Deciding to adopt a child is exciting, but the thrill comes along with a lot of questions. One of the things you may wonder about is the cost to adopt a child. The Department of Health and Human Services reports that the average cost ranges from $25,000 to $60,000 — and that’s quite a range.  What is the cost of adoption? What costs are included in that total? And what kind of help is available for adoptive parents? Read on for the answers!

Legal fees

As an adoption law firm, Heimer can tell you the likely cost of the legal fees associated with adoption. Since adopting a child is a legal requirement, some legal fees will be necessary. For an agency adoption where we help you find a child, for example, these costs must be considered:

  • Matching services
  • Legal representation for the adoptive family
  • Legal representation for the expectant mother
  • The cost of her social work case management
  • The adoption finalization process at the court hearing

The total for all of these fees can come in under $25,000. For a private adoption where you already know the mother, the costs can be even lower.

It’s a real investment, but this is an investment that will pay off. Adoption — even private adoptions — can be a lengthy, time-consuming, highly emotional process. Having good legal counsel from an experienced adoption attorney can make an enormous difference. Considering the importance of this life event, it makes sense to choose your adoption lawyer carefully.

Birth mother support

Arkansas allows adoptive families to provide some specific kinds of financial support for birth mothers. These costs can vary, but they may include some of these expenses:

  • rent
  • utilities
  • healthy food
  • maternity clothes
  • medical expenses
  • other essential living expenses

All financial assistance must be documented and approved by the court to ensure transparency and avoid any legal issues. Heimer Law can assist you with figuring out these details.

Other costs

There may also be fees for the home study, background checks and medical check ups, and services you receive through an adoption agency.  You may also have incidental costs such as travel (for example, if you are an out-of-state family looking to adopt an Arkansas baby), the cost of setting up a nursery for your new baby, and other expenses that you may or may not foresee.

Heimer Law will be happy to discuss with you what we know from our many years of experience with families just like yours.

Resources for adoptive families

Some employers may offer benefits for adoptive parents. Military families may be eligible for reimbursement of their expenses from the Dept. of Defense.

Federal tax credits are available for many families. These offset the amount you would otherwise owe n federal income taxes. They are not refundable — that is, if you owe nothing, you will receive no funds from the government. However, the tax credit can help reduce the amount of tax you owe. Your tax professional can help you understand your options when it comes to tax credits.

Adoptive parents are also eligible for Child Tax Credits, just as biological parents are.

The state of Arkansas provides subsidies for special needs adoptions. This program is designed to encourage the adoption of children who might not otherwise be adopted.

All in all, adoption does require an investment. We believe that your family is worth that investment, and we are honored to help you through the adoption process.

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