Photo: Flickr / Cia de Foto
Whether a family grows through adoption or by giving birth, it is an emotional rewarding process. We had our first child last summer and it has been incredible. While I was pregnant we worked hard to save up for expected baby expenses as best we could.That’s because starting a family is enormous decision; though having kids is about love, responsible parents should also look at the financial obligations that come with it so they can be better prepared. For those deciding on which route is best for them, I wanted to share some numbers. I hope it can help you save money in the future so your family’s finances are solid as you make one of the biggest changes in your lives.
Cost of Giving Birth
One thing that we did is decide how much to save was to ask our friends about the hospital bill for giving birth. For those without insurance, they mentioned that it was around $10,000-$12,000. Looking at the states below, that seems to be typical for hospital births. Of course if there are any complication during labour, costs can skyrocket.
Besides hospitals, there are other choices for where parents can give birth. Accredited birth centres are popular and they tend to have lower costs. For women who have a low risk of complications, this is a viable option that can give you a safe environment if you’re looking for a natural birth. Licensed mid-wives take care of your birth and labour needs.
Parents can also sign for birth and labour classes to help prepare them. There are numerous options, with the most popular being Lamaze, Bradley and Alexander methods. Take the time to research — our class was about 6 weeks long and it helped us feel less nervous and more confident before the big day.
Cost of Adopting a Child
While every adoption is different, there are some universal expenses associated with them. Knowing them can help parents thinking about seeking adoption get a clearer picture.
Using an agency can cost parents $20,000 to $35,000, which typically covers:
- Home Study: Prospective parents are educated about the process and the family is also evaluated for fitness.
- Process Identifying Child for Family: The agency works to get a better picture of the family through interviews so a social worker can work with them to find a child with whom the family can provide a good home.
- Placement Fees
- Social Worker Visits
In addition, there are legal fees that involved, not only domestically, but if it’s an international adoption, the fees for the home country’s own legal requirements.Of course, whether you adopt or give birth your little one, the baby expenses will continue when you bring them home. There are diapers, food, baby gear and maybe childcare as well. Whatever you choose, you can succeed.
I’d like to hear from parents about their experiences with their little ones. Did you adopt or give birth to your children? What were some of your expenses? What did you expect and what surprised you about the process? Any words of encouragement for prospective parents?