How an adoption attorney or adoption agency charges prospective adoptive parents will vary. Some may request a filing fee and a retainer or deposit(s) over the course of the experience. If a”retainer” required by the attorney, a bulk amount is initially requested from the client and held in escrow. As the attorney spends time and expenses working on the case, they are paid out of the retainer fund.
Any contact with the attorney will likely cost you (usually in 15 minute increments). Even short phone calls or conversations not really related to your case may be billed. Before calling your attorney, prepare a list of questions you need answered or information you need to relate to keep the conversation brief, focused, and productive (and potentially less expensive for you in the long run). Attorneys also charge for expenses incurred on behalf of clients. These expenses typically include copying charges, long-distance phone charges, postage, faxes, court filing fees, and other expenses associated with handling your case.
It is advisable to ask your attorney or the adoption agency to put the fee arrangement in writing. This will help you and your attorney clarify what you will be charged for, when you are expected to pay your invoices, and what you should do if you have a concern about fees.
Being able to afford to adopt can require creativity and good financial planning to assemble the funds needed. If that is the case for you, there are organizations focused on helping make it financially possible to adopt with loans, grants, or subsidies. Some other options might be asking a family member for a loan, borrowing against a retirement plan, taking advantage of adoption benefits through an employer, considering a commercial lender or financial institution loan, taking advantage of the IRS adoption tax credit or other credits offered by your state, taking advantage of government subsidies offered for foster child adoptions and/or using an insurance policy that covers adoption medical expenses for the birth mother.