Though a popular topic of conversation, unless you have experience with the adoption process, it’s unlikely that you know what goes into it. People may say they’ll adopt a child, but it’s a complicated process that not many people are familiar with. If adoption is something on the radar or you or someone you know, look at these facts to learn just what to expect during the process.
Adoption Can Be Expensive
Though it varies depending on a number of factors (domestic vs. international adoption, using an agency or the foster care system, etc.), the cost to adopt a child can be far more expensive than people may believe. The Child Welfare Information Gateway, a U.S. government-funded adoption information service, states that the average cost of adopting a child ranges from $8,000 to $40,000 within the United States. If you’re adopting internationally, the price range can be anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000. Adopting through foster care can cost up to $2,500.
The Average Child is Older Than You Think
When you think of the word “adoption,” your mind most likely went immediately to babies looking for a home. While it’s true that babies can be adopted, the average age of a child waiting to be adopted is 7.7, and 11 percent of those children can spend at least five years in the foster care system. Though young children need parents, older children need the care of dedicated parents as well.
It’s Difficult for LGBTQ Couples to Adopt
Despite the many advancements in LGBTQ rights made over the past several years, there are still numerous struggles that couples face because of discrimination. One of these struggles is adopting a child, even though LGBTQ parents raise 4 percent of all adopted children in the United States alone. Some states permit child welfare services to refuse adoption to a couple due to their religious beliefs, and same-sex couples can fall under those beliefs.
Adoption Has Tax Benefits
Becoming an adoptive parent opens up two main tax benefits for you to take advantage of: a tax credit for qualified expenses you have to pay when adopting a child (such as court costs, travel expenses, adoption fees, and so on), and an exclusion from income for employer-provided adoption assistance.