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Adoption costs too high? Here’s some help.

I've been through two adoptions, so it is possible. You can even adopt without debt, but it will take some preparation and work

 

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When my wife and I started our adoption journey, we were surprised (and a bit frustrated) by how much it costs to adopt a baby in the U.S. 

If you’ve done a little bit of research, there is a good chance you are surprised by the costs too. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that over one-third of Americans have considered adopting, but no more than two percent have adopted.

Do you think this could be due to the high cost? You bet.

Now that I’ve been through two adoptions, I want you to know that it is possible. You can even adopt without debt, but it will take some preparation and work.

What are the costs?

You can contact an adoption agency or attorney to find out their costs, however they may just give a range rather than an exact amount. You might see a range of $20,000 to $40,000 or more.

These large numbers may scare you from even starting the adoption process. Don’t be scared. So many people adopt every year – and you can too!

You can do this – with a plan. You can take the time to raise the money you need for your adoption. In most situations, you have some time to come up with the money you need.

You may have to only pay for the agency/facilitator application fee at first. Then a few months later come the home study costs. Some agencies/facilitators have rather large program/contract fees that cover advertising, networking, birthmother counseling, etc.

There may be some birthmother expenses that come after you are matched, usually several months down the road. There are a lot of different situations possible, but whatever the case you have to plan on how to raise the funds for your adoption.

Where can you get the money for your adoption?

There are a lot of ways to raise the money you’ll need for your adoption, including the following:

Your savings and your budget

Hopefully you have some savings already that you can put toward your adoption fund. When my wife and I began our adoption process, we started an adoption fund within our budget.

Maybe a budget is a nasty word to you, but this may be the time to embrace it. You can do some simple cut backs, like eliminating going out to eat and cooking meals at home, or by brewing your own coffee rather than paying Starbucks $4/day.

Take a long look at creating a budget or restructuring your budget. This is a great first step toward building up the money you’ll need for an adoption. Check out these free budgeting forms from DaveRamsey.com.

Federal Adoption Expense Tax Credit

For tax year 2013, the federal adoption expense tax credit is a maximum of $13,360 per adoption (subject to income limitations). See IRS.gov for more information.  Also, see my latest post on the adoption tax credit for 2011 and 2012.

Employee Benefits

Ask your company if they offer any type of adoption benefits. If yours does not, check out “How to Lobby Your Employer for Adoption Benefits,” at AdoptionFriendlyWorkplace. They provide easy to follow resources to simply and effectively ask your employer to look into providing these benefits.

Fundraising

A well-organized fundraiser is a great way to raise money for your adoption. They can be a lot of fun and creative way to involve your family and friends. Click here to read about adoption fundraising.

Grants (free money)

There are nonprofit organizations who want to encourage adoptions and will offer grants of $1,000 and more to qualified couples. Helpusadopt.org is a grant program that gives awards twice per year to potential adoptive families “who demonstrate that you are facing significant financial obstacles and need financial assistance with your adoption expenses.”

Resources4adoption.com is a great place to find lots more info about adoption grants.

No matter what method you choose to find funds for your adoption, don’t wait to start saving.

You can do this.

Think about how much sweeter it would be to bring home your baby without any debt hanging over your head. That wonderful adoption day will be here before you know it.

For even more information, see my Resources page and check out the book Adopt Without Debt: Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption by Julie Gumm.

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Get my 4 free ebooks

HOW TO SAVE TIME AND MONEY ON YOUR ADOPTION JOURNEY

It's free!
100% privacy guaranteed - no messin' around!