What to Do if You Think You’ll Never Be Able to Afford Adoption

Don't give up hope quite yet. Here are some ideas for making your adoption dreams affordable.

Susan Kuligowski May 22, 2016
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Adoption is not cheap. Most of us don’t have stockpiles of money laying around to pay for the required home study, lawyer fees, medical, travel, and all of the other costs associated with adoption—be it domestic or international. However, if you find yourself not yet ready to give up, know that there is hope.

Consider foster care adoption. 

Before you rule out foster care based on something you may have read or heard from a friend, please take the time to meet with representatives in your local community and get the facts. Different states have different rules, but in most cases, foster care adoption can be an extremely inexpensive way to become a forever family for a waiting child or children! There are more than 100,000 children currently waiting to be adopted in the United States. To learn more about the process, read this guide.

Take advantage of the adoption tax credit. 

As of 2016, the adoption tax credit is fully available in the amount of $13,460 if your modified adjusted gross income is equal to or less than $201,920. If your modified adjusted gross income is more than $201,920 but less than $241,920, you will receive a reduced tax credit. If your modified adjusted gross income is $241,920 or more for the year, you are not eligible for the tax credit.

Don’t assume you understand how this ever-changing tax credit works. You’ll want to consult with a tax professional to determine the extent of the tax credit that will be available to you.

Look into adoption grants. 

Although it can be difficult to understand, there is much information online concerning grant and loan information available to adoptive families. Check out this list that provides more information about assistance available in each state.

Also, this article offers a great list of organizations and links to other helpful resources you need to know about.

Get creative with fundraisers, garage sales, or a second job.

When you want something badly enough, you’ll do whatever it takes and sometimes what it takes is thinking outside the box. Recently, a young boy used a lemonade stand to help pay for his own adoption.

Not into the setting up and taking down hassle of a garage sale? Consider posting items on Craigslist or another online sales tool instead. Do you love to sew? Great with crafts? Maybe it’s time to put your talent to use and share your art with the world either online or at local craft shows. Not self-motivated, but have some free time? Consider taking on a second job for a few hours each week. Or check with family and friends or your church to see if they would be willing to go in on a fundraiser. You may be surprised at who steps up to help.

Find ways to cut back. 

Nobody likes the “B Word”, but let’s face it, budgeting is one of the easiest ways to reign in our spending habits and the best way to save money for something we really want. There are many ways to trim the fat from our daily routines, including packing lunches, eating dinner at home, making your own coffee in the morning instead of paying up to six dollars a day on the way to work. Forget an expensive car wash, grab a hose and a bucket of soapy water and give yourself a nice workout. Jot down your typical spending habits and see where you may be able to cut back or do without.

Turn to your family support system. 

Talk to your family about your plans to adopt. While sometimes lending and borrowing money from family can lead to problems later on (know your situation before proceeding), family is often a wonderful resource when saving up for adoption.

If you’re in the military, be aware of military adoption benefits. 

Military families may be eligible for adoption reimbursement, tax credits, and other adoption subsidies. Click here for more information.

Find out if your employer offers adoption benefits.

Ask your employer’s human resource or personnel department to find out if your company offers adoption benefits. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption offers an annual list of America’s 100 best adoption-friendly workplaces.

Although the cost of adoption may seem out of reach, with the right amount of patience, planning, research, and hard work, you can afford it!

If you’re ready to start your own adoption journey, click here to speak with a domestic infant adoption specialist who can help you begin moving toward your dreams of adopting.

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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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