Becoming a parent is a priceless experience. However, if you are thinking of expanding your family through adoption, then you will inevitably need to also consider the costs that come with the process. In the United States, the average cost of an adoption is around $40,000, (also click here). If you choose to adopt internationally, your costs will vary according to the country. For the top three adoption countries, the costs can range from $25,000 to $48,000. Immigration and home study fees are only a minor part of what is involved in the process of adopting a child internationally. If you are considering adoption, here are a few tips to help you start budgeting.

Make A Plan

When you’ve made the decision to adopt, it makes sense to put together a financial plan before you begin the process. Adoptions come with the standard agency, legal and home study fees, but for international adoptions, there are additional travel, visa expenses and a fee to the foreign agency to consider. Take the time to speak to your agency about those costs and what you can expect to pay. While costs of travel are always changing, agency fees are usually stable. Most agencies post their fees on their website, and all agencies should make their fees available upon request. Reviewing the agencies fees should give you a close approximation of what you and your family are looking to spend.

The next step would be to consider your personal finances. Creating a budget by examining at your outgoings and income will help you to know what you can afford and therefore, the routes open to you. Adoptions in Korea, for example, can cost up to $43,000. Pakistan can go as high as $25,000 with multiple trips, extended stays and legal expenses. Adoptions from other countries such as Taiwan and Thailand cost around $27,000. Finally, be sure to add a buffer fund into your adoption budget. As mentioned, expenses can change, and you should be prepared for variations.

Remember Unexpected Costs

That leads to the second tip: remember to account for unexpected costs. With a process such as adoption, numerous factors can pop up. If the process takes long, there would need an updated home study update. A complication or a delay in the process while abroad, even a few days, will quickly add expenses. Having some extra funds to sight see or the upgrade to business class for the trip home can help keep everyone’s spirits up. Even if the expense is accounted for, your child’s visa and airfare will need to be paid. For many programs, there are expenses preparing your documents for the foreign country. This can range from $1,000-$3,000. This should be disclosed by the agency but may not be understood and can comes as a surprise.

Get To Know Your Financing Options

While the process and costs that come with it can be overwhelming, there are many avenues of financing your dreams of adopting a child. Some families choose to use their savings while others explore personal credit and loan options to assist with the costs of adoption. There are grants and reduced loans that might be available. Another option is to apply for The Federal Adoption Credit which can save you up to $13,570. The credit is provided for both domestic and international adoptive families. In addition, the credit can be applied for a period of up to six years, if your family does not utilize it all. Finally, there are many organizations across America and the world that offer adoption grants and subsidies, including the military.

In the past decade, more employers have begun to support and encourage adoption, too. Be sure to inquire about any existing assistance offered to adoptive parents. These can take the form of paid adoption leave, network support or links to organizations offering financial assistance. It is true that the adoption process comes with its financial costs. However, providing a child with a safe and loving home cannot be measured.