, He would provide every cent and, probably more, that we would need. For now, we have been called to adopt through foster care, and I think most people don’t realize how it really, truly is pretty much all paid for. Just thought I’d add that :). (Oh, also, Shannon Petrus was our adoption caseworker for Gabi before she had her baby, Avery… I think her dad is on staff at your church?)

  2. Kate, thanks for that timely word – so thankful you can join in on this conversation from outside of Greenwood.

    Magen, thanks for sharing this concern. I checked into the safety concern about Mint before joining up – it seems pretty legit:

    But thanks for the heads up, I will make sure to check more into it!

  3. Travis,
    My husband and I heard about your exciting news through our friend, Buffie “Wylie” Plack. We are so excited about little ELi coming home. My husband and I just finished the Perspectives class and are praying about possible international adoption. I have read your blog and am very interested in what agency or pathway you went through to begin your adoption process. We have always had a heart for the African nation and may feel like God is calling us to pursue our possible adoption there. Could you give me a starting reference please?

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