How much does adoption cost in California?

Depending on the route of adoption you choose, the costs of adopting in California can vary.

With public adoption through the state’s foster to adopt program it will be at little or no cost to you because most of the costs are covered by the state. In CA, adoption costs incurred are normally under $400 and foster and adoptive families receive a stipend for the needs of a foster child along with medical coverage.

For an intercountry adoption, depending on the country you are adopting from, costs can range between $35,000 to over $50,000. Costs tend to be higher than for US adoptions because they include foreign travel and immigration processing in addition to court costs, mandatory education for Adoptive Parents and other related documentation. Also, additional costs of an intercountry adoption can include: escort fees if the Adoptive Parents are not able to accompany the child to the US, medical care and treatment fees, translation fees, foreign attorney and agency fees and post placement counseling and support costs.

For a private newborn adoption in the US, you are going to want to expect a total budget of anywhere between $35,000 - $50,000. For Adoptive Parents in CA that are interested in a private newborn adoption, below is an outline of costs that can be anticipated.

  1. Home Study

    The different aspects of the adoption will have ranging costs for you to consider. Your home study in California can cost anywhere from $1,000 - $5,000. With each private newborn adoption you will need to go through the home study process to certify that you are able to meet California’s requirements to adopt a child and have them placed in your home. There will be background checks and visitation prior to your approval and most home study providers will do a visitation once a child has been placed in your home for final approval. At Adoption Network Law Center, if you choose to adopt with us in California, we will be able to walk you through the entire process to get started on this portion of your adoption journey.

  2. Agency or Organization

    Your agency or organizations fees will vary depending on what services they are able to provide for you. Some adoption programs will include the marketing and outreach to Birth Mothers as a part of their service fees while others will require you to do that on your own, so verify that you know exactly what services are provided for you in this process. To build your profile and market your family you might expect to prepare for a couple thousand dollars if it is not included with your adoption professional’s services. Each adoption professional will have different costs associated depending on the services they provide, if you are interested in learning more about Adoption Network Law Center’s services and fees feel free to contact us at 1-800-367-2367 and we would love to explain our program in detail.

  3. Birth Mother Expenses

    In addition to these costs you will potentially want to factor into your budget any financial assistance for Birth Mother expenses. While it is not always the case, typically a Birth Mother considering adoption is in a life situation where she will need some financial assistance for pregnancy related expenses. Depending on the state of residence of the Birth Mother you are selected by for the adoption journey, her state law will determine what is allowable in terms of amount and type of expense. Typically, Adoptive Parents are told to be prepared for Birth Mother support of about $5,000, but again, that will vary depending on the state she lives in and what is allowed. This budget is court approved and assists with things like:

    • Maternity-related medical and hospital costs
    • Temporary living expenses of the mother during her pregnancy
    • Counseling fees
    • Attorney and legal fees for the Birth Mother
    • Travel costs of the Birth Mother to and from the doctor

    At Adoption Network Law Center, one of our Adoption Consultants can explain to you the protections we have in place for the costs associated with an adoption and can further explain to you the process of an adoption. Please know that you have the ability to adopt within a budget you feel comfortable with, so if you have questions about what that can look like, please contact a member from our office and we would love to answer any questions!

  4. Legal Pathways and Legal Fees

    The last part of the traditional budget for a private newborn adoption in California would go towards the legal pathway and legal fees associated with your adoption. This part of the budget includes termination of parental rights, court costs, attorney’s fees, finalization of the adoption, legal counsel for the Adopting Parents and Birth Mother depending on state laws, and the oversight of the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children process if your Birth Mother is in a different state than you. This budget can range depending on if your Birth Mother is also in California or if she is in another state but on average you can expect anywhere from $5,000 - $15,000 for these costs. Again, one of our Adoption Consultants would be happy to explain this whole process and breakdown the specifics of our budget if you are interested in adopting with our program.

The costs of an adoption in CA can range and this is just a brief summary of that information. Please contact Adoption Network Law Center if you would like to find out anything else about our services and costs, along with a breakdown of what services we are able to provide for you in the adoption process. Our Adoption Consultants would also be happy to discuss how you can afford your adoption with various different adoption assistance and financing options that you can read a little more about here.