The good news is that being a single parent is no longer a barrier to adoption. In fact, some children express a preference for a single mom. The “how” and “how much” questions depend on your choice and geographic location.
The Cast Of Characters
There are four main characters who can help you with your adoption. Get help with your choice right away to negotiate requirements effectively. Make sure you select someone with whom you’re very comfortable.
Public–A state agency or Foster Care agency who will assign you a caseworker for homestudy.
Private – A private, licensed agent or agency with representatives that will either provide you with your homestudy, or have people on staff who will do so.
If you seek an international adoption, your international agency needs to have Hague accreditation by the U.S. State Department.
Adoption facilitators—Private, but unlicensed people who help you somehow adopt from a birth mother. This position is illegal in many states if the facilitator accepts money—look into this.
Surrogate—A woman hired to either carry and birth a child with your DNA, hers, or that of a third party.
The Main Requirements
When being analyzed for adoption, in addition to a police or FBI check you will be analyzed for appropriateness by the basics of your age, relationship status, support system, health and income. Once you’ve found a caseworker, they’ll let you know what is required for your individual choice-for example PRIDE (parent resources for information, development and education) training or language classes for an international adoption.
The General Costs
Public adoption has the fewest costs, with most states covering the cost of any training and either asking for a nominal fee or no cost adoption. Basic registration fees for your state may apply, but foster care/public adoption is by far the least expensive choice.
Private adoptions can include costs like: legal fees, travel expenses, homestudy fees, birthmother living expenses, birthmother medical expenses, and placement fees. The National Adoption Clearinghouse estimates the cost of an international adoption can range from $10,000 to over $50,000 and they estimate the costs associated with a domestic adoption can range from $15,000 to $30,000+.
Surrogacy can include legal, IVF, living and medical expenses and can run from $20,000-over $100,000, depending on each agreement/situation.
There’s help! There is federal tax relief, some states offer funding or extra unemployment benefits for adoptive parents. There is an Adoption Subsidy for those who adopt children with special needs.
Your bank or corporation may offer loans or parental leave if you adopt. In addition, many foundations offer adoption facilitation or funding help for potential parents—here is a short list.
Share stories about your own adoption or adoption journey as a parent!
I happen to be an adoptee (adopted as an infant), who is now also considering both adoption and surrogacy.
As someone who has done in depth research on both adoption and surrogacy, I just wanted to clarify that surrogacy is not a form of adoption. It is another great way to have a family – but very different from adoption in terms of legal, medical, emotional, and pretty much every other aspect aside from bringing home a baby.
Generally, surrogacy is considered to be a method of family building using fertility treatments (with your own eggs or donor eggs).
Thanks for letting me clarify this.
Thanks Sue. We appreciate you sharing your experience with us. Would love to hear it if you go ahead with either of those. Best of luck!