At LearnVest, we want to help you understand all of the costs of motherhood so that you can make wise decisions.
When we discussed how much it costs to delay one’s biological clock with egg freezing, lots of users wrote in with an assortment of follow-up questions. The most common thing you asked us to explore were options for adoption. You ask, we answer.
This is a topic close to our hearts. Among our staff, those of us who aren't already parents are looking forward to eventually having children, but we want to know our options.
Just like no two kids are the same, no two adoptions are the same. Adoptions range from no cost to more than $40,000, depending on everything from which country the baby comes from to whose womb he or she grew in. Whether or not adoption is actually in the cards for you, we’re all about sparking debate and helping readers (and their uteruses) know their options. Here’s a rundown of many different reproductive options:
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Administration for Children & Families, almost all types of adoptions have universal costs, including home study by a social worker and court fees. It gets more complicated from there, depending on the type of adoption.
Foster Care Adoptions are Usually for Special Needs
Fees for adopting a child from foster care are usually kept to a minimum or waived because most public agencies only adopt out children with special needs—which can mean anything from disabilities to being slightly older to needing to be adopted with siblings. Costs for this typically run anywhere from nothing at all to $2,500. These children often bring with them government subsidy payments called adoption assistance, Supplemental Security Income (i.e. disability checks) or Medicaid coverage. That, and good karma; there are well over 100,000 children in the American foster care system ready to be adopted.
The Cost of American Adoptions Varies Widely
Adopting an American infant will run you $5,000 to $40,000, depending on the agency and the circumstances. Some agencies charge less if you find your own willing birth parent and some offer sliding scale fees for prospective parents who aren’t wealthy.
International Adoptions Can Be a Bit More Complicated
Adopting internationally from a place like Russia or China could cost more or less. The estimated range is $7,000 to $30,000 and includes everything from immigration processing fees to donations to foreign orphanages. If you plan to travel to meet the child, tack on transportation costs and remember that you’ll need to have plenty of vacation time saved up.
Subsidies for Adoption Costs
The price tag for any adoption can be daunting, but the expenses need not all be out of pocket. Prospective parents should explore federal and state tax credits, subsidies and reimbursements for certain children, and reimbursement from corporate workplaces. For the remaining balance, there are adoption loans and grants.
What You Should Know About Egg Freezing
The best candidates are cancer patients who may lose fertility during treatment and women who aren’t quite ready for kids but face declining fertility. The total cost for the pre-procedure hormone injections, surgical extraction, storage, and then implantation of the eggs ranges from about $13,000 up to almost $20,000 … all with about a 30% success rate.
The Cycles of Motherhood
Similarly, in-vitro fertilization is not cheap. It costs about $12,000 per cycle (genetic testing can cost a few thousand more) and, of course, there’s no guarantee of success. This price presumes that you’re using your eggs and your partner’s sperm. Donor sperm will bump the price to between $13,000 and $17,000, while donor eggs will make it $25,000 to $30,000. Talk to clinics about payment plans and even guaranteed refund programs if you don’t have a viable pregnancy after three or more cycles. Additionally, some insurance companies may cover some costs, so check into your policy before you start down this path.
The cost of using a surrogate varies widely, like so much else. Above and beyond the cost of her in-vitro fertilization, a surrogacy agency will charge fees in the thousands for finding and screening potential surrogates and guiding prospective parents through the process. Once selected, the surrogate’s fee is usually around $20,000, higher if it’s a multiple birth or a C-section. Then there’s her health care, life insurance, your legal fees, and extras like her lost wages and a maternity clothing stipend. It all adds up to between $60,000 and $80,000.
The Natural Way
Making your own child may be free, but having it certainly isn’t. A typical pregnancy, even if you have insurance, costs between $6,000 and $10,000, more with a C-section.
No matter how a child comes into your life, it’s a blessing, and one that's going to cost you. Find out just how much by using the child rearing calculator.