Adopting Our First Child

Infertility, unexplained or otherwise, is an emotional roller-coaster. There is hope followed by sadness, encouragement followed by disappointment. Even though we’ve always wanted to grow our family through adoption, the journey to making this choice wasn’t easy.

The ups and downs were especially evident when we learned the actual costs of this process during our first adoption orientation with a reputable non-profit adoption organization.

What are the costs?

The average cost of private domestic adoption through an agency is $30,000 - $50,000, foreign adoptions can cost up to 20% more. Private adoption through a certified adoption attorney can cost between $15,000 and $25,000 or more.

When we began the adoption process over a year ago, this financial burden hit us like a ton of bricks.

We’ve always dreamed of having children of our own. Every decision we’ve made in our adult lives has been to prepare us for raising a big family. As a generally sensible couple, one of those decisions was to wait several years before trying to have children.

We thought, how hard could it be?

After over a year of trying to get pregnant, and as close friends began having their first children, we knew something was wrong. Several intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatments, thousands of dollars, a heart-wrenching process of encouragement and disappointment, and over a year later, we learned about ‘unexplained infertility’.

Hearing that is one thing, accepting it is another.

When the doctors tell you that there’s nothing wrong with you, that there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to conceive, and that there isn’t anything they can do, it’s difficult to accept.

After lots of prayer and support from loved ones, we decided that adoption was the right path for us. Now, more than three years later, we’ve taken many of the steps necessary for the complicated journey to adoption:

The purpose of this GoFundMe is to raise a small portion of the funds we’ll need to successfully complete an adoption.

There are a variety of small grants that we can apply for once we’ve been matched with a child, and there is a federal tax credit available once an adoption is completed. However, we still have to be able to fund the rest of the adoption and pay the total cost up front until we’re reimbursed a portion of it through those grants or tax credits:

Opening up about these challenges has been difficult. Relying on the kindness of our friends, family, and strangers in order to make starting our family possible is hard.

We realize this is asking a lot but without your help, private adoption is just not feasible for us.

Thank you so much for taking the time to be part of our journey.


One thing we’ve learned so far is how little is really known about adoption. The same misconceptions we had starting out are the same questions we get from friends and family members:

What is unexplained Infertility?

Infertility cases in which the standard infertility testing has not found a cause for the failure to get pregnant. Basically, you can’t get pregnant and the doctors don’t know why.

Isn’t adoption free?

There are many ways to adopt, each with a different set of requirements and costs. The three most popular paths toward adoption include private adoption through an agency, private adoption through an attorney, and state adoption. Adopting through state programs is free, while private adoptions include more significant costs.

One of the reasons we’ve chosen to primarily focus on private adoption, is because most children in the foster care system that are available for adoption are over the age of 10. As prospective first-time parents, we just aren’t ready to parent a teenager or older child. This is why we’ve pursued infant adoption through private agencies or attorneys, and the adoption of a young child through the local state agency. We want to remain open to the possibilities, but recognize the limitations of our limited experience in this area.

Have you considered foster care?

During our state-mandated adoption training (M.A.P.P.), we learned that though many adoptions do occur with foster parents, the purpose of foster care is for the reunification of a broken family. You do not foster to adopt. As a foster family your goal is to foster reunification with their family and you must work towards that goal. Through this process, we’ve also learned about ourselves and where we are at emotionally. We believe it would make things more challenging if faced with bringing children into our home who may then be removed.

What about in vitro fertilization (IVF)?

The cost of IVF can range between $15,000 and $20,000 minimum and the success rate is only about 25%. We decided that if we’re going to invest anywhere, we want it to be adoption.


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