Adopting a child is a stressful experience with a joyful outcome – but the entire process can be incredibly expensive. Therefore, it’s crucial that you know your options for paying for adoption up front, from adoption grants to crowdfunding and beyond.
Adoption grants should be your first choice when deciding how to pay for an adoption. There are several dozen agencies and institutions nationwide that offer reduced-fee or free applications for their adoption grants. Grants can exceed $15,000 apiece, which goes a long way in paying for adoption fees and legal costs.
If you know years in advance that you want to adopt, start budgeting now to save as much as possible. If you’ve just made your decision recently, you should still get started today – though you may want to make some more extreme cuts. Consider couponing, reducing nonessential spending, or taking on a second job.
If you have the savings to pay for your adoption up front, congratulations! While you may not want to eat fully into your savings, portioning off a section of your savings accounts as your adoption account can reduce the money you’ll have to budget, fundraise, and apply for down the road.
Sliding scales and payment plans
If you adopt through a legitimate adoption agency, the entire cost should not be required upfront. For instance, many agencies divide the payments into three portions, with a percentage required at the initial filing, the second installment after the home study, and the rest once the child has been placed. Additionally, some agencies use sliding scales on the cost owed based on a family’s income. This can drastically reduce the total amount owed.
Loans should be your final resort if possible, as some families who want to adopt can get caught in a vicious cycle of paying for interest while waiting for that promised tax credit. If you must take out a loan, one of the best ways is to take out the loan at the end of one year and file your tax return ASAP to get that credit and pay the loan off.
There are several different ways to fundraise, but the key is to do what makes the most financial sense. Bake sales are fun, but the ingredient and time costs outweigh the profit. Instead, consider garage sales, selling household items online, or asking your friends and family to gift you money instead of gifts on holidays.
Crowdfunding is a relatively new way to pay for adoption, but it can be a lifesaver for wanting parents who don’t have the means themselves. AdoptTogether.com is one of many crowdfunding sites that caters toward adoptive parents. They also collect tax-deductible donations that go through their umbrella organization’s nonprofit grand foundation.
The military offers those on active duty a $2,000 reimbursement to cover one-time costs, which can make paying for adoption much easier for families currently serving. The maximum amount allowable is $5,000 in a year per family. Additionally, children with special needs or disabilities can be eligible for $1,000 per month under another military program.
Once you know what your options are, you can start planning your financial life around your desire to welcome a new member of your family into your home. Remember to research your options thoroughly, and good luck.