Families that are looking forward to adoption may sometimes be deterred when they learn how expensive the cost of adopting can be. Adoption costs can average about $45,000. The following blog will discuss some options for affording adoption and how to find the most efficient tools and resources. These resources are varied and may match the unique needs of some families more than others.
The agency that you have chosen to work with in pursuit of the adoption is a good place to begin to explore costs and possible avenues of support. These agencies may be aware of the resources they used for previous or current clients, who are also struggling with financial issues.
Prospective adoptive parents may be eligible for assistance from other sources including: employer and military benefits, adoption loans, grants, and fundraisers. These are each described below.
Some employers offer financial assistance through reimbursements that may cover a portion of adoption expenses. This assistance may also include paid or unpaid leave time so that the parents may not have to worry about missing time at work while they go through the adoption process. Along the same lines, employers offer The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FLMA), which guarantees employees are able to take up to 12 weeks of leave. These benefits are generally available for those who have worked for the same employer for at least 12 months, and have accumulated at least 1,250 hours over the 12 months.
If you were an active member of the military, you may be eligible for some reimbursement through the National Endowment for Financial Education. Military families are eligible for tax credit, as are civilian families. Reimbursements per child can be from $2,000 up to $5,000 per year. The amount depends on the qualification of military families who adopt children under state or local law. Benefits are paid after the adoption is completed. Moreover, depending on the needs of the child, there can be other resources in adoption that can be granted to military and non-military families.
Loans and Grants for Adopting
Some banks may offer loans to individuals looking to adopt. It is important to read and research carefully when searching for any type of loan.
In addition to organizations related to adoption, many can help prospective adoptive parents find financial backing. They can create adoption fund accounts for the families. One such agency is AdoptTogether.org. There are other agencies that families may turn to for similar assistance that can be found locally.
Grants that are given to prospective adoptive families are not to be paid back. Funds that are available are for qualified families. There are several organizations available to the families including, GiftofAdoption.org, that are for U.S. citizens regardless of religion, race, age, marital status or sexual orientation. Gift of Adoption awards funds for domestic and international adoptions. Although, they do not fully fund all adoption costs it is possible to get awards that range from $1,000 to $7,500.
Many grants are available from different foundations to help families with the adoption process. Foundations often receive more applications each month than the amount of funding available to assist prospective adoptive families. Approval notification is by email and takes 48 hours or less. If however, you are denied a grant, you will be emailed explaining why your grant application was denied. Those denied a grant are always encouraged to notify the Grant Selection Committee again at a future date.
Pros and Cons of Fundraisers
Sometimes the help you need is right in front of you. The people who support your decision to adopt are often the ones who may be able to help you raise the funds for adopting. Fundraisers can be an important route to make the adoption happen. Places that may be able to help include community groups, churches, synagogues, family members, friends, and colleagues.
At the same time, while fundraising may be a good way to find the money needed to pay adoption fees, it may generate uncomfortable questions from the outside world. These may consist of comments about how, if the family is not in a position to afford the adoption, why are they adopting, to begin with. The family definitely has a light shone on them if using fundraising as an option.
Domestic and International Adoptions
Adoption fees vary depending on the location of the adoption. Fees vary state by state or country by country. Domestic adoption fees can cost up to $40,000 or more. International adoptions can have fees that include traveling costs and can run an average of $30,000 to $45,000. Foreign adoption costs consist of agency fees, travel expenses, a child’s passport fees, visa, medical exam, and more.
If individuals decide on adopting outside the United States, they should search for agencies that are familiar with international adoption policies and fees. Adoption agencies are a good place to start asking about financial issues on adoption.
Financial costs related to adoption can be stressful and overwhelming. By discussing the adoption process with close family, friends and your chosen agency, you can better manage this stress and continue on to the next stages in the adoption.
Prospective adoptive parents have so many things to consider while in the process of adoption. Unfortunately, financial requirements are very real and can cause significant stress and worry about whether the money is available to complete the process. The different resources mentioned throughout this blog may be helpful to those struggling with this issue.
“Adoption Assistance Grants | Application Review Process.” Adoption Grants | Gift of Adoption Fund, Mar. 2015, giftofadoption.org/application-review-process/.
“Adoption Assistance Grants | Who Should Apply?” Adoption Grants | Gift of Adoption Fund, Mar. 2015, giftofadoption.org/who-should-apply/.
Cerqueira. “Change.” Unsplash.
“Child Adoption Information – National Adoption Foundation.” National Adoption Foundation – Adoption Grants, Loans & Programs National Adoption Foundation | Dedicated to Growing Families in America, 2018, www.fundyouradoption.org/.
“Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).” United States Department of Labor, www.dol.gov/general/topic/workhours/fmla.
“Grants/Loans/Tax Credit for Adoption.” Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights – Child Welfare Information Gateway, 1 Mar. 2018, www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/adoptive/expenses/grants-loans/.
Johnston Taylor, Susan. “How American Families Can Afford Adoption.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, 27 Jan. 2015, money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2015/01/27/how-american-families-can-afford-adoption.
“Miltary Families Considering Adoption.” Child Welfare Information Gateway/Children’s Bureau, Apr. 2016. https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/f_militia.pdf#page=5&view=Military%20benefits%20and%20services
“Topic No. 607 Adoption Credit and Adoption Assistance Programs.” Internal Revenue Service (IRS), www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.