One of the first and most frequent questions I am asked when I speak with people about adoption is “How much does adoption cost?” While there are complexities in answering this question, I realize that many people ask this question in an attempt to determine if they can afford the adoption program fees. They have the assumption that they could not afford this option of building their family.
Let me first address the fact that any method of creating a family is a process. There is no method of building a family which is free or quick. Whether you build your family through pregnancy, assistive reproductive technology, or various types of adoption, it will require a commitment of time and finances.
I’d like to share some ideas I’ve gained from others of how they have funded their adoption expenses:
- Many people do not realize that some employers offer adoption assistance. The Dave Thomas Foundation releases an annual list of employers who offer adoption assistance. Don’t assume that your employer doesn’t offer this if they didn’t make it on the list.
- Check with your church. Many churches have funds available. Even if your church cannot provide you with financial assistance, they may be able to help you in other tangible ways. For instance, you might be able to use the church to hold a fundraising activity. Or, individuals within the church may desire to help you financially.
- Many organizations offer adoption grants for those working with a non-profit adoption agency. You must have already completed your home study before you apply. There are several opportunities throughout the year to apply. They will ask for specific documentation, but you will already have this documentation gathered for your home study.
- Federal and state tax credits may be available to you. Check with your CPA to know exactly how to best utilize these tax credits.
- Crowd funding might be an idea for you. One of the most popular sites is “Go Fund Me.” Be sure to read the fine print to determine how much (if any) these crowd funding websites charge for their services. Nightlight offers The Adoption Bridge for families who are adopting through Nightlight’s programs.
- Consider the hobbies and interests you already have and create a fundraiser from them. If you enjoy running, and are a part of a running club, then plan a 5K run or walk to support your adoption. If you enjoy cooking or baking, then get busy in the kitchen and sell your tasty creations!
- Take a small part time job and devote the earnings from this employment to your adoption fees. You might consider becoming an Uber or Lyft driver, or delivering newspapers, or babysitting children on the weekends.
- Some families take out a loan to cover their adoption fees. America’s Christian Credit Union offers loans specially for adoption.
- Create a keepsake for your child, while at the same time raising financial support for your adoption. One idea is to purchase a 500-piece puzzle, then sell the puzzle pieces to supporters. They could write their name or a special message on the back of the puzzle piece. Once the pieces are sold put the puzzle together. Voila! You have a nice keepsake that you can frame and hang in your child’s room.
- Design a t-shirt to sell. Not only will it generate funds for your adoption, but it is a conversation piece. It is sure to spark a conversation and potentially generate more support for your adoption. And, this is a great keepsake for you, your child, and the rest of your extended family and friends who are on this journey with you.
- Do you know someone who has a direct sales marketing company such as Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, 31, Scentsy, or other enterprise? Talk to that person about holding a “party” or sale, where the proceeds from that event would be given to your adoption fund.
I am certain that there are other fun, creative and unique ideas out there. I welcome your input. Please comment on this post, so that we can generate even more ideas for others.