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What are some important facts to know about adopting?

Adopting a child is a way to grow your family as well as to give a child in need a family to belong to. Parents who want to adopt in the U.S. have several options including seeking the help of an adoption agency. Sometimes, people are approached by birth parents directly or seek international adoptions.

There are many financial benefits and pitfalls, just as there are emotional risks and benefits. Here are a few things to consider.

1. Adoption agencies give birth parents more choices

Sometimes, especially with infants, the birth parents get to choose the parent who they're most comfortable with raising their children. The benefit of this is that the birth parent and adoptive parents may meet, and the child may go home from the hospital with the adoptive parents directly. For parents not interested in an open adoption, you may have to wait longer to adopt.

2. Costs range significantly

Yes, adoption can be expensive. The typical cost of working with an adoption agency to adopt an infant is between $20,000 and $40,000. This does provide you with everything from assistance from the agency to counseling. It is risky though, since a prospective birth parent could decide not to go through with the adoption.

3. Private adoptions cost less but are illegal in some states

Private adoptions, where you work with the birth parent directly, are less costly. They usually cost between $7,000 and $10,000. In some states, it's illegal to adopt this way including in Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Sometimes, an adoption attorney can help you adopt this way, and in other cases, you may reach out to the community to find a potential birth parent.

Source: BabyCenter, "Choosing adoption: Cost, benefits, and risk of the main options," accessed Jan. 23, 2018

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