There are many questions that potential adoptive parents have about the cost of adoption in the UK. Take a look at how much adoption costs and what financial help you may be entitled to.
Domestic adoption is not an expensive process, but it is one that you need to come to with your eye wide open.
In most cases, domestic adoption agencies don’t charge prospective adoptive parents for the adoption process.
In fact, it is illegal for a fostering agency to charge for the adoption process. There are other fees; however, you need to be aware of.
Your adoption agency will tell you more, and you may be able to get help. For example, adopters need a medical assessment from their GP. Most GPs charge for this, with the norm being around £100.
Other adopting costs
There are some other adopting costs and financial implications you will want to consider:
The cost of adoption leave
When you adopt a child or children, you will need to take time off work to allow them time to settle in. This is usually a minimum of 6 months.
During this time, you may get some kind of income from your employer or you can claim Ordinary Adoption Leave allowance for 26 weeks. After this time, you can request Additional Adoption Leave for a further 26 weeks.
There are rules about how this is applied, such as for only one partner can claim it. The other parent could, however, if they so wish, request paternity leave.
Finances are very much personal and so what you can claim and how long for is something you will need to look at in detail with your social worker. Check the UK Government website for the latest adoption leave rates and rules for claiming the allowance, when it starts and ends and so on.
The cost of bringing up a child
Whether you have children of your own or adopt, bringing up children is expensive. Various estimates suggest that by the time your children are 21, as a parent you will have spent nearly £250,00 on essential items such as clothing and so on.
Clearly, expanding your family by adopting will bring extra pressure to bear on your finances. It may be possible that you can claim financial help alongside child benefit too such as;
- Free childcare for so many hours a week
- Tax benefits, such as Child Tax credit
- You may also be entitled to ask for flexible working hours at work once you are an adoptive parent, especially if the children you have adopted are very young
Some children who are adopted can have specific and complex emotional, mental or physical needs. When this is the case, it may be possible to receive ongoing financial support from the local authority to help you care for the child. The Adoption Support Fund, set up in 2015, may be able to offer financial assistance to some adoptive families too.
Why you need to consider adoption costs
Adopting a child is life-changing for them and for you. You are creating a forever family, just as birth parents do.
When the adoption order is signed, and you and your adopted child or children become a family, you are wholly responsible for them. Meeting their physical and emotional needs is done in many different ways, and there is no getting away from the fact that some of these activities cost money.
For example, buying school uniforms, supporting them through university or college and other educational trips and the like can all come at considerable cost.
But, the rewards are fantastic with love and happiness surrounding you for decades, just as with other families.
Adopters for Adoption is a nationwide agency who walk alongside adopters to find their forever family.