The below information is presented for educational use and may not be accurate or complete based upon any number of variables that may arise in the adoption process.
Some of the basics of the adoption process
Adoption is a sacred journey and regardless if it's the first time, or if you have adopted many children, each path is unique and will tend to have differences that come along the way. Laws regarding adoption are always changing and each jurisdiction will have something different.
International adoption is something that Dream4Adoption is most familiar with. In international adoption, there are stages which usually start with a qualification application and a small deposit. From there each marker is signified with hurry and wait momentum. Many international adoptions will take a year or longer to complete, depending on the type of adoption and where the adoption is based.
Domestic adoption has many variants based on state laws, county laws, type of adoption, and other factors. Domestic adoptions can move very quickly or take years to complete.
Cost of Adoption
Adoptions tend to be very expensive. For most families, the cost is more than they can handle. Although things vary widely, adoption costs start around $20,000 and tops over $50,000 in total costs. For the most part, having a year or more to save can be a great help.
The Home Study is an important stage in the adoption process. While some situations do not require an applicant to pay for a Home Study, this process is the gateway that can make the adoption feel "real". Typically, the approval of a Home Study means that you can begin applying for grants.
Funding of an Adoption
There are many ways that adoptions are funded and Dream4Adoption would like to share some of the ways adoptions become a reality. The order below is shown as only one of many ways and orders in which is available for funding an adoption.
1. The first step in funding an adoption will normally start with saving money from sources that are already in play. Changing a budget to make cuts in certain budgetary items to help build to the first step. Many families save until they can pay for the first stage of the adoption. Financial planning can be the difference in the final cost of the adoption and can affect the time it takes to bring the child home.
2. Some families will use a credit card to fund part of the adoption process. There are some situations that a credit card has advantages.
A. Families will use credit cards to collect on the cash back, air miles or hotel points. In doing so, families apply for cards that have sign up bonuses and such that will add many points which help cover expenses or give added privileges if you have to do any travel. Research into these means and methods have the potential to save a bundle, even though it takes a lot of time to sort through the details, find which bills can be paid on credit, making certain that balances can be paid off and hopefully finding a way to get those extra signing bonuses. And don't forget, exchange rates between countries are at the maximum when credit is used for purchases in another country along with other protections offered by the credit card companies. Review these options if travel will be required.
B. Credit cards can also be used to help through a tough spot in the adoption. In the event that an emergent issue comes up, credit cards can help. The problem with credit cards are the tendencies to have interest rates, which must be considered.
3. Crowd funding is popular in the adoption world, but it is not practical in all situations. Timing can be an issue that can make or break depending if the account is opened right when the adoption is announced or if the account is opened after the family has been matched with a child. Sometimes it is easier to donate to a family that has been matched and has a face to show the investors. Either way, the crowd sourcing method works best, when the family has a large support group.
4. Employers are another source of funding for adoptions. It may not be common knowledge, but some companies have a program to support adoptions. These programs may support adoption at any point in the process. Although many come as a reimbursement, asking an employer is another way to obtain some of the funding needed for an adoption.
5. Churches are another sources of funding. Many churches have accounts set up for adoptions, if not a way to help. Ask the church leaders about adoption funding to find out about any programs that they may have. If no programs are available, there is no reason not to ask if they can find a way to help.
6. Fundraising is probably the most important source of funding even if it does not bring in the highest percent of the funding needed. Fundraising shows everyone how hard the family is working and going beyond to help them afford to bring this child into the forever home that this child has been waiting for. In particular, many granting organizations want to see that fundraising has been included in the adoption journey. Not to sound harsh, but it can be hard to justify granting money to a family that has not done any fundraising. This is especially true because of all the creative ways that families have come up with to raise funds. Understandingly, there are situations that leave families unable to stretch any further, but that can be shown on the applications. Fundraising has been a cornerstone that not only raises funds, but it can help the family stay motivated as they are waiting for the next step. Some of the fundraising ideas can be simple and not take much time, while others can be elaborate and very involved. Examples can be found in many areas of the internet, but social media has many ideas. A general web search will yield some great results too. Listed below are some of the staple ideas that are used by families raising funds for adoptions.
Sponsored dinners through local restaurants
Planned adoption events
7. Grants are often talked about when adoption comes up. While grants sound like a simple solution, there is much research to be done in finding grants that your family is qualified for. Grants have many considerations in the application process and there is usually not enough money to cover every qualified applicant. Grants also can come as matching grants in which the granting foundation matches monies that the family can raise to a certain amount. One of the most difficult parts of the grant process is parting with the fee and the in depth information that can be required. Every dollar can be important for an adoption, so the fee can be difficult to let go of. Then comes the difficult application that can ask a lot of questions or have essay questions and sometimes comes with references that are required.
As a word of caution, some organizations are not whom they claim to be. If it sounds too good to be true, it may be. There are many ways to research organizations to be sure of their status, including internet searches with guidestar, the IRS or through other services that are involved with non-profit organizations.
8. Loans can be broken down into four categories that can aid in funding an adoption. First, there are retirement loans that can be used and paid back to the retirement fund. Second is an equity line against a home, which can help at any point in the adoption process. Third is the private loan, which might work if required. Again, keep an eye on the interest rate on any loan. Lastly is the adoption loan. These loans are offered and will have a very low or no interest charge. Many families will look for adoption loans as a last resort for final costs associated with the adoption.