My wife and I recently decided to adopt a child. We too were surprised that the cost for a domestic adoption could reach as high as $20,000. Most adoption agencies supplement total adoption costs through private donations, and they use a sliding scale to determine how much a couple will contribute to their own adoption fees. If you are in a lower income bracket, more of your adoption fees will be subsidized by third-party donors.
The actual costs are for the caseworker’s time associated with the application processing; matching birth mothers to adoptive parents; performing home studies that are required by the state; fees associated with background checks, a GBI clearance and an FBI clearance; possible medical care for the birth mother; and for legal fees necessary for the legal processing of the adoption.
Unfortunately, my wife and I fall in a higher income bracket, and so far have not qualified for any adoption scholarships or grants. Since we only recently discovered that we are unable to have our own children, we do not have any funds set aside for our adoption. We are exploring numerous fund-raising options.