How Much Does Adoption Cost in North Carolina?

For many hopeful parents, adoption costs can be overwhelming. Many families contact us wanting to know, How Much Does It Cost To Adopt A Child? Why does adoption cost so much?

Because of the number of services and professionals required to complete an adoption, it is true that adoption fees can be significant. The average cost of adopting a child through a domestic adoption agency is $41,532, according to Adoptive Families’ annual survey.

In the past year, A Child’s Hope’s adoptive families paid less than this national average, with total adoption costs averaging $40,500, including agency fees, birth mother expenses and legal fees. Here, learn more about the average cost to adopt a child with A Child’s Hope, the services we offer and the ways we keep our adoption fees as low as possible.

How Much Does It Cost to Adopt A Child with A Child’s Hope?

There are a number of factors impacting the overall cost of adoption; the services you need and the needs of your baby and his or her birth parents can influence domestic adoption costs.

We are able to keep our adoption costs low by focusing on in-state adoptions, which reduce travel expenses for adoptive families and allows us to meet with prospective birth parents in person. This gives us a better understanding of each expectant mother’s needs.

 Agency Assistance Fee – $32,000

The agency fee is the most significant expense impacting overall private adoption costs, simply because it includes the majority of the services you need to successfully complete your adoption. These costs are always fixed and may be paid in four installments of 8,000 throughout the adoption process. The agency assistance fee includes:

  • Home study
  • Adoption education, including mandatory informational workshops with topics like Open Adoption
  • Advertising to prospective birth mothers through online ads, networking and birth mother hotline
  • Screening services for prospective birth mothers to evaluate their commitment to adoption
  • Contact mediation to help you get to know prospective birth parents
  • In-person counseling to help prospective birth mothers remain committed to their adoption plans
  • Post-placement visits and report necessary to finalize the adoption in North Carolina
  • Support and guidance throughout the adoption process, provided by our licensed adoption counselors

An additional $350 agency application fee is required to work with our agency. However, if you attend the $350 family-building consultation and decide to move forward with A Child’s Hope’s adoption program, this application fee is waived.

Expert Social Media, Advertising and Marketing Costs Are Included in the Agency Assistance Fee

Online Presence: A Child’s Hope partners with a leading adoption expert Hal Kaufman Adoption. You receive two individual sessions with him on developing your marketing plan and social media plan. Each family is asked to do a YouTube video, an adoption Facebook and either Instagram or Pinterest.

Adoption Profile: A profile is completed by Allyson Lee Designs – custom made for each adoptive couple or single.  This profile is what will be shown to prospective birth mothers to help them find the adoptive family that is right for them, so it is important to create a profile that is professional, eye-catching and easy to read.

Each family will attend a new parent orientation class and a class on Open Adoption.

In summary:

  • Online education courses and two individual sessions with Hal Kaufman
  • Adoption profile coaching and advice
  • Professional graphic design services
  • Hard copy adoption profile
  • Adoption website corresponding with the print profile

Birth Mother Living Expenses – $4,000

In North Carolina, an adoptive family may pay reasonable and necessary living expenses during a prospective birth mother’s pregnancy and up to six weeks after the baby is born. Each family pays a one-time non-refundable $4,000 birth mother expense payment to help the birth mother as allowed by North Carolina law with expenses such as housing, utilities, groceries, gas and clothing. A Child’s Hope works with each of our expectant mothers to help them create a budget during their pregnancy. This helps us identify their financial needs, so we can let adoptive families know what living expenses will be required when an adoption opportunity becomes available. The agency generally pays expenses directly and gives gift cards.

Legal Fees – $4,000 to $5,000

An attorney is required to provide the legal services necessary to finalize every adoption in North Carolina. These legal services include:

  • Obtaining consents/relinquishments from the birth parents
  • Terminating the rights of any putative fathers
  • Ensuring all state and federal adoption laws are followed throughout the adoption process
  • Filing legal paperwork with the court

Adoption attorney fees vary based on the circumstances of the adoption. In an uncontested adoption with a single birth father, legal fees to finalize average $4,000-$5,000. The need to terminate the parental rights of an unknown birth father or additional putative fathers, publication fees and contested adoptions may increase legal adoption fees.

Additional Adoption Expenses – Variable

  • DNA Testing: A Child’s Hope meets with prospective birth fathers to obtain DNA samples as part of the legal adoption process whenever possible. If the biological father will provide DNA, then there is a $500 fee to take his DNA and compare to the baby and the birth mother

The following expenses may be necessary and are not included in our agency assistance fee:

  • Private Investigator Fees: When necessary, our agency partners with a private investigator to locate a potential birth father in order to serve him notice of the adoption proceedings. These services are billed by the hour and may vary depending on mileage.
  • Respite Care: Some adoptive parents choose to keep their baby in respite care during the birth mother’s seven-day revocation period. The costs of respite care are about $75 per day, plus an administrative fee and supplies for the baby.
  • Home Study Updates: If a child is not placed with an adoptive family within 18 months of completing the home study, North Carolina requires the family to complete a home study update.

Adoption Funding for Adoptive Families

While private adoption costs can be expensive, there is some financial assistance available to help.

  • Federal Adoption Tax Credit: See the Adoption Tax Credit for more information. For adoptions finalized in 2023 (tax returns claimed in 2024), the maximum amount a family can receive as credit is $15,950 per adopted child. For adoptions finalized in 2022 (tax returns claimed in 2023), the maximum amount a family can receive as credit is $14,890 per adopted child.
  • Employer assistance: Some employers, including the US Military, provide financial assistance and leave from work. You should check with your employers’ Human Resource Department to see what adoption benefits exist.
  • Adoption Loans: Adoptive parents may consider traditional lines of credit, such as credit cards, home equity loans or retirement accounts, as well as low-interest adoption loans and religious organizations that offer financial assistance specifically for adoptive families. However, it is recommended that you speak with a financial advisor before taking out a loan, as this money will eventually need to be paid back.
  • Adoption Grants: There are several grants for adoption available to waiting families who have completed the home study and meet certain requirements. Organizations like Abba Fund, National Adoption Foundation, the Goetz Foundation and many others may be able to help you fund your adoption.
  • Adoption Fundraisers: Many families turn to creative adoption fundraising ideas to help finance their adoption. Consider online adoption fundraising on websites like Go Fund Me page, or host a traditional event, like a yard sale, bake sale or golf tournament.

At A Child’s Hope, we are committed to helping you reach your family-building goals. To learn more about adoption expenses, our services and your financing options, contact us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

  • We look forward to helping you discover growing your family through adoption.

Birthmother Hotline: (877) 890-4673

Envia Un Texto: (919) 218-6270

Text: Pregnant to (919) 971-4396