How Much Does it Cost to Adopt in Florida?

May 7, 2024by Adam Sacks

If you are considering adoption in Florida, you may be wondering about the associated costs. Here we look at not only the associated costs, but ways to minimize those costs to you.

The Cost of Different Types of Adoption in Florida

There are various types of adoption options available in the beautiful state of Florida, each with its own unique process and associated costs.

Public Agency Adoption:

Public agency or foster care adoption is one of the most affordable avenues for adopting children in Florida. The Department of Children and Families (DCF) coordinates these adoptions, and their primary goal is to find permanent homes for children who are unable to return to their birth families. The cost of public agency adoption is minimal, typically involving little to no fees.

Private Agency Adoption:

Private agency adoption involves working with licensed adoption agencies or adoption attorneys who facilitate the adoption process on behalf of birth parents and prospective adoptive parents. The costs typically include application fees, home study fees, legal fees, counseling fees, and birth parent expenses for medical and living costs.

Independent Adoption:

Independent adoption occurs when prospective adoptive parents directly connect with birth parents without the involvement of an adoption agency. This type of adoption allows for a more personal relationship between the birth parents and adoptive parents, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Independent adoption can be less expensive since there are no agency fees involved.

International Adoption:

International adoption entails adopting a child from a country other than the United States. This process involves the intricate legal and immigration procedures of both the foreign country and the U.S. government. International adoption costs can be higher due to travel expenses, country-specific requirements, immigration fees, and legal fees.


The Cost of Different Types of Adoption in Florida

What Is the Average Cost of Adoption in Florida?

The average cost of adoption in Florida can vary significantly depending on several factors such as the type of adoption and the adoption agency or attorney chosen. These figures are approximate and can fluctuate over time.

Prospective adoptive parents should be prepared for costs that range from around $20,000 to $40,000 for domestic infant adoption, $0 to $3,000 for foster care adoption, and $25,000 to $60,000 for international adoption. [1]


What are the Adopted Parents Paying For?

Prospective adoptive parents usually incur expenses related to the selection and assistance of an adoption agency or adoption attorney. These professionals guide the adoptive parents through the complex process and ensure that all legal requirements are met.

For agency adoptions, the fees typically cover the costs of assessing the adoptive parents’ suitability, matching them with a child, and providing support throughout the adoption process.

Private adoptions involve the adoptive parents directly working with the birth parents or a private attorney. This type of adoption may have additional legal fees and costs associated with finding a birth mother and handling the necessary legal procedures.

Depending on the specific circumstances, an adopted child may require medical assessments, vaccinations, and other necessary health examinations. If the adopted child is from another state or country, travel and accommodation costs associated with the adoption process may arise.

Several other expenses should be considered when contemplating adoption in Florida. Home studies, background checks, and the necessary clearances to ensure the adoptive parents’ suitability and capability to provide a loving and stable environment for a child are essential prerequisites.

Legal fees associated with filing the adoption petition, obtaining adoption decrees, and finalizing the adoption are also part of the overall costs. These fees vary depending on the complexity of the case and the legal representation chosen by the adoptive parents.


Options for Paying for Adoption

There are various options available for paying for adoption in Florida, making it more accessible to aspiring parents.

Adoption Grants:

Several organizations and foundations offer financial assistance to prospective adoptive parents. These grants can help cover a significant portion, if not all, of the adoption expenses. The criteria for eligibility may vary, but they typically consider factors such as financial need, the length of time spent in the adoption process, and the specific circumstances of the child being adopted.

Research and carefully choose the grants you apply for, as each may have its own conditions and application requirements. Some well-known adoption grant organizations include the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Gift of Adoption Fund.

Adoption Loans:

These are specialized loans designed to help cover the costs associated with adoption. Similar to other loans, these have varying interest rates, repayment terms, and eligibility criteria.

Adoption loans allow you to spread the cost of adoption over time, making it more manageable while enabling you to start your journey towards parenthood.

Employer Assistance:

Some companies recognize the importance of adoption and may provide financial support to employees who choose to adopt. Through employer assistance programs, businesses may offer a specific amount of financial aid to cover adoption expenses. These programs can significantly alleviate the financial burden associated with adoption.

If you are considering adoption, it’s worth looking into your employer’s policies to determine if they offer any adoption benefits, as this can make a notable difference in your ability to afford the process.


This can involve reaching out to friends, family, and your community for support. Hosting events, creating online campaigns, or selling merchandise are just a few of the many creative ways to raise funds for adoption.

Fundraising not only helps to cover adoption costs but also allows you to involve your loved ones in your journey. It can be an opportunity for them to contribute financially and emotionally, creating a network of support for your growing family.


Options for Paying for Adoption


How Can I Adopt for Free?

There are options available for those looking to adopt without incurring significant costs. Some include:

Foster Care Adoption:

Foster care adoption provides an opportunity for individuals or couples to provide a loving and stable home for a child who is currently in the foster care system. In most instances, adoption through foster care is either free or relatively inexpensive.

The primary expenses typically involved in this type of adoption are the fees associated with the home study and legal representation. These costs may be reimbursed or subsidized by the state government, significantly reducing the financial burden on prospective adoptive parents. [2]

Public Agency Adoption:

Public agency adoption, also known as state adoption, involves adopting a child from the state’s child welfare system. Similar to foster care adoption, public agency adoption is often a cost-effective option. Public agencies are responsible for placing children who are legally available for adoption into suitable and loving homes.

These agencies typically cover the adoption costs, including the home study, background checks, and legal fees, making it an affordable option for those looking to adopt.

Adoption through Non-Profit Organizations:

Various non-profit organizations dedicated to finding loving families for children in need also offer adoption services at little to no cost. These organizations are primarily privately funded and rely on grants and donations to cover their operational expenses.

By partnering with these organizations, prospective adoptive parents can benefit from their expertise and guidance throughout the adoption process without incurring substantial financial obligations.

Adoption Subsidies and Grants:

Many states offer adoption subsidies to help alleviate the financial burden associated with adopting children with special needs or older children. These subsidies can cover expenses such as legal fees, medical costs, or counseling services.


Setting Your Adoption Budget

In Florida, there are various expenses to consider when setting your adoption budget.

Agency Fees: Private agencies, which offer more personalized services, tend to have higher fees than public or state-run agencies.

Home Study Expenses: A home study is required for all prospective adoptive parents in Florida. This assessment includes interviews, background checks, and home visits to ensure the safety and suitability of the adoptive family.

Legal Fees: The legal process involved in adoption requires the guidance of an attorney. Florida law mandates that an attorney represents the adoptive parents and files the necessary legal documents.

Birth Mother Expenses: Adoptive parents may pay the birth mother’s pregnancy care, hospital expenses and medical care for a short time after the child’s birth. These expenses may include medical bills, living expenses, counseling, and legal fees.

Travel Expenses: This can include transportation, accommodation, and food for the adoptive parents. The cost can vary significantly depending on the distance traveled and the length of your stay.

Post-Placement Fees: After the adoption is finalized, there may be additional post-placement expenses, such as counseling services or ongoing support for the adoptive family. These costs will depend on the specific needs of the child and the adoptive family.


Setting Your Adoption Budget


Contact Sacks & Sacks today to schedule a consultation and start your journey towards adopting a child in Florida.



Q. Are the costs of adoption in Florida tax-deductible?

Eligible adoption expenses, such as agency fees, attorney fees, court costs, and travel expenses directly related to the adoption process, can be deducted on your federal income tax return. Keep detailed records and receipts to substantiate these expenses. The specific amount that can be claimed as a tax deduction may vary each year, so it is advisable to consult with a tax professional or accountant for personalized advice regarding the deductibility of adoption expenses in Florida.

Q. Do I need a lawyer to adopt in Florida?

Adoption involves complex legal procedures and navigating the various adoption laws and regulations in Florida can be challenging. An adoption attorney can provide guidance and ensure that all necessary legal steps are followed to protect the interests of the adoptive parents, the child, and the birth parents. They can help with paperwork, assist in finalizing the adoption, and offer valuable advice throughout the process.

Q. Are there any ongoing financial responsibilities after the adoption is finalized in Florida?

Once the adoption is complete, the adoptive parents assume all financial obligations for the child, just as if they had biologically given birth to them. This includes providing for the child’s basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, and education. Adoptive parents are responsible for meeting the child’s ongoing financial needs and ensuring their well-being throughout their upbringing.



[1] Cost of Adoption in Florida [What to Know]. (2023, May 26). Florida Adoption |.

[2] How to Adopt in Florida [Complete Guide] | Considering Adoption. (2023, June 22). Considering Adoption | a Trusted Adoption Resource.

by Adam Sacks

Adam Sacks is lead Family Law Attorney at Law Offices of Sacks & Sacks, P.A. in Jacksonville, Florida. He has a BA in Psychology from 1994, and received his Juris Doctor Degree in 1999 from the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.

Sacks and Sacks Law
1646 Emerson St. Suite B Jacksonville, FL 32207

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