Affording Adoption

Myth:  All adoptions are expensive.  

Fact:  The adoption process can be free or nearly so to yes, tens of thousands of dollars.  If you're feeling a tug on your heart toward adoption and don't believe you have the funds to pull it off, don't stop your research there!  Read on...

We at Families of Promise encourage you to look at adoption as a mission, where we are helping to change the world, one child at a time.  God has commanded us many times in the Bible to take care of the orphans.  We encourage you to help your family and friends to see adoption as a mission field, where God has given EVERYONE the responsibility to care for orphans in some way. By asking friends and family to help, financially or otherwise, you are providing them with an opportunity to fulfill this responsibility and to play a vital role in the lives of the children that you make your own through adoption.

In August of 2006 the Sam and Ellie Adoption Fund was established as a way to inspire and help families at Kentwood Community Church to adopt. Read more...

If God has called your family to adopt a child, we firmly believe that He will also make a way for your family financially.  It will no doubt involve faith and risk!  It may help you to know that the majority of families are concerned with finances when considering adoption, but adoptions are happening in these families every day!  We hope and pray that the ideas below will help to make your adoption plans become a reality!

  • Domestic special needs adoptions (i.e. from the U.S. Foster Care System) carry virtually no expense. Many times subsidies are available for foster parents/adoptive parents of waiting children in this category.  See our Foster Care section for more information.
  • The Hope for Children Act provides a federal adoption tax credit of $12,150 per child (2009) for qualifying adoption expenses.  The credit is applied for the tax year your adoption is finalized, and can be taken over a total of up to 6 tax years until the full amount is realized.  Domestic special needs adoptions can qualify for the tax credit even when there are not qualifying expenses.  Click here for more information. 
  • The State of Michigan also offers a $1200 state adoption tax credit for eligible expenses. To find out more details and if other states offer an adoption tax credit, contact your state Division of Family Services and State Tax Office.
  • Some adoption agencies charge adoption fees on a sliding scale, based on a family's income.
  • Employers are increasingly offering adoption benefits.   Check with your employer to see if you qualify for an employee adoption benefit.  Or, go to Adoption Friendly Workplace to check and see if your employer is on the list, or to download a sample proposal to encourage them to support adoption!
  • Military personnel benefits:  An active duty member of the military services may be reimbursed for qualifying adoption expenses up to $2000.  
  • Consider adopting more than one child:  If you are adopting internationally, some agencies charge a small fraction of the original fees to adopt a second child at the same time (related or unrelated).  Not every country or agency will allow this, but it is worth checking into.  It may mean more money up front, but if you are planning to adopt more than one child eventually, it significantly lowers the adoption fees per child (you also save the travel costs for a separate second adoption process) and can cut the paperwork nearly in half!
  • Think practically!  Sell items around your house that your don't need, cut back on spending by canceling your cable or satellite TV and cell phones, eating out less and decreasing other "luxuries", use vacation funds you have been creative!
  • Frequent Flyer Miles:  If you are traveling for a domestic or international adoption, you may have frequent flyer miles or know of someone willing to donate frequent flyer miles to help cut your expenses.  If you send out fundraising letters, you may want to include that as a request.
  • Conduct a fundraiser: It can be a great and rewarding experience for your whole family/group of friends/church to work together with the goal of bringing your new child/ren home!  Some ideas include spaghetti dinners, silent auctions, bake sales, a "Welcome to America" picnic with hot dogs, popcorn, ice cream, etc. for sale, etc.—the sky’s the limit!  
  • Donate plasma:  You and your family/friends can be paid to donate plasma!  Some plasma donation centers will set up an adoption account for your family, so that when friends come to donate the money will go right into your fund.  Check
  • If you know of someone with a home-based business, like Tupperware, Premier Jewelry, Pampered Chef, etc., ask them if they would be willing to host a benefit show for you.  You invite the guests and have the party, and the profits go to you (make sure they know that they may get more booking off your party--it may benefit them as well!).  Some will also allow your friends and families to do benefits shows for you as well, inviting different sets of contacts.  If you are really ambitious, consider starting the business yourself and see how much you can make in a year toward your adoption!  It is also a great way to inspire others to adopt and care for orphans. 
  • Many families take out short-term home equity or adoption loans, which can be paid back with your refund from the Federal and State tax credits. Life Song for Orphansand ABBA Fund are two great organizations that offer interest-free loans to Christian families who are struggling to afford adoption.  You may want to check with your local bank to see what they offer. Families of Promise's Sam and Ellie Fund provides interest-free loans for Kentwood Community Church families.
  • Order "How to Make Adoption An Affordable Option" (free) from the Child Welfare Information Gateway or find it here online.
  • Order the book, You Can Afford Adoption, by Kari Hunt and Ruth Ellen Heaton for adoption financial planning advice and ideas.
  • Access Adoptive Families Magazine's "Financing Adoption" information.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE LINKDS FOR ADOPTION (by no means is this an exhaustive list!):

Abba Fund Interest-free loans for adoptive parents. Adoption Costs

A Child's Desire Provides grants for families adopting special needs and older children

A Child Waits Foundation Low interest loans for international adoption

Christian Advocates for Adoption Fundraising assistance for adoption

Gift of Adoption Fund  Adoption grants

International Children's Adoption Resource Effort  Financial support for adoption

Karen's Adoption Links   

Life Song for Orphans Matching grants and interest-free loans for Christian families

National Adoption Foundation Grants and low-interest loans for adoption

Oxford Adoption Foundation, Inc. Providing low-interest adoption loans

Show Hope Helping families reduce the financial barriers to adoption