Why Does Adoption Cost So Much? The Breakdown.


Now that we’ve made the decision to adopt from China, the weight of what that will mean financially has hit me. $25,000 is  LOT of money.

A lot of people have asked me why adoption costs so much. It just seems so wrong that a philanthropic deed should be so expensive, right? (More later on the whole “philanthropic deed” thing.)

Well, I’m totally with you. I was really disappointed and frustrated by the cost of adopting. That was until our agency, CCAI, sent us an information packet which included a full breakdown of the costs that will be incurred. I thought I would share it with you so that you can also have a better understanding of where all that money goes.

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I hope you can see those clearly. The “program fees,” when broken down, are mostly administrative handling done by the agency. This involves: orientation/consultation, home study coordination, Dossier review/assistance, Hague & CCCWA required parent training, translations, Child Match coordination, trip planning, USCIS & Hague monitoring (to ensure we constantly meet their ever-changing requirements), international communication, post adoption support, and more.

As you can see, there is a lot of administrative work involved that seems to require constant attention. I’m sure there are a lot of fees that could be minimized and as we get into this process more deeply, we will see flaws in the process. For now, however, I have made peace with the cost. Most importantly, I feel confident that the agency we have chosen is an ethical and responsible one.

In comparison to a domestic private adoption, the cost is comparable but for different reasons. Thinking about it, we are talking about legalizing the “ownership” of another human being… it’s kind of a big deal. It should be difficult to go through the process because it is a serious undertaking. Again, I know that there can be unnecessary policies  and fraud but mostly, I feel at peace with the process (we’ll see how I feel in 6 months).

Do you have any experience with the adoption process? What are your fears or beliefs about the cost of adoption?

Oh, and do you have any fundraising ideas for me??


4 thoughts on “Why Does Adoption Cost So Much? The Breakdown.

  1. Oh Jaclyn, looking through the expense sheet and thinking of you and Caleb flying out to China to bring your sweet baby home is making me all teary. So amazing and so real. Excited to follow your adoption journey.


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