The adoption process is riddled with services known to cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over $40,000. Depending on the kind of adoption an adopter is looking for, prices will vary. Low cost adoption agencies are generally those run by the government, or public agencies. These are sometimes called "free adoptions" because the only fees are for home studies, which are refundable for families that adopt children with special needs. Before finalizing a public adoption, adoptive parents may want to ask their case worker about negotiating possible aid for a child with special needs. This is different from a tax credit and will help cover medical services for preexisting conditions or in the event of a child developing a specific condition.
Public agencies place older children from the American foster care system. Those who wish to adopt an infant from a birth mother will have to pay for more adoption services, particularly those related to birth mother needs. However, there are a few exceptions to the general costs of a private agency adoption, which will cost at least $5,000.
Private low cost adoption agencies are those that are run by private organizations. These may be church groups or ethnic associations that are looking for adopters who align with their ideologies. Adopting from these agencies, while "low cost," are often very specific and may not be the best option for people who do not think they agree or match the criteria expected of adoptive parents.