Creating a family, whether by birth or adoption, and raising a member of the next generation can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be costly.
The average estimated cost to raise a child born in 2017 is about $234,000. That means that you’ll be spending roughly $13,000 a year per child. Those estimates only cover birth through age 17, so they don’t include costs like college tuition.
The good news is that those costs scale down the more children you have. Costs like gas become more efficient per child due to carpooling, clothing hand-me-downs and shared bedrooms that can cut down on costs.
If you’re considering adopting a child, do some research and calculate your projected expenses. It’s important to know that you’ll be able to afford to raise a child before you begin the process. You can use online tools like the United States Department of Agriculture’s cost of raising a child calculator to figure out how much you’ll be spending based on your income, region and number of children. Of course, the number you get from an online calculator will only be an estimate based on a broad set of data, so it might also be worth it to do more specific research on costs in your area.
Should you adopt a child if you can’t really afford it? If your heart is set on adopting, there are ways to save money and cut costs to ensure your little one has what she or he needs. However, most states will assess your family’s income and assets to determine whether or not you have the resources required to raise a child.
Adoption usually comes with a tax credit, which can help with the actual expenses of adoption as well as child rearing. If you plan on encouraging your children to go to college, you can start saving now. There are many ways to do this, including a college savings plan, which is a tax-free investment plan. Look into options in your state for college savings and even scholarship opportunities to prepare your child for a successful future.
Raising a child is an expensive endeavor, and should not be taken lightly. However, by doing some research and preparing yourself, you should be able to budget what you need. The privilege of raising a child is more than worth the price.
Author: Destiny Adoption Services
Destiny Adoption Services is proud to support and guide birth parents and adoptive families on the journey of adoption. We’re a state licensed nonprofit adoption agency with four decades of adoption experience, and our professional team of experts includes moms, adoptive moms and birth mothers who provide compassion combined with trusted resources and skills.