Ways to Cover Adoption Expenses

Many agencies do not charge service fees to families who adopt children from the foster care system. However, you will need a home study, and because adoption is a legal process, you may need an attorney. The cost of a home study can vary from $0 to $3,000. Attorney fees and court costs can range from $2,000 to $5,000, and special needs adoptive families often incur additional costs for medical services, counseling, etc. — costs that may continue throughout the child’s lifetime. Fortunately, due to federal and employer-initiated programs, parents have several options for covering the cost of special needs adoption.

Employer Assistance

Employers who offer adoption benefits may provide workers with:

  • direct cash assistance for adoption expenses
  • reimbursement of approved adoption expenses
  • paid or unpaid leave (beyond federal leave requirements established through the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993)
  • resource and referral services

To request a list of employers who provide adoption benefits or learn more about employer-provided adoption benefits, please contact:

Adoption Benefits Coordinator
National Adoption Center
1500 Walnut Street, Suite 701
Philadelphia, PA 19102

or call 800-TO-ADOPT or 215-735-9988.

Tax Credits and Exclusions

Because tax credits change from year to year, please consult the IRS website or a tax specialist for inquiries regarding tax credits.

Adoption Subsidies

If you adopt a child who has special needs, he or she may be eligible for federal adoption assistance. Adoption assistance payments are designed to help offset the short- and long-term costs associated with adopting children who need special services. Children who are wards may be eligible for adoption assistance benefits if they meet specific eligibility guidelines.

Indiana Adoption Subsidy is determined by the Central Eligibility Unit. Please contact centralized.eligibilty@dcs.in.gov or 877.265.0086 with questions.

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