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Financially Preparing for Adoption

Adopting a child is a highly personal process for prospective parents. With that emotional element also comes complex legal steps that require patience. Once the day comes when a family is united, reality takes over, particularly when it comes to finances.

While parents prepare emotionally for a dramatic change in their lifestyles, financial considerations over the short and long-term require an equal amount of attention.

Proactive Steps are Paramount

Adding to a family requires a thorough look at all costs combined with a deep dive into the current financial picture and the long-term expenses associated with adding a family member. The adoption process alone averages more than $40,000 in fees, according to Adoptive Families Magazine.

Expenses for that all-important first year are significant. Before the child comes home, a fully furnished room/nursery for the child is just the beginning. Day-to-day costs include food and diapers, a “sticker-shock moment” for many new parents. Transporting the child requires strollers and car seats that must meet specific standards and can expire.

Medical expenses take the form of both periodic wellness visits and unexpected trips for ear infections and other minor maladies. Employer-provided health insurance can pay for not only medical care but also adoption and childcare costs. Proactively reaching out to the provider can give a clearer picture of both the costs and benefits of the policy.

Adding up the expenses, not to mention the day-to-day raising of a child until they are eighteen, can reach the quarter-million-dollar mark, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Establishing an emergency fund early in the infant’s life can help cushion that financial blow. However, many families do not have that luxury.

It seems that the only thing certain for parents adopting a child is that nothing is certain, particularly when it comes to finances.

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