To make sure you have all the facts, take this quiz.
Answer “true” or “false” to the following statements:
All International Adoptions Are Expensive.
FALSE! In fact, costs vary, depending on the adoption agency as well as the age and needs of the child adopted. Some adoption agencies may adjust their fees based on family income or other criteria. Before choosing a service provider, be sure to compare fees among adoption agencies.
People Must Be Wealthy to Be Accepted as Adoptive Parents.
FALSE! Lots of people with modest incomes adopt internationally every year. Adoption professionals who make decisions about placing children are concerned about the family’s financial stability and how well they manage the financial resources they do have – this is much more important than how rich the family is!
Families Must Own Their Own Home.
FALSE! Families who rent homes or live in apartments adopt children all the time.
Adoptive Parents Must Be Married and Without Children.
FALSE! Single people, couples without children, and families who already have children (both by birth and by prior adoption) can adopt children from foreign countries. Keep in mind, however, that both adoption agencies and foreign countries generally have specific requirements for the marital status, age, number of children, and/or religion of the people who adopt their children.
Adoptive Families Must Pay for Everything Themselves.
FALSE! Actually, there are many sources of financial assistance to help families cover adoption costs. For example:
- Private Grants and Loans. A wide variety of private grants and adoption loans are available to families pursuing international adoption. Furthermore, an increasing number of banks are offering low- or no-interest loans to families to cover adoption fees.
- Employer Assistance. Many employers offer adoption benefits to their employees, including direct reimbursements and paid leave. (For the names of companies that provide adoption benefits, call the National Adoption Center at 1-800-TO-ADOPT or visit their website.
- New adoptive families can take advantage of unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. This act allows individuals to take up to 12 weeks off, unpaid but with benefits, without jeopardizing employment, and is available for anyone who works for a company with 50 or more employees.
- Uncle Sam. Tax credits are available for families who adopt. A tax credit is more valuable than a tax deduction because allowable adoption expenses are subtracted dollar for dollar against your tax liability. (The tax credit is progressively phased out for high-income families.) In addition to the tax credit, adoptive parents can take the same dependency exemption on their income taxes for their adopted children as they can for their biological children.