How to Budget for an Adoption

Here are some great options available to adopting families.

Susan Kuligowski September 16, 2018
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Figuring out the finances related to adoption can be a huge cause for confusion, frustration, and worry for many, and it’s often listed as one of the main reasons families feel that—for them—adoption is out of reach. The truth is, depending on the sort of adoption you choose, these unavoidable fees can feel overwhelming and impossible to manage. In order to prepare for an adoption, it’s important to first know what is involved. Make sure to consult an adoption professional, your adoption agency, and/or attorney before you begin the process. By doing so, you can plan ahead and avoid “surprise” costs down the road. Unless you have a money tree in the backyard, you’ll probably also want to start to budget in order to finance your adoption without breaking the bank. It may be wise to speak to your accountant as you get started in order to determine the best available options for you. Make sure to track your expenditures great and small and keep all of your receipts!

Here are some options available to adopting families.

Ask Your Employer About Employer Adoption Benefits

A growing number of employers are offering adoption benefits to families considering adoption. While some employers offer lump sum payments, others opt to provide assistance with specific adoption fees. Some employers not only offer financial benefits, but also parental leave and legal support as well. For more information, check out the Employer-Provided Adoption Benefits Guide.

Research Loans and Grants

While nobody likes the idea of taking out a loan and filling out forms for grants can be a dizzying experience, these are two additional options for families looking to stay on budget. You should speak with your financial advisor to determine the best path for you. For more information on grants and low-interest loans, visit this page.

Go to Fundraising

Reaching out to family and friends can feel awkward, but it’s very common for families hoping to adopt to make people aware of their plans. Try things like fundraisers through your church community, garage sales, bake sales, spaghetti dinners, and wine tastings. Families get creative when it comes to raising the needed funds to adopt. With the Internet, many families have created Gofundme pages as well. You may be surprised at the support you’ll receive. For more information on crowdfunding and donation raising check out this page here.

Consider Foster Care

Adopting through foster care can be a challenging yet rewarding experience and an excellent option for families concerned with the hefty costs related to private adoption. Depending on the state, it often costs little to nothing with state subsidies available to help with post-adoption expenses.

For more information check out the Adopting from Foster Care Guide.

Utilize the Adoption Tax Credit

This is where keeping those receipts will come in handy. You may very well qualify for the adoption tax credit. According to the IRS.gov “Tax benefits for adoption include both a tax credit for qualified adoption expenses paid to adopt an eligible child and an exclusion from income for employer-provided adoption assistance. The credit is nonrefundable, which means it’s limited to your tax liability for the year.” It doesn’t matter whether you adopt domestically or internationally. And while this is mainly post-adoption relief, it’s something to discuss with your financial advisor at the start of your adoption journey. For more information, check out the Adoption Tax Credit Guide.

Are you ready to pursue a domestic infant adoption? Click here to connect with a compassionate, experienced adoption professional who can help get you started on the journey of a lifetime.

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Susan Kuligowski

Sue Kuligowski is a staff storyteller at Adoption.com. The mother of two girls through adoption, she is a proposal coordinator, freelance writer/editor, and an adoption advocate. When she's not writing or editing, she can be found supervising sometimes successful glow-in-the-dark experiments, chasing down snails in the backyard, and attempting to make sure her girls are eating more vegetables than candy.


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