With the costs of adoption, it is no wonder that so many people are wanting to know, what is the cheapest way to adopt a child?
The cheapest way to adopt a child is through the foster care system. When you foster a child, you not only have the opportunity in many cases to adopt the child, but you’re also able to get your feet wet to see if the relationship between you and the child is a good fit before committing to an adoption.
The cost of adoption averages between $25,000 to $50,000. This range varies considerably depending on an enormous amount of factors. For many people, adoption can seem out of reach.
We will discuss the following in this article:
- How much does adoption cost through foster care?
- Do you still get paid after you adopt a foster child?
- Is it hard to adopt through foster care?
- Can you just foster babies?
Let’s be honest. Your average person or couple does not have that dollar amount burning a hole in their pocket.
There is, however, a solution to this dilemma. Becoming a foster parent costs little to no money what so ever, and there are hundreds of children who need to be placed in a foster home.
Many of these children are reunited with their biological family, and many sadly are not.
Children who end up in the foster care system have many times been either abandoned, neglected, or abused. These children initially end up in the state’s care and are placed into group homes until a foster home can be found for them.
Once placed into the foster care system, the child’s parents are asked to fulfill certain requirements that will allow them to regain custody of their children. Some biological parents complete those requirements and some do not.
Just over half of these children will go back to their biological families, while others go live with relatives. Those that have no where to go are available for adoption.
Related Article: Researching adoption is a great way to be prepared for the possibilities of what may come your way and to avoid the pitfalls. Illegal Adoption and Adoption Fraud: Be Careful is an article I strongly encourage everyone to read who may be considering adoption.
Many of these children age out of the foster care system into a big, scary world with no support system or safety net to fall into.
There is nothing that says you have to adopt a foster child that is living in your home. Providing a safe and loving home for children during a transitional time is a wonderful blessing all by itself.
Yet, it is nice to know that the adoption opportunity can often times present itself. You may just fall in love with a child and wish to adopt when you had no intentions of adopting before.
Adopting a foster child is so much more affordable when compared to going through a traditional adoption service.
When you take into consideration the legal fees involved with adoption, the expenses associated with the birth mother, the costs of advertising and paying the services that help adoptive parents, along with possible travel expenses if adopting internationally; these can all add up to an outrageous dollar amount.
How much does adoption cost through foster care?
The big question is, how much does adoption through foster care cost?
Adopting through foster care costs little to nothing, providing you are fostering the child. Adoption agencies representing children who are in foster care may charge you thousands to adopt a foster child they represent. Adopting as a foster parent is the key to a no-cost or low-cost child adoption.
You will need to check your expectations at the door if you decide to explore the foster care route, as only a very few foster children are infants.
This is not to say, though, that babies and toddlers are not placed in foster care. Just know that if you are holding out for a baby, you may want to adopt in a traditional manner.
Do you still get paid after you adopt a foster child?
Foster parents receive monthly payments meant to help with the costs of fostering and caring for a child. But do you still get paid after you adopt a foster child?
You may still get paid after you adopt a foster child, depending on the state you adopt in. State subsidies for adopting a foster child may also be available depending on income, such as continued help with medical, food, etc. Adoptive parents also qualify for the Adoption Tax Credit.
Getting paid to foster a child should never be a motivating factor to becoming a foster parent. The monthly compensation while fostering a child is very minimal and is meant to cover the basic necessities.
You may also be interested in reading about the pros and cons of being a foster parent.
Is it hard to adopt through foster care?
There are many children in the foster care system that are wards of the state and are available for adoption.
To be able to adopt from the foster care system for little to no money, you will first need to go through the process of qualifying to foster a child.
Regardless of what type of adoption you choose, you will be required to go through an application process as well as a home study.
The requirements generally include passing a background check, taking finger prints, and attending classes in preparation for caring for the child or children.
This process is not so much hard as it is time consuming. Your home will be evaluated to ensure it is childproof, as well as your outdoor accesses.
Providing you do not have something ugly on our background check like domestic abuse, abuse of a child, or any other questionable activity, you are off to a good start.
You will also be expected to be financially stable. This does not mean that you are required to make a lot of money. This simply means that you are financially able to provide a stable home environment for a child.
Related Article: Have you ever wondered if adoption birth certificates look different than other birth certificates? Do Adoption Birth Certificates Look Different? FAQs is an enlightening write up that is worth a read.
Can you just foster babies?
A large portion of children in foster care are four years of age and younger, so the need for fostering young children is very real.
You certainly may request to foster only babies, yet being more open to fostering a variety of ages will help you become familiar foster parents to the state in which you are fostering.
The more help you have provided, the more trust you build with the system. With more trust comes more opportunity.
The majority of prospective adoptive parents wish to adopt a baby, and adopting a baby can be done through a traditional adoption agency.
And although adopting an infant is not unheard of when adopting through foster care, it is bit more rare. The decision is up to you.
If finances tight and you know you will never have thousands of dollars to adopt a baby, then perhaps you may wish to re-evaluate your wish list a bit and know that an older infant or toddler is also a good option.
Adopting through the foster care system is an amazing opportunity to help a child while providing you a chance to adopt that fits you budget.