Shop Around to Get the Most Bang for You Buck
The cost of adoption varies greatly by country and by adoption agency. Make sure the agency you are considering is a licensed non-profit. Check out some different countries that may have less cost. Remember adopting from Foster Care can be free or very inexpensive. (Also, many families receive subsidies until the child turns 18.)
Not only should you shop around for adoption agencies, but also shop for different service providers for all the required documents for your adoption. For example, we were told that the required blood work to fill out our medical form would cost over $1,000 each. I shopped around and found EconoLABS. We were able to have our blood work done for less than $200 each!
Save money on having you papers, forms, and documents notarized by having them notarized at you local bank for free. We wait until we have a stack of papers that needs to be mailed. Then we go to our bank and have them all notarized at once.
Also, instead of ordering triple copies of birth certificates and our marriage license from vitalcheck.com we opted for the slower, cheaper method of ordering our documents directly through our state's department of vital statistics.
When to Pay More
Avoid anything that gives you a red-flag feeling! We looked into two different service providers for our homestudy. One provider was very reputable and recommended to us by a friend and by a professional in the adoption field This homestudy provider had already worked with our international placing agency. They were reasonably priced. The second homestudy provider could have saved us $1,000. But option two refused to provide a list of references for us to contact, was hard to get a hold of by phone, had negative reviews online, and had never written a homestudy for a Bulgarian adoption. My gut instinct was that this agency would be trouble! We opted for the more expensive, but still reasonably priced homestudy provider. In this instance, saving money was not worth trying to work with a less than reputable agency for something as important as our homestudy.