Employee adoption benefits vary but they are becoming more and more available. In 1990, one study found only 12 percent of employers offered benefits to adoptive parents: by 2004 the proportion had increased to 39 percent, with an average maximum reimbursement of $3,879 for adoption expenses.
Employers that offer adoption benefits cite advantages for their companies including maintenance of productivity, retention of good employees, a positive public image, and equity in benefits for all employees.
Agency and private adoptions can range from $5,000 to $40,000 or more, depending on a variety of factors including services provided, travel expenses, birthmother expenses, requirements in the state, and other factors.
Prospective adoptive parents may be concerned about the costs of adopting a child and their ability to meet those costs. Becoming a parent is rarely free of expenses—pregnancy and childbirth can be expensive and even more so without adequate insurance—and adoptive parents may be faced with initial costs that seem challenging.
If the idea of fundraising causes you to cringe, you’re not alone. Many people quickly bypass the idea of fundraising because it sounds too difficult, they feel awkward asking for money, or they simply don’t know where to begin. You may be surprised to learn that it only takes a few good ideas, planning, and some elbow grease to successfully fundraise to help cover your adoption expenses.
Some organizations and adoption agencies offer grants and/or low-interest loans to families who inquire and qualify for their program. Typically, grant programs are for specific children, countries, or other criteria specific to the organization offering the grant. Keep in mind that many other people are applying for the grants as well, so while you may fit all the criteria, you may not receive the grant.
Loans are one way to pay for some or all adoption costs. Some organizations offer low-interest adoption loans to qualifying families. You can also talk to your bank about home equity or line of credit loans, although they are usually at a higher interest rate than that offered for adoption-specific loans. While loans do require repayment, there are resources that can help you with that once your adoption is finalized, such as the Adoption Tax Credit.
In every state there are children with special needs waiting for adoptive families. In the past, most of these children would wait forever. The costs of care and services were major obstacles for parents who would otherwise adopt and love them. Adoption subsidies, also known as adoption assistance, remove many of the obstacles of the past. Financial help and services are now available for children with special needs and their adoptive parents.
In every State, children with special needs are waiting in foster care for adoptive families. The most recent data suggest that an estimated 115,000 children are available to be adopted from foster care.
Tax benefits for adoption include both a tax credit for qualified adoption expenses paid to adopt an eligible child and an exclusion for employer-provided adoption assistance. Currently the credit has a maximum amount (dollar limitation) of $12,970 per child.
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