How to Find Money to Adopt

How Can We Afford Our Dream of Adopting?

---written as Dee Waltz, Adoption Advisor, Crystal Adoption Resource, LLC.

So you’ve been through the gamut of deciding you will adopt a child. You’ve read the articles, you’ve talked with friends and family, you’ve made some calls (including on your knees maybe), and now you’re ready to move forward. Except that there’s one thing looming over you now…adoption is expensive!

Everyone would like a drama-free adoption. Over the years that I’ve been advising adoptive families, I find that financing the adoption is one of the hardest parts of the process for most families. And let’s face it…the economy isn’t helping with this. I, personally, am very conscious of this fact and part of what I do is help my families stay within the amount they have told me they have budgeted for their adoption.

It is good to note that our government is working to help us with adoptive costs now. The Federal Adoption Tax Credit has just been improved and extended until Dec. 2011. This law was included in the Health Care Reform bill which became law on March 22, 2010. The maximum credit will increase from $12,150 to $13,170 per eligible child. As with the old adoption tax credit, this credit applies to both domestic and international adoptions and to both special needs and non-special needs adoptions. This increase is retroactive to January 1, 2009, so make sure to consider that when filling out your federal taxes this year. The biggest improvement is that the Adoption Tax Credit is now refundable. Check with your tax accountant or professional for details but this may mean that if your credit is greater than the taxes you owe, the difference will be refunded to you as part of your tax refund.

Many families are able to “borrow” against the impending tax credit by talking with their clergy, company and/or other such means. This may be something to explore. This also brings me to something that some of my families have also had success with. Many churches and congregations like the idea of helping you bring a child into your family and can be very supportive. I have had some families arrange large church garage sales or fundraisers to help with the adoption costs that the church donates back to the family (see example here). The most wonderful part of this is that everyone involved feels like they have contributed, in part, to the building of your family!

Companies are also a good avenue to check out. Many large companies (such as Target, Wendy’s [Dave Thomas was adopted by the way!], Kmart, and Hallmark) have provisions for adoption within their benefits package (see below for some good info). I’ve seen many families be delighted to discover this provision in the paperwork they had never thoroughly read before. One family that I helped actually asked their organization to make a donation to their adoption agency specifically for their adoption. The company was able to take this off as a tax-deduction and the family made sure to get the company a small “donation plaque” for them to hang on the wall to show how generous they were. Good business and good karma!

One avenue that many families are not aware of is that of companies formed to give grants and loans specifically for adoption. Below is a list of some that I’m aware of though it is not conclusive and there are many out there. I have seen checks for $1000 – $1500 and more come into the adoption office I worked in so, yes they’re for real. Most ask that you already be working on an adoption and will send the money directly to the agency for your adoption. If you are working on an adoption with a facilitator orconsultantyou may have to explain the program to them to see if they have a different criteria or way of procuring the grant or loan. I’m sure that, like I am, your adoption professional would be happy to explain the process or write a letter in your behalf so just ask them.

Another thing that you can do to help yourself is to start saving on your own. Have a garage sale, sell some things on EBay, sell books on Amazon, or try Etsy. Etsy is a site dedicated to handmade products and they even have a section on adoption fundraising. Etsy says, “Our mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers. Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice.” Sounds like my kind of people!

Another innovative site is Café Press. They say, “….users can make their own designs with our easy online design tools, then buy them, share them or sell them in their own online shops”. On this site, when you design something to sell, you can set the price above what Café Press sells it to you after designing it and the difference is yours to keep. The item is printed on a per sale basis so there is no overhead cost or inventory for you to deal with. A few years back, when my son went to Iraq for the second time, I designed some things with his picture and a great slogan about supporting our troops that I sold. The profit was to help his family in his absence and the rest was going to be donated to a local organization supporting supplies to the troops. I said that on the webpage that Café Press gives each “store”. Then I let family, friends and others know (by attaching my information on every email I sent out and on the sites I was on) about how they could help support the family and troops by going to this site. It was a good success. It helped others feel good about helping someone specific and gave them something in return.

Brainstorm with some friends for other ways. You’ll be surprised at how worthy a cause they will feel it is and they’ll jump at the chance to help you. Organize a walk-a-thon, a fundraiser or an art show. There are many ways to help offset the cost of your adoption. It takes effort, support and a little creativity but, obviously, the results are worth it!

Other Resources:

Corporate Matching Gifts (Check with HR) and www.adopting.org/employer.html, www.adoptionbenefits.com or www.abanet.org/family/advocate/sp97tax.html

National Adoption Center(800) TO-ADOPT begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (800) TO-ADOPT end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (800) TO-ADOPT begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (800) TO-ADOPT end_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting has information on corporate employee adoption benefit plans.

The Dave Thomas Foundationfor adoption provides resources for adoption assistance – www.davethomasfoundationforadoption.org

Shaohannah’s Hope(Show Hope) is a Christian organization. They offer up to $7,000 towards the cost of adopting. www.shaohannahshope.com

A Child Waitsprovides loans up to $10,000 for one child. They help families who can financially support a child and repay the loan, but don’t have the current funds to adopt. www.achildwaits.org

The ABBA Fund is a Christian ministry that makes “covenant loans” (unlike a legally binding “promissory note”) and asks adoptive parents to “…use funds that God provides to them to reimburse The ABBA Fund for the financial assistance that God graciously provided”. www.abbafund.org/

Helpusadopt.org“…is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) financial assistance grant program providing qualified couples and individuals -regardless of race, ethnicity, marital status, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability- with grants of up to $15,000 towards their domestic, international, foster, or special needs adoption expenses.” www.helpusadopt.org

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