The other day a friend was talking to me about adoption and finances and adoption fundraising. She commented that she felt like if someone can’t afford adoption, maybe they can’t afford to raise another child. It’s not fair to pull that one statement from our whole conversation because there was a back story, but it got me thinking. Many times I’ve thought that myself. If we can’t feel like we can’t afford adoption, should we be adopting? I’ve thought it, and some of you may have even been asked it outright! Ouch.

I would propose that almost everyone who enters adoption as a prospective adoptive parent is very aware of the finances involved. Adoption is expensive. It just is. And even if you find an agency that costs less, a lot of people don’t have an extra $10,000 cash just laying around. And let’s be honest, most of us just read that and thought, “Wow. $10,000! I wish.” Because most of us will end up paying $25,000-$35,000+ for a private domestic adoption and even more for international adoption. Not many people are in a position to pay that upfront. So, what’s a prospective adoptive couple to do?

To fundraise, or not to fundraise? That is the question.

You will have to decide for yourself what is right for you. But let’s take a look at some pros and cons. And since I prefer to end on a positive note, let’s start with the cons.


1.     Time – Let me be clear. I’ve done my share of fundraising events, and it definitely takes time, and usually more time than you think.

2.     Unwanted Attention – If you are a private person, holding a fundraiser puts your family on center stage. The spotlight is on you and you’ll need to be ready for a lot of attention. Most of the time it will be positive attention, but there may be times when a negative comment comes through.


1.     Relationships – It’s amazing what happens when people pull together for a common cause. Friendships are built and/or strengthened and it can be quite a beautiful process.

2.     Others Feel Good – The truth is, many of us want to help people, but don’t who to help or how to help. An adoption fundraiser allows others the opportunity to help someone and to feel really good about it.

3.     Emotional Support – Obviously with a fundraiser comes financial support, but it may be surprised how much emotional support you feel from others when they rally around you and want to help. It’s very humbling and, again, beautiful.

4.     Options – There are many different types of fundraisers. If you are worried about time, you can do crowd fundraisers through social media. Or, you can put on an event that fits your personality—yard sale, race, bake sale, auction, pancake breakfast, etc.

5.     Money – Let me just point out the obvious here. Fundraisers allow you have to have funds in hand that you didn’t have only hours before. It’s pretty incredible.

My list is incomplete and the pros seem to outnumber the cons. That doesn’t mean that you should fundraise. The truth is, you may be able to come up with a huge list of why you should fundraise, but the idea of being the center of attention makes you so uncomfortable that it’s just not worth it to you. Each pro and con carries its own weight and only you can decide what is right for you.  

If you choose to fundraise, many resources can help you come up with ideas and give guidance about how to start. Read the Guide to Adoption Fundraising. However, what if you feel like the traditional style of fundraising isn’t for you, but you are unsure you’ll be able to gather up the funds for your adoption? What are your options? Here are a few suggestions.

  • Garage Sale – If it makes you uncomfortable, don’t advertise it as an Adoption Fundraiser, but use the money earned toward your adoption.
  • Sell Stuff on Craigslist or eBay – What do you have around the house that you no longer need? Sell it and put the money away.
  • Babysitting – A friend of mine successfully makes about $250 by watching a group of kids for a night. It’s done party-style with pizza, playtime, and then a movie. Parents drop the kids off and she and her husband take care of them all for 4 hours. She charges about $25 per kid for 4 hours and she normally has about 10 kids show up.
  • Cook Meals – For a while, I had an extremely busy friend. She paid me to make her family dinner 1x/week because it was healthier than eating out. I just made extra of our meal for that night. It wasn’t difficult and it was a little extra cash that we could put away.

If are you more interested in looking into ways to save extra money, there are plenty of other great ideas online. Fundraising can be one of many great options to earn money necessary for your option, and you have the power to make it your own.

Whatever you decide to do, do what feels right to you.



Are you ready to pursue adoption? Visit or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to connect with compassionate, nonjudgmental adoption specialists who can help you get started on the journey of a lifetime.