Cost of Adopting a Child

Open a savings account online to plan for adoption costs

Adopting a child is a major life decision that deserves careful financial consideration, as the cost of adoption can be as high as $40,000. And that doesn't account for costs associated with any special needs your child may have, such as extensive medical care or specific dietary restrictions. Before you begin the adoption process, you'll want to ensure you can afford the costs of adoption up front to make the process as smooth as possible. To avoid falling short of your adoption goal, consider opening a savings account now and begin your new family off on the right foot.

What is included in adoption costs?

Adoption costs primarily include fees charged by the agency, home study expenses and legal fees. The total cost can vary depending on several factors, including whether or not you are adopting domestically and if you are using a public or private agency.

  • A home study, which the adoptive parents pay for, is conducted by an adoption agency, contractor, private agency or certified social worker. Parents and their homes are evaluated for the fitness of adopting a child. For example, is the home safe and are parents emotionally, physically and financially stable enough to adopt? Also, it's important that the parents and child be a good fit for each other. A written report is generated listing a recommendation of the parents and the type of child that would be best suited for the home and family. Home study fees can range from $500 to $3,000, depending on whether a public or private agency conducts the study.

  • Legal fees around $2,500 are incurred for all domestic adoptions and international adoptions.

  • Additional domestic costs may be incurred for:
    • Domestic agency fees.
    • Any medical or psychological evaluations.
    • Counseling for the adoptive and birth parents.
    • Care for the birth mother/prenatal care for the child if applicable.
    • Social work services.

  • Additional costs prospective parents adopting internationally may incur include:
    • Foreign agency fees.
    • Dossier fees.
    • Multiple travel costs to and from the child's country to visit or finalize details - including the final trip home with their child.
    • Immigration costs.
    • Fees to obtain their child's U.S. citizenship (review the Child Citizenship Act of 2001 for greater details).
    • Possible donation to the foreign orphanage or agency.

Consider higher certificate of deposit (CD) rates to help you grow your savings

You can start and/or grow your adoption fund by opening a savings account online or a certificate of deposit from Citizens Bank. Rates vary from region to region, but with competitive fixed CD rates, you can reach your adoption savings goal more quickly than with a standard savings account. For example, if you are just starting to save for adoption costs and want to boost your fund in a short amount of time, consider a short-term CD with a low minimum balance. After the CD period ends, you can choose to open a new CD or deposit the funds in your standard savings account depending on where you are in the application process.

If you’ve been saving to cover the cost of adopting a child for several years, consider a breakable CD. A higher minimum balance is needed, but you can withdraw funds one time without a penalty, which is beneficial if an adoption opportunity arises unexpectedly. Other benefits include a fixed term and 24/7 access to review your account via mobile and online.

Compare savings accounts from Citizens Bank to find the best one for you

The cost of adopting a child can fluctuate. Make sure you're prepared to cover expenses, both known and unknown, at any point in time. Speak to the agency you plan to work with to find out what they typically charge, then compare savings accounts from Citizens Bank and select the best one for you. Whether you want to open a CD with competitive rates, savings account with easy access, or both - we can help. You've made the important decision to adopt. Let our team at Citizens Bank be with you every step of the way.


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