In the last ten years and through the completion of three international adoptions, I learned a great deal about adoption financial planning and resources. I would like to share some of what I learned with you.

Here are the three things that you must know before looking for adoption grants:

1. Application Eligibility Criteria

Nearly all adoption grant organizations have some sort of application criteria. What are eligibility criteria, anyway? The eligibility criteria say who is eligible to apply and who is not eligible to apply. If you are single and applying to an organization that only offers grants to married couples, then you would be wasting your time.  If you are not a Christian and you are applying to an organization that only offers grant to Christians, once again, you would be wasting your time.

Some organizations have more than one set of application criteria.  For example, some sources may only accept applications from Christian married couples and making less than $60,000 annually. Another example might be a grant for families living in a particular state or area who are adopting special needs or a particular special need. Others may only offer a matching grant format.

It is very important to know ahead of time what the application criteria are so that you make the best use of your time and resources.

2. Home study

Almost every granting organization requires that adoptive families have a completed home study. There are only one or two sources that I am aware of where families can apply at any stage in the process. The vast majority require this critical piece of documentation. In most cases you, will be asked to send a copy of your home study along with your adoption grant application.

3. Documentation

Most adoption grant organizations require list of documents or documentation to accompany a family’s application. You will need to be prepared to present a working family budget or monthly cash flow, summary of your net worth, listing of adoption expenses (including what has been paid and what still needs to be paid), other financial documents such as pay stubs or letters from employers verifying your income, tax returns for the last few years, and motivation to adopt.

If you plan to apply to any Christian-based organizations, you will need to supply some additional information about your beliefs, theology, and faith. Christian organizations sometimes require letters of reference from your pastor, small group leader, and others from your community who can vouch for your Christian character.

There may be more documents, but you get the general idea. Plan to prepare and send a lot of paperwork!

I hope this information has been helpful. For more information about adoption grants and to find a complete listing of adoption grant sources, please visit

©November 2011