Infant Adoption Costs and Services
Below is Bright Futures’ Schedule of Fees and Services, including Bright Futures’ payment and refund policies. The total cost of adopting through Bright Futures depends on a variety of factors, including the specific financial needs of the expectant/birth parents and your ability to pay.
At your Initial Educational Consultation, Bright Futures will work with you to determine an adoption budget that is reasonable for you. The adoption budget you set will be the upper limit for your adoption and Bright Futures will do its best to match you with expectant/birth parents whose needs match your budget. Please also see our page on sources for financial assistance to help with adoption costs.
The first step in becoming a client of Bright Futures is to participate in a two-hour educational consultation. During the consultation, we will talk with you about why you have decided to build your family through adoption, your specific needs, desires and concerns about adoption, and what type of adoption is right for you.
We will also explain the services offered by Bright Futures, our policies and procedures and how you can begin networking to find a pregnant woman/couple. In order to make the consultation as productive as possible, Bright Futures requests that all adopting parents complete Bright Futures’ Adoptive Parent Application and Intake Form and submit it to Bright Futures at least one week prior to the consultation, together with payment of the consultation fee.
Adoptive couples or singles who choose to continue to work with Bright Futures after the Initial Educational Consultation will pay an agency fee ranging from $12,000 – $20,000 (as determined by the Sliding Scale and the other payment terms set forth below). The agency fee will cover:
Bright Futures will assist you in the process of searching for a pregnant woman or couple considering making an adoption plan for their child. As part of the networking process, Bright Futures will assist you in the preparation of a family profile that gives expectant/birth parents a sense of who you are and what you believe. Bright Futures will share your profile with expectant/birth parents who most closely share your needs and expectations about the adoption (including expectations about the racial, cultural or religious identity of the child, ongoing contact, and financial ability/needs).
Bright Futures will act as a link between the adopting parents, the expectant/birth parents and any other adoption agency, attorney or other adoption professional that may be involved in a particular situation. Bright Futures will also be available to answer calls from expectant/birth parents responding to the networking efforts of adopting parents.
Counseling and Support
Bright Futures will provide education, counseling and support to adoptive parents throughout the adoption process. Each situation is different and requires individual attention based on the specific needs of the parties involved in the adoption.
Counseling and support may include in each case: counseling adoptive parents about their role in the adoption triangle and compassionate methods of communicating with expectant/birth parents and their extended family; providing support in specific situations that arise prior to or after the birth of the child; assisting the adoptive parents in creating an adoption plan that is appropriate for all parties to the adoption and modifying the adoption plan to meet changes in circumstances throughout the adoption process; assisting adoptive parents in arranging the details of the delivery itself and dealing with the legal and emotional issues that may arise; helping adoptive parents assess the risks presented by the particular situation; and counseling adoptive parents about options for ongoing contact with the birth family after the birth and placement of a child.
In addition, adoptive parents will have the option of becoming part of a support network comprised of people who have adopted or are in the process of adopting.
Receipt of Bright Futures’ newsletter containing articles on current adoption issues, letters and articles from birth parents, adoptive parents and adopted children on their adoption experiences, dates of upcoming adoption conferences and news about Bright Futures, its programs and services.
Escrow Account Management
During the adoption process, adoptive parents are asked to pay certain pregnancy and adoption-related expenses of the expectant/birth parents. Such payments are made out of an escrow account funded by the adoptive parents at the time of match. Bright Futures provides adoptive parents with escrow account management services, including monitoring expenses, timely payment of all authorized expenses, and provision of detailed accounting reports.
Pre-Adoptive Parents Group
This group meets on a regular basis and provides pre-adoptive parents with ongoing education about the adoption process, opportunities to hear members of the adoption triad share their stories and experiences, and support as you make your way through the home study process to match and placement.
Medical, Legal and Other Expenses of the Expectant/Birth Parents
If permitted by applicable law, adoptive parents may be required to pay certain expenses incurred by the expectant/birth parents prior to and after the birth of the child, including counseling, legal fees (including DNA testing fees), living expenses, medical expenses, transportation to obtain medical, legal, counseling and other adoption related services, and support services. Expenses incurred by expectant/birth parents vary greatly depending on need. The laws about which fees adoptive parents are allowed to pay also vary greatly from state to state. Prior to paying any such expenses, Bright Futures will work with adoptive parents to determine an adoption budget that is reasonable for them.
The adoption budget will set the upper limit for their adoption and their profile will not be sent to expectant/birth parents whose needs exceed the adoptive parents’ budget. All such expenses paid by adoptive parents will be paid out of the escrow account established for them by Bright Futures. Expectant/Birth parent expenses range between $1,000 and $8,000 and average approximately $4,000, including where applicable the legal fees to terminate the parental rights of the birth parents described below.
If either of your child’s birth parents does not sign a voluntary surrender or consent to adoption or if the birth father has not proven his paternity, Bright Futures will seek to terminate the rights of the non-signing parent (usually the birth father) and any other unknown or unidentified birth father in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 210, Section 3. This is a Probate Court proceeding and typically costs about $2,500 assuming that no father comes forward to contest the matter and claim paternity of the child.
All adopting parents who wish to work with Bright Futures must have a favorable home study completed by Bright Futures or completed by a licensed adoption agency or social worker in the state where the adopting parents reside within the last twelve months and approved by Bright Futures. During the home study process, Bright Futures will evaluate your ability to meet the physical, developmental, emotional and educational needs of a child and will write a report stating its conclusions as to the characteristics of children which your home can safely accommodate and which you can best serve.
Your completed home study is valid for twelve months from the date of completion. If you have not accepted placement of a child within twelve months from the date of your home study, your home study must be updated. Bright Futures’ home study fee is 2,500. Bright Futures’ fee to update a home study or approve an out-of-state home study is $750.
For adoptive parents residing in Massachusetts, there is a six-month post-placement waiting period (beginning on the date of placement) before you can petition to finalize the adoption in court. During that time, a social worker from Bright Futures will contact you once a month to assess how the placement is working.
Based on these contacts, Bright Futures will complete regular reports setting forth the developmental milestones of the baby, your and your family’s adjustment to the role of parent and adoptive family, and the social worker’s conclusions about the appropriateness of the placement. At the end of the six-month period, the post-placement reports are filed with the adoption petition. The fee for post-placement services is 1,500.
International Post-placement Services
For adoptive parents residing in Massachusetts who have adopted a child internationally, the post placement fee is $350 per home visit required by the country of origin.
For adoptive parents who reside in Massachusetts or adopt a child born in Massachusetts, Bright Futures will provide those legal services necessary to finalize the adoption, including filing the adoption petition in the Probate and Family Court and attending the finalization hearing. The fee for legal finalization is $1,500 for an average finalization. In the event that a legal finalization takes more than ten hours of legal time, adoptive parents will be charged $150 for each additional hour or part of an hour.
In the event that interim care services are required for any reason, Bright Futures charges $25 for each night that the child spends in the interim care home, plus related expenses (e.g. diapers, formula etc.). This cost is paid by the adoptive family (and is included in the average birth parent expense set forth above).
If your child is born in another state and Bright Futures is going to be the receiving agency under the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children, there is a fee of $500.
The Post-Placement Parenting Group meets once a month for six months and is designed specially for adoptive parents and their babies. The Group focuses on topics of interest to new adoptive parents and the exact agenda for each six-month session varies depending on the specific interests of each group of parents.
The topics that might be covered include infant care and other topics typically covered in a first-time parenting group (feeding, sleeping, playing with your infant etc), your adoption stories, talking to your child, family and friends about adoption, creating a “life” book for your child, and managing your relationship with your child’s birth family. The Group will provide support as you adjust to parenting and, specifically to adoptive parenting, and an opportunity to meet other adoptive families.
Building a relationship with your child’s birth family based on trust and mutual respect is an important part of your job as an adoptive parent. Bright Futures can help you build your relationship by facilitating the exchange of pictures and letters if you or the birth parents are not comfortable disclosing your/their identifying information at the outset.
Home Study Fee
The Home Study Fee is due in full on the date that you sign the Adoption Services and Responsibility Agreement and check the box indicating that you wish to have Bright Futures perform your home study assessment.
The Agency Fee is due and payable in two installments:
- $10,000 is due on the date that you sign the Adoption Services and Responsibility Agreement and check the box indicating that you wish to receive Full Agency Services; and
- $10,000 (or the remaining amount of the applicable fee according to the sliding scale) is due on the earlier of (i) six months from the date you signed the Adoption Services and Responsibility Agreement, and (ii) the date you accept a match with a pregnant woman or couple, whether that match comes directly through Bright Futures or through another agency that contacts Bright Futures seeking an adoptive family (see paragraph 3 below).
- Other agencies may contact Bright Futures seeking an adoptive family for a child that is in their custody or is expected by a woman working with their agency (a “Referral Placement”). If your child is placed with you by the other agency as a Referral Placement, Bright Futures will pay to the referring agency 50% of the fee of the referring agency up to the lesser of (i) $8,000 or (ii) the amount paid by you pursuant to paragraph 2 above.
Discount for Return Clients
If you worked with Bright Futures to adopt your first child, Bright Futures will discount the applicable Agency Fee by 10%. Home Study, Post Placement and Legal Finalization fees are not discounted.
The escrow account for payment of birth parent expenses will need to be funded in accordance with your adoption budget and the needs of the expectant/birth parent(s) at the time you are matched with a pregnant woman or couple
ICPC, Post Placement & Legal Finalization Fees
Payment for ICPC, Post Placement and Legal Finalization services shall be due and payable prior to provision of such services by Bright Futures.
Payment for the Post Placement Parenting Group will be due prior to participation in the program and payment for post placement ongoing contact facilitation will be due on the earlier of placement or within ten days of invoice by Bright Futures.
All fees paid to Bright Futures are NONREFUNDABLE. If an expectant/birth parent or the adopting parents choose not to go forward with a particular adoption plan, Bright Futures will apply the agency fee paid by the adopting parents to the next situation that arises and continue to work with the adopting parents until an adoption occurs.
Once adoptive parents decide to work with a particular expectant/birth mother, any expenses of the expectant/birth mother that are paid by the adoptive parents are nonrefundable, whether or not the expectant/birth mother chooses to place her child with the adoptive couple.
|Annual Gross Income||Agency Fee|
|Up to $40,000||$12,000|
|$40,000 – 54,999||$14,000|
|$55,000 – 69,999||$16,000|
|$70,000 – 84,999||$18,000|