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Do you know what it might cost to adopt a child?

Adopting a child can be an exciting step for families, and often one that is looked forward to for years. Whether this step has been planned for or is something that has suddenly come up due to a change in the family, understanding all options, legal requirements and costs can help ensure a more positive experience and outcome for the adoption.

One of the first things many people don't realize is that not all adoptions are created equal. Adoptions can be handled via foster care organizations, licensed private agencies, independent circumstances, unlicensed facilities and international organizations. The rules and requirements can be very different for each one of these types of adoptions, as can the cost. For example, an average range for the cost of adopting via foster care is up to $2,500. Comparatively, adopting internationally or through private organizations can cost from $5,000 to $40,000.

In most cases, a home study has to be completed before an adoption can go through. That's one of the reasons for the expense of an adoption -- the prospective parents often foot the bill for this process. In very specific circumstances that involve a minor child being the ward of a relative after a parent's passing, adoption might be an option without some of the red tape, especially if the child has been living in your home for some time.

Once the legal process is over, there are obviously other expenses associated with taking a child of any age into your home. Make sure you are aware of any needs, medical issues or other specifics that are known so you can plan appropriately. By working with an experienced adoption attorney, you might be able to grease some legal wheels to save yourself some stress, time and cost during the process.

Source: FindLaw, "Costs of Adopting: Fact Sheet for Families," accessed Feb. 17, 2017

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