ATLANTA — More than a million American families are currently waiting to adopt a child, and many wonder why the cost can make adoptions unaffordable.

Morning Rush Insider Sophia Johnson reached out to 11Alive’s Why Guy.

“Maybe families would be able to consider it if they could afford to adopt a child,” Johnson says.

The cost varies depending on how you adopt. The state foster system is the most affordable option.

“The expenses for adopting through the state are minimum to none,” Deborah Burrus, director of adoptions for Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services states.

Many families go through a private agency, where the cost can reach $40-45 thousand dollars.

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The agency does all the work to match the right child for the right family. They take care of the home study and background checks required for an adoption. There are legal fees. On top of that, the mother who has placed her child up for adoption may request medical and living expenses.

It can add up, and it’s even more expensive if you try an international adoption.

“Segments of the overall fees are paid to the foreign country, the state department, the accrediting entity that regulates international adoptions agencies, and travel,” says Diane Hood of America World Adoption.

Most families want to adopt an infant.

While adopting through the state is inexpensive, it is rare to find a foster child under the age of five available for adoption.

“Most of the time those kids are older,” says Burrus. “They’re large sibling groups or they’re children with some type of disability.”

Most families adopting through the state receive a tax break and financial assistance.

Burrus says there are advantages to adopting an older child.

“You know what type of child you’re going to get,” says Burrus. “You know if you’ve got an “A” student. You know if you’ve got a child with disabilities or not.”

Each year about 350 children in Georgia's foster care system go up for adoption.  

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