How much did your kid cost?

We hate this question. And we know that we'll be asked it throughout Jonas's life by people who just don't know any better. Our child doesn't cost anything. He 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, such as our agency's $22,000 Kyrgyzstan Program Fee and $780 for the I-600A form. 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
$1000Nightlight Adoption AgencyHome Study Initial PaymentPaid
$1500Nightlight Adoption AgencyHome Study Final PaymentPaid
$82FBIBackground CheckPaid
$425Colorado Adoption ConsultantsRequired Core TrainingPaid
$170Red CrossFirst Aid/CPR TrainingPaid
$25AmazonRequired Reading BooksPaid
$500Nightlight Adoption AgencyInternational Application FeePaid
$40NotaryNotarization of Dossier DocumentsPaid
$80CO Secretary of StateApostilles on Dossier DocumentsPaid
$1500Nightlight Adoption AgencyKyrgyz Initial Program FeePaid
$80CountiesBirth/Marriage Certificate CopiesPaid
$780Dept. of Homeland SecurityI-600A Orphan Petition FormPaid
$170Dept. of Homeland SecurityBiometrics (Fingerprinting)Paid
$170Lutheran Family ServicesHome Study State ApprovalPaid
$6000Nightlight Adoption AgencyDossier Registration Phase Program FeePaid
$1500TranslatorDossier TranslationPaid
$56Nightlight Adoption AgencyDossier ShipmentPaid
$6000Nightlight Adoption AgencyReferral Phase Program FeePaid
$4295AirlinesFlights for Meeting/Bonding VisitPaid
$40Super ShuttleTransportation to Airport Paid
$535Hotel FuturoHotel for First VisitPaid
$900In-Country CoordinatorDriver for First VisitPaid
$95Notary in KyrgyzstanPower of Attorney for 2nd VisitPaid
$300RestaurantsFood for First Visit (approximate)Paid
$450Dog SittersMolly Watching for First VisitPaid
$8000Nightlight Adoption AgencyCourt Phase Program FeePaid
$1011AirlinesFlight for Court VisitPaid
$75Dog SitterMolly Watching for Second VisitPaid
$119Hotel FuturoHotel for Second VisitPaid
$76Nightlight Adoption AgencyApostille/Shipping for I-171H FormPaid
$250In-Country CoordinatorDriver for Second VisitPaid
$100RestaurantsFood for Second Visit (approximate)Paid
$2647AirlinesFlights for Final VisitPaid
$300Dog SitterMolly Watching for Third VisitPaid
$115Hotel FuturoHotel for Third Visit (Bishkek-Tokmok)Paid
$480Ambassador HotelHotel for Third Visit (Bishkek)Paid
$387Grand Hotel Tien-ShanHotel for Third Visit (Almaty)Paid
$65HotelHotel for Coordinator (Almaty)Paid
$228Kyrgyz Concept Travel AgencyHotel for Third Visit (Lake Issyk-Kul)Paid
$230Kyrgyz Concept Travel AgencyTransportation to/from Lake Issyk-KulPaid
$45Bank of AmericaWire Transfer Fee to Travel AgencyPaid
$100In-Country CoordinatorDriver for Adoption DayPaid
$125In-Country CoordinatorDriver to/in AlmatyPaid
$500In-Country CoordinatorAssistance with Visa in AlmatyPaid
$500RestaurantsFood for Third Visit (approximate)Paid
$325US EmbassyChild's Immigrant VisaPaid
$100International Medical ClinicChild's Medical VisitPaid
$300Various/ICCOrphanage Gifts/DonationPaid
$182Denver AirportCar Parking for Third VisitPaid
$10Kyrgyz EmbassyEmbassy RegistrationPaid
$1600Nightlight Adoption AgencyPrepayment for Post-Placement VisitsPaid
$93Nightlight Adoption Agency6 Month Visit Apostille and ShippingPaid
$95Nightlight Adoption Agency1 Year Visit Apostille and ShippingPaid
$167CO Juvenile CourtForeign Validation of AdoptionPaid


See All AboveTotal Adoption CostPaid
-$10,000AccentureEmployer Adoption AssistanceRefunded
-$5500FamilyTax Deductible DonationRefunded


Out of Pocket Total Adoption CostPaid
-$13,400US GovernmentTax RefundRefunded


Out of Pocket Total Adoption CostPaid
$3900Various Doctors/Hospitals2015 Medical Expenses (Out of
Pocket Maximum for Insurance)

Total Out of Pocket Adoption Cost
Including Initial Medical Expenses


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