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Cost for International Adoption

The cost for international adoption is something many people think about when first considering international adoption, and that's understandable. Any adoption is expensive, and the prohibitive cost keeps many families from pursuing it.

The total cost will depend on many factors, including the country you choose, the agency you go through and also what the dollar is worth. The American dollar is currently in flux, and what may cost $25,000 when this article was written (December, 2009), may cost a great deal more when you read this page.

So with that in mind, here is an explanation of what the cost involves and what you might expect.

costs of international adoption

Agency Fees

The agency fees, along with your international fees, will be the biggest part of your cost for international adoption. So why is the agency fee so high? Any adoption agency has an office building, equipment and full-time staff, all of which cost money. Plus they pay for advertising and provide aide to orphans.

So why use an agency? A reputable agency will work as a shield, protecting you from scams and making certain your adoption journey runs as smoothly as possible. They also make certain your paperwork is in order, arrange your hotel accommodations, and provide for an escort while you're there. If you need someone to hold your hand throughout your adoption journey, then an adoption agency is likely the right choice for you.

On the other hand, if you're a rugged individualist who is not afraid of a challenge, you may want to consider pursuing an independent adoption and cut the agency fee out of your cost for international adoption.

International Fees

Again, these will be much higher should you choose to adopt through an agency. These fees include a mandatory donation to help cover orphanage costs and also help cover all overseas attorney costs and bureaucratic expenses.

Travel Expenses

This is also a large part of your cost for international adoption, and include airfare for both you and your child, hotel expenses and meals. This cost will depend on how far you will have to travel to pick up your child.


This will include birth certificates, marriage licenses, a medical exam, police records and any other documentation required by the country through which you plan to adopt. Many of these documents will need to be signed by an active notary public and then be apostilled by the Secretary of State in your state - usually at a cost of at least $10-$20 per document. Most adoptions require at least ten different official documents, so expect your paperwork to cost you at least $200. how much does international adoption cost

Home Study

Another big part of your cost for international adoption. You will need to have a case worker come to your home to make certain that you have a safe living environment for a child, interview you and then prepare a home study. The cost will usually run about $1,200.

Doctor's Fees for Exams

Most countries want documented proof that you have no disabilities that would hinder your ability to care for a child. A medical exam from your local doctor will likely cost about $150 and up.

The Total Cost for International Adoption

So what can you expect the total cost for international adoption to be? It will depend on the country you choose and whether you choose to use an agency.


You will most likely have to go through an agency to adopt from China. The cost will be anywhere from $24,000 to $27,000 and up, depending on the agency you choose.


Again, if you adopt from Korea, you will likely have to go through an agency. Expect the cost to be about $25,000 per child.


You will have to go through an agency should you choose to adopt from Russia. The cost will be about $35,000 per child.

The Ukraine

You can pursue an independent international adoption through the Ukraine. If so, your cost will be about $12,000 per child. If you go through an agency, expect to pay about $30,000 per child.


If you pursue an independent adoption from Jamaica, your cost for international adoption will be about $3,000 to $4,000. If you go through an agency, expect to pay about $20,000.


If you go through an agency to adopt from Haiti, expect to pay about $22,000 per child. If you pursue an independent adoption, the total cost will be around $6,000.

Other Helpful Sources

Ask many couples why they don't adopt, and they'll say finances are what are holding them back. But it doesn't have to be that way. My husband and I had a limited income, yet we were able to adopt three children, including one child from Guatemala without going into debt. You can too. Here's how.

Are you thinking about pursuing an international adoption? Developing a plan for how you'll pay for that adoption is the first step you should take. Here are some ways to get started.

There are many ways to fund an international adoption. Learn different ways by clicking here.

Uncle Sam also wants to help you with your adoption costs through a tax credit. Learn more.

If you're looking for more details about the tax credit, you can read more by clicking here.

Grants are a great way to help with adoption costs. Find agencies that offer grants by clicking here.

Want to learn about more places for grants? Here are some more great places to apply.

It is possible to find an international adoption you can afford. Here are some ideas to help save money.

Still wondering how you're going to pay those adoption expenses? Find more ways to raise funds by clicking here.

A garage sale is a great way to raise adoption funds. Learn how to finance your adoption by clicking here.

Intimidated by high adoption costs? Don't be. Paying for your adoption involves taking one step at a time. Find some more tips by clicking here.

So how much will your international adoption cost? The answer will depend on the country you choose and whether you choose to go through an agency or pursue an independent international adoption. Learn more here.

Fundraisers are a great way to pay for your adoption. Learn about some fun ones by clicking here.

The best kinds of fundraisers are fun, fairly simple to organize and - naturally - bring in the most funds for your international adoption. Learn more.

Making and selling gift baskets are one creative way to raise funds for your international adoption. You can read some tips on making an appealing basket by clicking here.

Thinking about taking out a loan to pay for your adoption? Read this article first by clicking here.

If you want to pursue a loan using your home as equity, there are important things to know upfront. Learn more here.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to pay for your international adoption is to learn to cut back on costs. Here are some easy ways.

Do you love doughnuts? You're not alone. Help pay for that adoption with a doughnut fundraiser. Learn more here.

When making plans for raising funds for your adoption, don't forget to include friends and family. Learn how to write a letter to solicit funds and help by clicking here.

More and more companies are now offering adoption benefits, so it's definitely worth your while to check and see if your company offers such benefits. Learn more.

Great Fundraisers!

Use a raffle to raise funds for your adoption. Learn more.

Sell t-shirts and pay for your adoption with a t-shirt fundraiser. Read more.

Read one person's story about raising funds for her adoption with a Garage sale fundraiser.

A benefit gala is a fun way to pay for your adoption. Read more.

How about a chicken dinner for raising funds. You can read all about it by clicking here.

One adoptive parent used a roller skating fundraiser to help with adoption costs. You can read her story by clicking here.

While you're doing one fundraiser, why not combine it with another one? Learn how.

Looking for a low-cost, simple way to raise funds? How about the pasta fundraiser? Read more.

A taste test party is another great way to raise funds. Learn more about it by clicking here.

Using the cash bash to raise funds for your adoption. Learn more.

A jigsaw puzzle fundraiser is a fun way to raise money for your adoption. You can read about it by clicking here.

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