LJWorld.com weblogs Notes from John

Affordable Adoptions


Do adoptions really cost between $10,000 and $40,000 as stated in a LJW article of February 8? That was a long time ago but life intervened and caused this delayed response.

Well some adoptions are expensive. Adopting a child from another country or working with an attorney for what is called a private adoption like the one in the film Juno can be very expensive.

Adoption from one of the agencies that have contracts from the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) is virtually free according to the adoption coordinator of one of these agencies. She recommends that someone wanting to adopt might want to have a few hundred dollars available for miscellaneous costs. However most of these expenses will ultimately be reimbursed. Her agencies public relations people never got back to me about this piece so I can’t use her name. That is too bad because she does good work.

So there are affordable adoptions in Kansas and nearly 900 children waiting to be adopted. Kansans like citizens of most states provide financial assistance for adoption of children from the child welfare system. Much of this financial help is from federal funds.

Available financial assistance is detailed in Section 6000 of the SRS Policy Manual (http://www.srskansas.org/CFS/robohelp/PPMGenerate/). Examples include reimbursement of non-recurring adoption expenses of up to $2,000. This can be used for such items as attorney’s fees and travel expenses to court hearings. There is reimbursement for one-time only purchases limited to $1,000 per child for things like special equipment for children with disabilities, home modifications to make the house handicapped accessible and lifts for vans if needed.

Health care through Medicaid is available for special needs children. In addition, there is a possibility of a monthly cash subsidy to help meet the costs of providing for the child’s special and ordinary needs. The monthly payments are based upon the needs of the child and the resources of the family and range from $0 to $500 per month.

Not only are these adoptions affordable but they may be the most common type of adoption in the United States. The Children’s Bureau latest report shows that there were 50,379 child welfare adoptions during the 2006 federal fiscal year. While international adoptions are frequently in the press, the number of these pales in comparison. The United States Department of State reports 17,438 international adoptions in 2008.

In Kansas there were 712 child welfare adoptions during the state’s 2008 fiscal year. 53% of these children were adopted by foster parents. Foster parents have always stepped up and adopted children in their care. Increasingly relatives are coming forward to adopt children in the extended family and they represented 39% of last year’s adoptions.

There is still a great need for families to adoption children through public child welfare. SRS reports that as of 12/31/2008 there were 870 children waiting for adoption. These children have had their parental rights terminated or relinquished and are ready for a new family.

Adoption in Kansas can be inexpensive and is very rewarding. Let’s celebrate those foster parents and relatives who adopt child welfare children and encourage others interested in adoption to call one of the agencies contracting with SRS.


Ronda Miller 9 years, 4 months ago

John, this article was certainly informative and serves to be a positive reminder that there are children in Kansas who need a loving, caring family. It is great to know that people who can not afford the ten to forty thousand dollar adoptions can still be a parent. Now what were those age restrictions for adopting a child? And can single people adopt?

Thanks for sticking with such an important topic.

johnp 9 years, 4 months ago


Most states including Kansas are open to single people adopting and I don't know of any stated age limits. Many grandparents are adopting. Of course the age of the adoptive parents and the age of the child are important considerations in making a match.

Ronda Miller 9 years, 3 months ago

Thanks, John

My grandparents were in their mid 50's when they adopted me...I was in my mid twenties when my Grandfather died and around thirty when my Grandmother died. I was seven when I was adopted...so they certainly lived to see me grown. I know some parents (males) these days who are older than they were and are having a new born. Times are a changing!

Lisia 9 years, 3 months ago

It's great to see this! My husband and I are currently going through the certification process to become foster parents, and possibly eventually adoptive parents. The agencies and social workers we have dealt with so far have been very helpful. Sure, there's a lot of red tape, but there's also help that potential adoptive families can get to clear it up.

Ronda Miller 9 years, 3 months ago

Lisia...best of luck to you! You will be rewarded in ways you can not imagine...good to know the social workers are so helpful. Hopefully you'll let us know the pitfalls, time frame, etc.....blog your experience at some point!

Music_Girl 9 years, 3 months ago

My parents were foster parents on top of raising the 5 birth children they had and ended up adopting a sibling set of 3 that they fostered for so it can work. Best of luck to you Lisia!!

KSChick1 9 years, 3 months ago

I have friends doing a private adoption right now. All told, it's costing them roughly $3000 and wouldn't even have been that expensive except for a potential father of the baby causing problems. When the dna came back and the baby wasn't his, it just showed what a waste of time and money the potential father caused. Course now everybody knows the baby wasn't his so it wasn't a waste in that sense, but still. The original amount quoted to them by their attorney here in town for an uncontested private adoption was less than $2000.

johnp 9 years, 3 months ago


Yes children with disabilities can be very complicated and expensive.
The best advice is to have a full assessment of the child's needs by the best professionals around so you know what to expect. You can also use this information to get the needed assistance from SRS.

Not all of the children waiting to be adopted have these very complicated disabilities

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