It’s certainly one of the biggest questions that we get from all prospective adoptive families: “How much does adoption cost in South Carolina?”
There’s no simple answer when it comes to adoption costs. Because each adoption is unique, your adoption costs will vary. However, at the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, we promise to be upfront and transparent about the potential cost of adoption when you work with us.
When you first contact us, we will send you a lengthy packet of information that also includes information about all of our adoption costs. If you determine that you’re ready to move forward with our firm, we will then schedule a one-on-one appointment to discuss your hopes for your adoption process and how our adoption fees will factor into that decision. For more information, call us today at 864-573-5533.
In the meantime, you’re probably wondering, “Why is adoption so expensive?” To help you understand how adoption costs are calculated, we’ve broken down some common child adoption costs in this article.
How Private Domestic, Foster Care and International Adoption Costs Differ
First, it’s important to understand that the kind of adoption you choose will play a large role in how much an adoption costs. Because each process requires different steps, your adoption costs will be determined in part by which process you choose.
Here’s a sampling of average adoption costs:
- Private domestic adoption with an agency: $41,532
- Private domestic adoption with an attorney: $34,594
- Foster care adoption: $2,811
- International adoption (varies by country): $36,070 to $46,412
Because these are only averages, your adoption may be more or less expensive depending on your individual circumstances, as well as the professional that you work with. However, these averages will give you a good idea of how much the cost of adoption will differ depending on which process you choose.
Why Domestic Infant Adoption Costs Can be High
When it comes to adoption professionals and their adoption costs, you get what you pay for. Therefore, if you choose to work with a less expensive adoption professional, you may not receive as many advantages and benefits as a professional who may charge more for their services. Before you choose an adoption professional based solely on cost, we recommend you investigate whether they can offer you all the services you need to complete your adoption — and, if not, what additional adoption fees you might pay to obtain those services elsewhere.
The Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson provides the services you need for a successful adoption every step of the way. When you work with us, you’ll receive a level of service that combines both law and social work services. We work closely with both prospective birth mothers and adoptive families to provide a high level of attention throughout the process, and we strive to make the adoption fees for these services as manageable as possible for anyone who works with us.
To help you understand why adoption is expensive, here are just a few of the services your domestic infant adoption fees cover:
- Birth mother outreach: Advertising to find prospective birth mothers, coverage of living expenses and more
- Matching services: Adoptive family profiles, screening services, facilitation of open adoption contact and more
- Legal fees associated with finalizing an adoption
- Social worker counseling for prospective birth mothers and adoptive parents
- Medical fees
- And more
Many of these fees are specific to private domestic infant adoption, so they will not apply to other kinds of adoption, like adoption from foster care. These requirements are the reason why private domestic adoption tends to be more expensive than other adoption processes.
In addition, if you choose to adopt from foster care, the cost for your legal services may be partially or fully reimbursed by the state through an adoption assistance program. Contact our firm today to learn more.
How We Break Down our Costs
When you work with us for your private domestic adoption through our matching program, we charge an upfront fee for our “birth mother outreach” program. Once you pay your birth mother outreach fee, you will not be charged for any other adoption costs until you have a child placed with you.
Our birth mother outreach fee is the same for all prospective adoptive families who need help finding an adoption opportunity. This upfront fee allows us to work with expectant parents who are interested in adoption, without a family being put financially at risk if the adoption falls through. We may help expectant families with living expenses, private counseling, or doctor’s appointments while insurance is in transition prior to an adoptive match occurring.
Once you are matched with a prospective birth mother, we will give you a full breakdown of the anticipated costs you might expect based on her particular situation should an adoptive placement occur.
Additional Child Adoption Costs to Expect
Almost every step of your adoption process will be covered through the adoption fees you pay our law firm, but you should also be prepared for some additional adoption costs not covered through our services. The most critical of these is your adoption home study.
Because we do not provide home study services through our law firm (in order to avoid that conflict of interest), you will need to work with a licensed South Carolina home study provider to complete this step of your adoption. We will refer you to trusted professionals for this process. How much this process costs will depend upon which provider you use; the average cost could run from $500 to $1,000, depending on which additional services are provided by that professional.
You’ll also need to factor in child adoption costs for any travel and lodging you’ll need when the prospective birth mother gives birth. When you first discuss your adoption process with attorney Jim Thompson, he will give you an idea of what the cost of adopting a baby may be in your situation, including these variable adoption fees.
Affording Your Adoption in S.C.
Before you decide to pursue adoption, you’ll need to seriously research the costs associated with your preferred adoption method. Once you determine how much an adoption costs, you can start saving and financing appropriately for your parenthood journey.
In many cases, you may be eligible for an adoption tax credit, which can be applied to any non-recurring adoption expenses. In addition, many employers offer adoption benefits that can help offset the costs associated with an adoption; make sure you check to see if your work place offers such assistance. If you pursue a foster care adoption, the South Carolina Department of Social Services may also cover some of your adoption expenses.
The Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson can work with your adoption budget to find a situation that works for your family. Our dedication to transparency makes sure that every prospective adoptive family who works with us is aware of the financial commitment their adoption process requires.
To learn more about our adoption costs in South Carolina, please contact our law office today at 864-573-5533.