How Much Does it Cost to Adopt A Child in Virginia?

Foster child giving hug to his foster to adopt mum

Cost of Adoption

Learn which option is best for you, from $30,000 to Zero dollars from Foster Care.

Adoption. It is always an option, but not one that everyone thinks about doing.

Unfortunately, some people cannot have children. Another sad fact is that not every child alive in America has a home, and we need to find an Adoptive family to help them. 

At the end of 2019, there were about 424,000 children in foster care. These are still the best numbers we have in September 2022.

Some people go through challenges in adopting a child, which may intimidate others from thinking about adopting a child themselves. With support, you can adopt children. With the help of an adoption lawyer, domestic adoption is possible, and with the use of foster care becomes a lot easier with all types of adoption services.

It is important to take individual stocks of where your life is and the impact it will have on you before you take on a young child's life.

But what if it was easier than you thought? What if it was affordable and straightforward? How about if it was Free for you?

This is a guide on the cost of adopting a child.

Cost of Adoption 

This depends on the way you go about adopting a child. Some people try to adopt a child from out of the country from a child living in poverty through the international adoption process or a birth mother within the United States willing to give up their child.

For an independent adoption within the United States, you will need to pay expenses such as hiring an adoption attorney, going to an adoption agency, and hospital bills for the birth mother. You may have to support her childcare needs for other children.

As for adoption abroad, this is not only a financial investment but also a legal one. You will have to familiarize yourself with the laws of whatever country you wish to adopt from and likely hire an immigration lawyer.

Going through an adoption independently will likely cost tens of thousands of dollars. There are probably some of you reading this who wish to adopt but may not afford that financial burden upfront, especially if it is not guaranteed that the adoption will go through.

Some birth mothers change their minds and decide to keep the baby. In that case, you could not only be out of adopting the child but the financial investment you put into it. 

So, how much does it cost to adopt through foster care? Well, the answer is it is FREE when you adopt from foster care! 

You could only make a big difference in a child's life but save a hole in your pocket in financial expenses from going this route and even get some benefits. Let's look at some of the benefits available for Adoptive parents for the long term that the child welfare system has put in place to assist you with a successful adoption. What are those? 

As foster families transition to adoptive families, they may have the opportunity to have an instant family, adopt a sibling group, and look after many children's physical and mental health, which is fantastic.

Financial Benefits

Because children in foster care come from places that were not stable homes, the system is designed to try and place children somewhere where they will feel safe and have their basic needs taken care of. 

For parents considering adoption through the foster care system, you will save money by not pursuing an independent adoption and receive financial payments. These are designed to help you with the cost of living expenses it may take to add a child to your life. 

As of August 2020 in Virginia, foster parents receive a monthly maintenance payment depending on the age of their adopted child.

For children 0-4 years old, it is $486 per month.

For kids ages 5-12, it is $568 a month.

Finally, for kids ages 13 and up, it is $721 a month.

On top of monthly maintenance payments, Virginia pays foster parents a yearly supplemental clothing allowance.

This also varies based on the age of the child. 

For kids four and under, the yearly payment is $315. For kids ages 5-12,

That is $394 per year. Finally, for kids 13 and up, it is $473 per year. 

So, not only do you save money on adopting through foster care, but you receive financial support for doing so. 

Always talk to your tax advisor about possible tax credits while working on the adoption process.

Emotional Cost 

There is an emotion of fulfillment for most parents when they complete the process of adopting a child. They not only get to make a difference to a child that may not have been as fortunate as others, but a child can also make a difference in their lives.

Sometimes, parents may save children from a higher chance of homelessness. Children in foster care until 18 years old have a 20% chance of becoming homeless once they age out of the system. 

A lot of these children came from rougher backgrounds. About 63% of foster care were there because of their birth parents or guardians' neglect. 

Another 34% of children had parents with drug abuse problems, 18% dealt with physical or sexual abuse, and 7% had a parent in incarceration.

Coming from this environment and perhaps not feeling like they have a home in the foster care system can make them have less stable behavioral patterns. Once they age out and are not adopted because they came from naturally unstable environments, it is normalized. 

About 70% of female children who age out of the system become pregnant before they turn 21. Plus, only 3% of the overall children earn a college degree if they age out. 

Adopting can help put kids on a better path. 

Lifestyle Changes

Besides the child having a more stable life, new parents may fear the new costs raising a child will bring them. Maintenance payments try to ease the burden, but regardless of how you do it, it will still be more expensive to have a child than to be single and without children.

The average cost of raising a child in the United States is $233,610. This could include food, clothes, insurance, medical, schooling, etc.

Of that $233,610, it is said that raising a child costs almost $13,000 a year. If that is a financial burden, foster care can help you with payments and possibly knock a couple of years of expenses off of raising that child. 

Adopt a Child Through Foster Care 

One of the best things a parent can do for a child is to adopt. You can help a child with foster care and not go financially broke. 

Are you ready to start the process?  Contact us today and see if you can help a child in need of a loving and caring family!

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