How Much Does It Cost To Adopt Someone Over 18

how much does it cost to adopt someone over 18

Adopting an adult is a big decision that requires careful thought, planning, and understanding of the financial considerations involved. While the emotional rewards can be immense, adult adoption also involves real costs. This guide breaks down the key expenses to factor in when budgeting for an adult adoption.

Legal Fees

The legal process of adult adoption involves attorneys and court fees that often total $2,000-$5,000 on average. Costs vary greatly by location. Expect to pay more in larger cities. Lawyers charge hourly rates and court filing fees are set fees. Overall costs depend on the complexity of the case. Using the same lawyer for both parties can reduce total fees.

Home Study

Most states require a home study much like for infant adoption. Agencies conduct studies for $1,500-$3,000 typically. The study verifies you can support the adoptee financially and that your home is safe and stable. Home visits, interviews, and background checks are common.

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Background Checks

Adult adoptions require background checks on both parties costing $200-$500 each on average. Fingerprinting and abuse registry checks ensure an adoptee’s safety. The adult child’s credit and employment history may also be checked.

Miscellaneous Costs

Expect other small costs like document printing/notarizing, copy fees, and travel related to the adoption process. Budget several hundred dollars for these expenses. Also factor in costs for celebrating and announcing the adoption to family and friends.

Tax Credits

Currently there are no federal tax credits specifically for adult adoptions like for infant adoptions. However, some tax benefits may apply depending on your situation. Consult a tax professional for specifics.

Adult adoptions can be complex and costly. But building a legal family bond can be priceless. Carefully weigh the costs and rewards as you consider adoption. With realistic expectations and proper budgeting, many families do successfully adopt adults each year despite the required investment.

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What is the average total cost to adopt an adult?

The average total cost is $4,000-$8,000. Legal fees typically account for the largest portion. Home studies and background checks also add significantly to the total cost.

Does health insurance cover any adoption costs?

Unfortunately health insurance does not cover adoption costs. Adoptive families must pay all legal fees, agency fees, and other adoption-related costs out of pocket.

Can I deduct any adoption costs on my taxes?

There are no specific federal tax credits for adult adoptions currently. However, if the adoption relates to your business, you may be able to deduct some fees. Check with a tax professional.

Can I fundraise or crowdfund to pay adoption costs?

Yes, some families do fundraise or crowdfund to offset the high costs of adoption. Online fundraising platforms make it easier, but make sure to research applicable IRS rules.

Are any government subsidies available?

No federal or state subsidy programs exist specifically for adult adoptions. Subsidies mainly apply to infant adoptions from foster care. For adult adoption, families must cover the full costs.


Adopting an adult child comes with substantial financial obligations, but also emotional rewards. Legal fees, home studies, background checks, and other expenses add up fast. Take time to research costs in your state and budget thoroughly. Understanding the required investment helps ensure a smooth adoption process. With realistic expectations of the costs involved, you can focus on the joy of welcoming a new family member.


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