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Adoption or surrogacy are paths to children for many

Couples and individuals in Louisiana who want a child, but who either don't want to have one biologically or are unable to conceive, can find various forms of adoption a positive alternative. There are various paths for adoption, either domestically in the U.S. or internationally, and in some cases, becoming a foster parent can lead to a later adoption. Many people have also tried surrogacy arrangements.

Both the legal steps needed and the costs vary widely between these different paths to parenthood. Hollywood couple Jimmy Fallon and his wife Nancy Juvonen had a baby girl through a surrogate, and celebrities Guiuliana and Bill Rancic had a baby boy through that route. Surrogacy, however, is often much more expensive, with costs running as high as $120,000. Adoption costs can vary, but are usually much less. For adoption expenses, there is a tax credit that covers some expenses, which can help. A higher credit can be allowed in some cases if the adopted child is considered a "special needs" child with a disability. Members of the military can be reimbursed for some adoptions costs, up to $2,000 per child, per year.

Some employers offer financial aid for adoption, and in a survey of 1,000 employers, over half provided some sort of aid. While not all are as generous as Wendy's restaurants, which provides six weeks of paid adoption leave and up to $25,300 in financial aid, it is definitely an option worth exploring.

Whether adoption or surrogacy is pursued, retaining an experienced family law attorney is essential to make sure that all legal procedures are followed and that everything is successfully completed.

Source: ABC News, "Adoption vs. Surrogacy Financial Costs" Janna Heron, Aug. 16, 2013

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