Raising Money to Fund Your Adoption – Is Adoption Affordable?

Your Adoption – is it even affordable?

Nightlight believes finances should never keep a child from having a loving, safe and forever home. Twenty-six  percent (26%) of all adults have considered adoption – that includes YOU!  Raising money for your adoption is one of the main roadblocks to families. Don’t let finances deter you from your adoption dream. Nightlight will partner with you to make your adoption affordable. We have a dedicated person on our staff to help you learn about various funding sources and identify those best aligned with the type of adoption you are pursuing.

Why Is Adoption So Expensive?

Nightlight will help you research the best available resources to fund your adoption.

We provide you with your own Personal Financial Resource Specialist!

Nightlight families have the privilege of working with your very own Family Resource Specialist who will be able to guide you in funding options available for your adoption.  You will receive one-on-one assistance and a Financial Resource Guide specific to your adoption program and your needs. Whether you are pursing embryo, international or domestic adoption, your specialist is the expert you need to help you finance your adoption costs. Our specialist is a person who has walked her own adoption journeys. She has successfully raised funds for all three of her family’s international adoptions and will be delighted to assist and encourage you through your own adoption journey.  Contact Camie, our family resource specialist.

Nightlight Foundation Grant

In order to maintain program fees which, allow more families to provide homes to children without parents, Nightlight relies on donations from its client families and other supporters. The Nightlight Foundation (formerly “Babushka Fund”) assists families who might not otherwise be able to afford the costs of primarily international adoption to adopt a child who might not otherwise be adopted.

You may donate directly to our Babushka fund by selecting it from the drop-down menu

To apply for a Nightlight Foundation grant, click here for more information.

Adoption Bridge Crowd Funding


One of the best starting places is our unique website called Adoption Bridge. This is a distinctive website created by Nightlight with you in mind. It connects all of the members of the adoption triad and provides you with a ready-made tool for developing your own crowdfunding page to share with your family and friends. Their donations in support of your adoption are tax-deductible! Adoption Bridge provides access to view the profiles of children waiting to be adopted. If you are in pursuit of a domestic adoption placement, you can post your family profile on Adoption Bridge for potential birth parents to view.

Creative Fundraising Ideas

The list of possibilities is endless, and Nightlight has done the leg-work and google-searching for you! Start with your family’s unique interests and gifts. What sport do you play? Have a pickleball tournament or golf scramble. What is your career or hobby? Have a “style-a-thon” for beauticians or a “photo shoot in the park” for camera enthusiasts or start telling friends and family you’ll help them with their kid’s Senior photo needs? Enlist your family and friends to declutter their houses, garages and sheds to have a huge garage sale – or even two or three.

Americans LOVE t-shirts and caffeine. Sell t-shirts with your unique adoption message or coffee with your photo on the label. There are also foundations that give assistance with fundraising projects. You enlist volunteers to help with the project, and the proceeds are applied to your adoption expenses. Nightlight has had families raise over $20K using this particular method.


Both Hands helps adoptive families organize service projects for widows to raise funds for their adoption. Similar to a 5k race, the family gathers a team of volunteers and finds a widow in their community to serve. The team also sends out fundraising letters to raise sponsorship for their day of service with the funds raised going towards the family's adoption costs and the widow receives free help around their home. Both Hands has completed over 1,200 projects across the country raising over $17 million for adoptions. Their average project raised over $22,000 per family in 2021 and 2022.

Employer Adoption Benefits

Many employers are offering adoption assistance or benefits to their employees. Give your human resource department a call and see what your employer might do for your adoption. Perhaps they’ve never thought about providing this benefit before – you could be the first!  An embryo adopting family called their human resource division and now that employer will help families with their embryo adoption in addition to other forms of adoption. Your Nightlight fundraising assistance specialist keeps a current list of employers who have historically helped employees with their adoption costs.

U.S. Federal Tax Credit

Did you know that your federal government has provided adopting families with a non-refundable adoption tax credit for many years? In 2021 the credit was $14,890 per adopted child. This credit can be carried forward for up to five years. It is a tax CREDIT not a TAX deduction so it is a dollar for dollar reduction in your IRS tax bill. We strongly recommend that you connect with your favorite tax preparer or accountant to see how the adoption tax credit can be a benefit to you. Nightlight does not provide tax advice. Additionally, some states provide a state tax credit or refund. Check with your state government website or your accountant to see if your state offers this extra financial benefit.

Adoption Grants

Families may be eligible to receive grant money to defray adoption costs. Each grant foundation determines its own eligibility requirements. Usually grant applications are not accepted until your home study is completed. Some grants are matching which means contributions to your adoption expenses will be matched dollar for dollar up to a specified amount. There are grants available for all types of adoption programs. Nightlight has an adoption grant program that is funded by current and previous clients and generous donors interested is supporting adoption fees for those in financial need. Please review the eligibility requirements and instructions for the Nightlight grant here.

Adoption Loans

Several organizations and foundations offer interest-free or low interest loans to adoptive families. Other loan options include borrowing from family or friends or borrowing against your home equity.

Adoption Assistance Program

Keep in mind that if you are fostering, or adopting from foster care, then not only will your case be free (or nearly free), but you will be paid a monthly stipend. This stipend will be paid to you while fostering, and will often continue even if you adopt until the child is 18 years old. 

Example of how a typical family could fund a $48,000 International Adoption

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