First off, let me say I am by no means an expert on adoption, but I do have some knowledge, strong opinions, and the Google. So.
Money, part I:
There are 2 basic kinds of adoption,(1) “regular” adoption (2), which could be foreign or domestic, and foster adoption. I will leave out for now the discussion of short-term foster care, since that is not what I’m talking about today.
Foster adoption is typically free or extremely low cost, due to the high need for families for waiting children. I will now quote some internet statistics I believe to be true.
Approximately 500,000 American kids were in foster care in 2006. Of that number 100,000+ are legally available for adoption.
That’s a heck of a lot of kids that need families right now. You can find waiting kids in your area by googling search terms like "waiting children". Be prepared, though. It will break your heart to look at the photolistings. Do it anyway, the Lord loves a broken heart.
(sidenote: maybe you are wondering why I’m doing a domestic newborn adoption when the foster need is so high. Short answer is, it’s the easiest to start with while my bio kids are so little. I have every intention of fostering later, and for the rest of my life. We're just getting started )
Domestic adoption costs vary based on region, type of adoption, agency used, and the specific child and birthmother expenses. I have usually heard them ranging from about $10,000 to $25,000 pretty typically, with the occasional higher costs up to $40,000. Ethnic minority and special needs adoptions typically are a much lower cost, because of the difficulty finding homes for them.
International adoption costs can vary but are estimated to be anywhere from about $8000 to about $30,000. Again, special needs kids are in desperate need of families, and their program costs will be lower.
If these numbers are overwhelming to you, take comfort in knowing that they really do vary, and it doesn’t always cost that much and also, that adoption fundraising is extremely common, for Christians and non-Christians alike, and you can do it, too.
But your real question was WHY does it cost so much? This is a super long blog already, and there are like 5 offshoot blogs, so let me post this one and then post others as time permits, possibly even today.
(1) I am only thinking of 2, so it must be true.
(2) I am making this term up.