How Much Does It Cost?
Expenses involved in an independent adoption vary. It is customary for adoptive parents to pay for the birth mother's medical and legal expenses, in addition to their own. Some states also require the adoptive parents to pay for counseling for the birth parents so that the court can be satisfied that they both fully comprehend what they are planning to do. A home study, for which there is a fee, conducted by a certified social worker or a licensed child-placing agency is usually required. In some states, the adoptive parents may also help out with the birth mother's living or clothing expenses. Again, with each of these issues, you must know your state adoption laws and what they allow or prohibit in an adoption.
A few states permit adoption facilitators to act as "matchmakers" who recruit and counsel birth parents and then make introductions to prospective adoptive families. The facilitators charge families for their services and allow the birth parents and the adoptive family to make the rest of the placement arrangements.
Each potential independent adoption situation is different, and this method can be expensive. It's not uncommon for the expenses in an independent adoption to equal those of a private agency adoption, unless the birth mother has health insurance or is covered by medical assistance. Since many birth parents change their minds after the child is born, prospective adoptive families must often deal with the loss of funds paid for birth parent expenses in addition to the loss of the anticipated baby. Some adoptive parents purchase adoption insurance as a way to guard against such financial risks; insurance underwriters require that families work with preapproved agencies or attorneys in order to purchase this insurance.