Q. What are the most common ways that adoptions are occurring today. How How expensive are they?
A. It comes as a surprise to many people, but the answer is that the majority of adoptions in the U.S. for about a decade have been of children from foster care. These girls and boys are not typically infants and many have special needs, which means that a lot of children who genuinely need new families are getting them. Adopting a baby born in the United States is the second-most-common way to form a family through adoption (about one-quarter as many per year as from foster care), followed by adopting a child – usually not an infant either – from another country. There are few, if any expenses associated with adopting from foster care. The costs of the latter two types of adoption vary widely, from about $20,000 to $40,000 and sometimes more.
Adam Pertman is Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a national nonprofit for adoption research, policy and education. Pertman is also Associate Editor of Adoption Quarterly, the premier research journal dealing with adoption and foster care and the author of Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming Our Families – and America.