Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Adoption Fees and additional costs- Independent Adoption- UPDATED

I will try to give an idea of what kind of fees we have encountered and when they needed to be paid. As with all of my other your own research as well, ask around, and make your own decisions. I will just share what we have done and learned along the way!

New Life Links current adoption fees: $9000 per child, $2500 "deposit" due with dossier, balance due at exit of IBESR. This may vary greatly by different Orphanages and some of them may even be willing to work out different arrangements if you ask.

Largest fee during this time will likely be your Home study fees (please see my post on home study tips). This will range from around $1000-$2500 depending on the state you live in and if you can use an Independent Social worker or if you have to use an Adoption Agency.

Fees for ordering birth certificates, marriage certificate, and divorce decrees if you need to for your dossier: varies by State

Notary fees: Please see my Notary tips post to help save money on this. It can range from free (if you find someone to donate their time or have a friend that is a notary, or have a bank that notarizes for free as a service) to up to $20 per document. This can really add up so it's worth it to read about my tips and save as much as you can here. I have heard of people hiring a traveling notary to meet them at doctors offices, or other place and this can cost quite a bit. I personally think that is unnecessary, but you should do your own research on this and make a decision of what you feel comfortable with. Make sure to budget for almost every document to be notarized.

Medical Exams: If you have medical insurance you would just budget what your co-pay would be for an appointment for each person in your family.

Police clearance letters: Our charge was only $3 each but I think this varies a bit as well but will likely be very inexpensive.

Psychological Exams: For us, our health insurance covered this and it was only a $25 co-pay for each adoptive parent (please see my post for Psychological Exams for more information). I have heard of others paying around $300 to outrageous amounts for this (defiantly unnecessary to spend a lot on this!).

Passport photos: You need 4 for each adopting parent for your dossier and will want to get 2 additional each if you need your passports as well. I don't remember exactly how much this was but I'm thinking it was about $16 total for my husband and me to each get 6. I've heard of some people that do this online and have seen a website that claims you can do it for free with your digital camera and online. I have not done it but it might be worth looking into and asking about. It sure sounds easy and FREE. :)

State Certified/Authenticated documents: according to our orphanage (and what we did) we only needed 5 pages certified/authenticated by the state at $10 per page (may vary with each State). This was only $50 total for us but I have heard of others that insist that according to their orphanage/agency that every single one of your documents that have been notarized need to be certified and apostilled as well and that would really add up! If your agency or orphanage is asking for this it might be worth it to question them about this requirement.

Authenticated: The same papers that you have state certified need to be sent to the Haitian Consulate to be Authenticated. This fee is $25 a form. Again, some parents have done every single page of their dossier and this could turn into a huge fee but if you only do the required documents the fee is just $125

UPDATED 6-19-07- Seems that now many parents are having their Psych Eva. on one letter as husband and wife instead of two seperate letters. This would make the above two fees a bit less and would be 4 documents instead of 5: always good news :)

Translation: All your dossier will need to be translated into french before mailing. I will include a post soon about this and with referrals. Our orphanage, NLL, offers to do this for you for a flat fee of $500. This is what we paid. However, since then, I'm convinced we could have had it done cheaper sending it elsewhere. I have seen the fees range from $10-$15 per page, another for $250 flat rate, and we paid $500 flat rate for ours (see how much I'm learning after the fact, hope it will help some one else!).

Your ready now to mail your dossier!!

Immigration Fees:
Currently the fees to file your I-600A or I-600 (I'll go into more info on this in it's own post) is $545 filing fee and an additional $70 for each adopting parent for the fingerprinting fees. So the average total for this (assuming 2 parents and no other adults in the house) is $685. If you have any other adults living in your home (roommates, or children over 18) you also need to pay an additional $70 each and have them fingerprinted.
If you are adopting multiple children that are siblings you only pay the one filing fee! However, if you are adopting children that are not related you must pay a separate filing fee for each child.
A common question/confusion about paying for the I-600A & I-600 is do you pay with each form you file? I'm happy to say the answer is NO. If you pay the fee for the I-600A and it has not expired you do not need to pay the fee again when you file the I-600, yes, I'm sure. :)

Passports: If you have current passports you do not need to worry about this fee. If you need a first time passport the total fee (not including photos) is $97 and if you just need to renew an old one it is $67 per passport. If you need your passport expedited it is an additional $60 fee but you should not need to worry about this if you remember to get your passport while starting the adoption process. You should have plenty of time to get it without the expedite fee. Our orphanage states that the child(ren)'s passports are included in the adoption fees so you will not likely have to pay an additional fee for this unless your orphanage tells you otherwise.

Visa for your child: This is paid while you are in Haiti picking up your child(ren) to bring home. The fee is $380 per child. UPDATE 4/11/07 I was just in Haiti a few days ago with a friend picking up her child. I asked her when she came back if she had to pay cash (a question that comes up about this) and she said that they are able to accept credit cards now, but in her opinion you may want to bring the cash anyways and not rely on the credit cards machines to be working. So... that's just the news I have received, I hope it helps you make a decision on what is best for you!

Travel expense:
Your hotel and airfare to go to Haiti and bring them home. I won't even try and give you an estimate on this because it varies so much depending on where you live, and so many other factors.


Kathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy said...

Our paperwork is in translation now and the cost just to get paperwork ready blows me away-- $1,200 for a homestudy, $130 for authentication, $685 for INS, and near $500 for the counsulate and $300 for translation, $100 a month a child support and this is all before our paperwork even leaves for Haiti! But when you look at the pictures of those little faces.... Well, what can I say?


Do you know if the VISA payment can be made with a credit/debit card or if it needs to be made in cash as I would prefer not to carry cash for 3 VISAs with me.
thanks Angela

Angela said...

Regarding the visa and cash question please see this update:

UPDATE 4/11/07 I was just in Haiti a few days ago with a friend picking up her child. I asked her when she came back if she had to pay cash (a question that comes up about this) and she said that they are able to accept credit cards now, but in her opinion you may want to bring the cash anyways and not rely on the credit cards machines to be working. So... that's just the news I have received, I hope it helps you make a decision on what is best for you!

Kodak McClain said...

You have it listed that documents need to be "Apostilled." Documents that go to Haiti are "Authenticated" because they are not part of the Hague Convention. Countries that are part of the Hague Convention have their documents Apostilled. :-)

Lori said...

Do you need to abtain a travel bond? Our homestudy agency mentioned this to us.

Angela said...

Hi Lori,
This is the first I have heard of buying traveling bonds. Were they suggesting it just for the Visa payment or saying that you needed it for any purchases that you make? I just used American cash with no problem while in Haiti and used a credit card at the airport shops and plan to do so again in my next trip. Sorry I can't be more help. This would be an excellent thing to ask about on a chat group. If you would like a referal to one please let me know, or if you would rather not join one and would like me to ask and see if I can get an answer for you please email me at and let me know. I would love it if you get an answer and would post it in the comments here to share with us all.

Joyfully, Angela

Mrs. Greg Green said...

You have the $2500 deposit fee in quotes. Does this mean it's not really a deposit, and that you still have to pay $9000 on top of that fee to NLL?

Angela said...


Sorry for any confusion. The $2500 is part of the $9000, it is not an additional fee. I put "deposit" that way because I was usuing it for the lack of a better word. It's really just a deposit or first payment due and when paid is put towards the $9000 total.

Mrs. Greg Green said...

Just a note for anyone filing an I-600a in the near future: The cost has jumped to $670 for the filing fee plus $80 per person for fingerprinting. You must also be fingerprinted for each child you are adopting if they are not related. My husband and I are adopting 2 unrelated boys, so we will have to spend $320 on fingerprinting alone. Yikes!