Although there are legitimate costs in providing adoption services, financial issues should never be the deciding factor in matching a child or youth with adoptive parent(s). Rather, placement decisions must be based on each family’s ability to meet an individual child or youth’s needs, including his or her cultural needs. Unfortunately, adoption fees and other related costs often present a barrier to the prospective adopters who may be best able to meet a child or youth’s needs. NACAC believes that adoption fees should never serve as a barrier that keeps a child or youth from achieving a permanent family.
Policy and Practice Recommendations
For adoptions from public foster care, governments agencies—federal, state, provincial, territorial, and tribal—should fund adoption services so that prospective adopters bear no costs (including home studies, legal fees, pre- and post-placement support services, etc.). In the United States, all fees paid by state or county agencies should be reimbursable by the federal government through Title IV-E funding.
For private agency adoptions, adoption agencies should find creative ways to provide the entire array of culturally competent adoption services at no charge, including seeking government and private funding, partnering with legal organizations, and waiving fees for families.