While budgeting is always a good idea, it is more so when you are planning to or in the process of adopting. There are several reasons for this. Let’s explore some of them.

First, you should be prepared to show an agency, lawyer, or surrendering parent(s) your ability to care for a new child in your home. While exact numbers may never come up (nor even a credit score, which will often have prospective parents worried), a home study provider will expect the family to have made plans to financially accommodate a child.

Secondly, putting numbers down on paper or into a spreadsheet will provide you with a better understanding of what you can afford to do and when. Another benefit of adoption budgeting is that it holds you accountable to those who donate towards your adoption (if applicable) or provide you with loans, either personally or through a bank, or grants.

Lastly, many adoption costs and fees can be itemized in advance, such as agency fees. However, it is extremely important to factor in a financial cushion for unexpected costs which inevitably come up. For example, in some foreign adoptions, a family has to provide current certified and apostilled copies of health records every six months. This can become pricey quickly, especially if no “extra” padding for fees has been figured into your bottom line.

Know your resources before undertaking adoption. If properly managed, you can smooth the way for a successful and well planned adoption and beyond.