How much did your kid cost?

We hate this question. And we know that we'll be asked it throughout our daughter's life by people who just don't know any better. Our child doesn't cost anything. She is priceless! But the "shipping and handling" fees involved with an international adoption are anything but free.

Why does adoption cost so much? Well, that's a complicated question. There are a lot of people, agencies, companies, and governments involved in the process. Some of this is for the child's well-being and safety. Some of this is to make sure the adoption is ethical and legal. And travel expenses add to the overall price as well.

No, it's not fair that adoption costs so much. And we do find some of the fees to be quite outrageous. But if we want to grow our family in this way, it's part of the deal. And it's more unfair that there are children in orphanages without parents right now!

In the interest of transparency, as well as to provide helpful information for prospective adoptive parents, below is a breakdown of the costs involved with our adoption. These are listed in the order we paid them.

CostTo/From WhoFor WhatStatus
$890USCISI-800A FormPaid
$28CO Dept. of Human ServicesTRAILS Background CheckPaid
$250AACApplication FeePaid
$1600AACHome Study UpdatePaid
$3000AACPhase 1 Processing FeePaid
$26.75MO Vital RecordsZack's Birth CertificatePaid
$17.50IN Vital RecordsAubree's Birth CertificatePaid
$2.30Denver County RecordsCertified Marriage Certificate CopyPaid
$20CO Manager of RevenueFingerprintingPaid
$80.18CO Bureau of InvestigationFingerprint CardsPaid
$5NotaryTX Background CheckPaid
$2.86ShutterflyPictures for DossierPaid
$5NotaryLetter of IntentPaid
$50Denver Manager of RevenuePolice RecordsPaid
$45CO Secretary of StateDossier Document CertificationsPaid
$10MO Secretary of StateDossier Document CertificationPaid
$180AACI-800A and Home Study CertificationsPaid
$1450AACDossier Filing FeePaid
$425CourierConsulate AuthenticationsPaid
$22.81FedExMail Dossier Docs to CourierPaid
$21.81FedExMail Dossier Docs to AACPaid
$5.34Sam's ClubAubree's Passport PicsPaid
$13.98WalgreensZack's Passport PicsPaid
$300AACHome Study AddendumPaid
$360USCISI-800A Supplement 3Paid
$45.80Venus PuzzleFundraising PuzzlePaid
$3000AACPhase 2 Processing FeePaid
$1100AACChina Coordinator FeePaid
$325Chinese EmbassyChild's Visa FeePaid
$1000CCCWAChina Special DonationPaid
$1500AACPost-Adoption Service FeePaid
$500AACPost-Adoption Retainer FeePaid
$29.33FedexOvernight I-800 approvalPaid
$7765AACOrphanage Donation/In Country PaperworkPaid
$2000AACIn-Country Transportation & Guide FeePaid
$50AACJohanna's Birthday Cake and PartyPaid
$2764.72AirlinesAirfare (used points too)Paid
$1801.33HotelsLodging in China (used points too)Paid
$50.20FedExOvernight Visa ApplicationsPaid
$587.24CTripIn-Country FlightPaid
$835Chinese EmbassyChinese VisasPaid
$473AACIn-Country TrainsPaid
$3Bank of AmericaWire FeePaid
$12.95Express VPNVPN ServicePaid
$20Dollar StoreGifts for In-Country OfficialsPaid
$475Ladybugs N' LoveBeijing TouringPaid
$43.17FedExPriority Express Passports and VisasPaid
$518AACOrphanage VisitPaid
$1000Various (approximate cost)Food and Activities in ChinaPaid


See All AboveTotal Adoption CostPaid So Far
-$11,725Family, Friends, and Kind StrangersPuzzle FundraiserRefunded
-$9450FamilyTax Deductible DonationRefunded


Out of Pocket Total Adoption CostPaid So Far

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