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How much does it cost to adopt a child from foster care?

Answering your questions about the cost of foster care adoption to help you decide if this is right for you. 

Carol Lee, senior editor

How much does it cost to adopt a child from foster care? Banner Image

For families wishing to adopt, cost is often an obstacle. While foster care adoption costs less than other forms of adoption, we encourage you to consider other factors as well when making your decision.

Is it free to adopt from foster care?

It is. Parents complete a free home study to be licensed to provide foster care. There are also tax credits available for those who adopt.

Are there fees involved with foster care adoption?

Parents often pay for a new birth certificate and for a court-filing fee, but these fees can be reimbursed. Other common reimbursable expenses include out-of-pocket costs for you to take a physical, undergo a background check, and travel if the child lives in another state.

How much does it cost if the child lives in another state?

Adopting through foster care from another state costs about $10,000. This includes a home study and court and supervision fees. Additionally, before a court will finalize an out-of-state adoption, a supervising agency needs to provide a six-month report. This includes an adoption specialist performing monthly visits with the child and family.

Do foster parents get paid for adopting from foster care?

Most children adopted through foster care qualify for ongoing Medicaid. If your child would benefit from counseling or therapy, he or she may also be eligible for a certain number of sessions per year.

Is foster care adoption truly free?

While there are certain financial benefits to this form of adoption, there are other, non-monetary costs to consider, including physical and emotional trauma. Time and resources are often needed to help a child build a healthy future.

A new family dynamic means making sacrifices. You may need to access therapy or special education services.

So, this is a big commitment?

Definitely. To better understand the process, traditional foster care is always a good first step. You can also consider providing respite foster care to better understand the foster care system before jumping in.

Please do not choose to adopt from foster care simply because there are no fees. If money is an issue, there are ways to defray adoption costs. When we meet with families at informational meetings, we say, “Make sure you’re in the right program.”

On the surface, foster care adoption may appear to be inexpensive, but these kids need and deserve families who are completely committed to them—regardless of cost.

Are you interested in adopting a child from foster care? Connect with us, so we can help you begin your journey.

Adopt a child from foster care