No matter what type of adoption you are pursuing, chances are it is expensive. While foster care adoption is typically free, there can be up-front costs associated with it. Domestic and international adoption can amass fees of over $40,000. It is no secret that adoption is expensive, but it is not often explained how to afford these costs. These high costs make adoption seem unaffordable and unattainable. However, there is hope and more options to choose from to make adoption a reality for those who never thought they could afford to do so. Here are just a few avenues through which a person might find the ability to pay for adoption:
1. Adoption Grants
Adoption grants are often great options to choose from if you have some funds to start the process. These grants are a great option but are typically used to reimburse costs rather than provide funds up front. Grants are typically awarded and available to those who are quite a ways into the adoption process as those providing the grants want to ensure the money is going where it can best be utilized. There is no guarantee that you will be the recipient of a grant, but there are many to apply for and it is a great option to recoup money or repay a loan.
Budgeting should be a given when making any adoption financial plan; however, many do not realize just how much this one step can contribute to paying adoption costs. When my husband and I sat down to look at our budget, we were sure we would not find any extra. We were already living paycheck to paycheck! However, when we took a realistic look at our spending, we were shocked. We were spending so much extra per month that could go straight into our savings. We had $80 a month in a gym membership we could do without for a while, $30 in various streaming memberships, and we spent an embarrassing amount of money dining out each month. We were able to come up with over $200 a month just to place straight into savings without doing any extra work. After that, we found ways to work overtime and picked up extra work to help pay for our fees as we went. You never know what kind of money you might find if you take a hard, honest look at your budget. You may also find that your employer has extra work to throw your way.
In a perfect world, every person would have the funds on hand to pursue adoption with no hesitation. In a perfect world, adoption would be affordable. However, in reality, many will have to do what they have to do in order to gather the funds for adoption. For my husband and I, we were asked by a relative to adopt. As this relative was a distant relative, the adoption process still cost $11,000. We were living in a townhome at the time, raising four kids, working jobs that made slightly above minimum wage. $11,000 was half of my yearly salary at the time. However, we always paid our bills on time and had great credit because of this. While no one wants to get a loan, we knew it was our only option. We were able to speak with our bank and get a loan for the fees with a great rate and a lending term we could afford. While we knew we could not afford $11,000, we knew we could find $200 a month in extras in our budget to make the payment. With the adoption tax credit, we also knew we would be able to put much of that money toward the loan at tax time. For some, a loan is a great option if they are financially responsible and maintain a financial plan for repayment.
Social media never ceases to amaze me with its power and influence. It connects us in ways we have never been able to before. With this, it is much easier to spread adoption and in turn, ask others for help. Many prospective adoptive parents have been able to fund their entire adoption through crowdfunding. It really just depends on how large your network is and the reach of your community. For us, crowdfunding was not largely successful. However, another adoptive family in our community raised over $6,000 in less than a week. Regardless, crowdfunding is a great risk-free way to attempt to raise money to pay for adoption.