It’s no secret that adoption is expensive. Estimates vary, but according to a study of 1,100 published in Adoptive Families Magazine, the average family spends $39,966 adopting through an agency and $34,093 in open adoption. If you’re dealing with a limited income, these figures might make adoption seem out of the question. The good news? It’s possible to adopt without spending a fortune, as we demonstrate below:

Stick With Domestic Adoption

Although any adoption will strain your budget, international adoptions are notoriously expensive. Location matters; statistics from Adoptive Families Magazine indicate that adoptions from South Korea and Ethiopia are far more expensive than those from China. Still, domestic adoptions are nearly always more affordable than international proceedings.

If both international and conventional adoptions are out of the question, foster care adoption may be a viable alternative. Although challenging, this approach makes adoption feasible in families that otherwise cannot afford agency fees or birth mother expenses. Be aware that foster adoptions tend to involve older children or teenagers.

Take Advantage of the Federal Adoption Tax Credit

To ease the financial burden of adoption, the federal government provides a one-time tax credit. This credit is not refundable; you’ll only benefit if you owe taxes. What’s more, you’ll receive no more than your total liability. For example, if you owe $5,000 in taxes, you’ll receive a $5,000 tax credit rather than the maximum.

In 2018, the maximum available adoption tax credit reached $13,840. This figure increases annually alongside the cost of living. Additionally, income limits may apply based on your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI).

If you’re struggling with the financial or legal concerns of adoption, seek counsel from the Brown Law Offices. Get in touch today to learn more about the adoption process—and how the Brown Law Offices team can help.

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Photo of Cynthia Brown Cynthia Brown

Cynthia Brown is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia was admitted to practice in 1998.

After graduating from law school, Cynthia served…

Cynthia Brown is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia was admitted to practice in 1998.

After graduating from law school, Cynthia served as the law clerk to the Honorable Timothy R. Bloomquist, retired Chief Judge of Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. Upon completing her clerkship, Cynthia practiced with a well-known firm in Cambridge, Minnesota. She founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003.

Cynthia has handled a wide variety of family law matters throughout the Twin Cities, and greater Minnesota, including divorce, custody, child protective services, orders for protection and harassment restraining orders. Many of her clients have also asked her to provide guidance concerning their estate planning needs.

Early in her career, Cynthia served as a prosecutor, public defender and criminal investigator. In addition to her family practice, Cynthia routinely represents clients facing criminal charges such as DWI, assault, theft and criminal sexual misconduct.

Cynthia founded the Amigos de Guatemala Foundation in 2007. She is a former Board Member and President of the Foundation, which provided educational, health and financial resources to underprivileged Guatemalan citizens. Her interest in serving the impoverished began with a medical mission trip to Honduras in 1994.

When she is not practicing law, Cynthia enjoys scrap-booking, soap-making, ATV riding and spending time with family.


Areas of Practice
  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Child Protective Services
  • Restraining Orders
  • Criminal Defense
  • Estate Planning
Bar Admission
  • Minnesota State Bar, 1998
Education
  • William Mitchell College of Law, 1998
  • University of South Dakota, 1995
Joined Firm
  • 2003
Professional Associations & Activities
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Presenter, Various CLE Courses
  • Panel Attorney, Anoka County County Family Law Clinic
  • Monthly Columnist, Minnesota Lawyer Newspaper
  • Author, Family Law Forum
  • Author, Divorce Magazine