Adoption Fundraising: What You Need to Know

Don't allow finances to hold you back.

Rachel Galbraith November 29, 2015
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Adoption is exhausting in every way possible: emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, and especially financially. If you were to ask people the one thing holding them back from pursuing adoption, a top answer would be: the cost.

Agency adoptions can be expensive, and most of us do not have that kind of extra money burning a hole in our pockets. Looking at the cost of adoption can be overwhelming and discouraging. But take heart; there are ways to help finance your adoption.

Back in 2012, my husband and I were very new to the adoption scene. We had no doubt that we had been led to look into adoption, but every time we started to gain any momentum, a roadblock would appear. It usually took the form of a huge, green, dollar bill sign.

We are just your average-earning household, and the thousands of dollars we needed in order to move forward with an adoption plan seemed so far out of reach. One day, as I was lamenting this huge hurtle with a friend, she said something that forever changed my perspective.

“Please don’t allow the finances to be what holds you back, Rachel! God has enough money to cover the costs of you going where He sends you!”

Her words really caused me to stop and think. If God really was leading us down the road of adoption, He would make a way for us. Somehow, the money we needed would come. With that realization, we began to prayerfully move forward with fundraising efforts.

Here are some of the ideas we came up with. Hopefully you can use these as a springboard for your own ideas.

1. Check with your employer and/or your health insurance to see if they offer any adoption assistance. Many of them do, and it’s a great benefit!

2. Start looking into adoption grants. It’s easy. Just Google it and a whole list will pop up. Apply for as many as you qualify for. Places like Help Us Adopt, and Gift of Adoption Fund have a selection process twice a year. Just remember that grants can be hard to come by since there are many people who apply for them, but it never hurts to try!

3. Take a good look at your own finances. Where can you cut back? We didn’t have a lot of wiggle room in our personal budget, but we noticed that if we quit eating out as often, we could save around $100 each month.

4. Consider taking on side jobs or looking around your home to see what you can sell. The sacrifice is worth it.

5. What about your tax refund? Do you have one coming this year? Depending on the size of your refund, that’s a quick way to pad your adoption account.

6. Do you have any equity in your home or car? You may be able to refinance and pull some money out of those as well.

 7. Host some fundraisers. Get creative!

  • Hold a yard sale. Ask your friends, family, and neighbors to donate gently used items that they would normally take to Goodwill. They are happy to get them out of the way and benefit you too. Advertise your sale in local papers and online. Good advertising is the key to a successful yard sale.
  • Silent Auctions are also a great way to raise funds. Check with local businesses and service providers to see if they are willing to donate goods and services. You can hold the auction in conjunction with your yard sale, host it online, or hold it as its own night. People bid on the items, and each item goes to the highest bidder at the end of the auction.
  • Who doesn’t like to ZUMBA? We held a Zumba night where the teacher donated her time to teach a two-hour Zumba class. There was no entrance fee, but we had a suggested donation of $10/person. A box set aside collected the donations, as to avoid any awkwardness of knowing how much a person chose to donate.
  • Our most successful fundraiser was our Puzzle Fundraiser. We purchased a puzzle with one hundred pieces. People could “purchase” a piece of the puzzle for $20 a piece. When all the pieces were “purchased,” the puzzle was built, framed, and hung in the nursery as a reminder of all the people who loved and supported our family’s desire to grow.

8. What about taking out a loan to make up the rest? There are a few places that offer no interest/low interest adoption loans. Check with your financial institution for more information about those options or check online for reputable adoption loan providers.

In the end, my friend was right. The week we were matched with our son’s birth mother, the stars basically aligned. Miraculously, the money was there. I have no doubt that it was a mixture of hard work and sacrifice, as well as God’s hand providing the rest.

Financing your adoption is not impossible. What ideas have you used to help increase your adoption fund?

If you are thinking about adoption and would like to discuss your adoption options with an adoption professional, click here

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Rachel Galbraith

Rachel Galbraith is a busy mother of five children, one of whom was adopted at birth. She has a Bachelors Degree in social work, and has worked as a medical social worker, specializing in the field of women and children. She was privileged to play a small role in the adoptions that often took place on her hospital unit. Writing has become her own personal form of therapy, and she is excited to combine it with her love of adoption. In her free time, she has a love-hate relationship with distance running. She readily admits to doing it only so she can eat chocolate chip cookies for breakfast.


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