Jump to content
Stork Central

Financing An Adoption

Recommended Posts

Hi, Laura! Welcome to the Forum, where all questions are encouraged, even if not easy to answer...! Stork Central hopes you glean lots of helpful insight about financing from our "regular experts" and maybe even some lurkers, too. (You might also check out "Pink & Blue vs. Green" under the Looking to Adopt section.) You've raised some really important questions here, and we hope our friends out there can give you good feedback.

You're right--adoption is very expensive. We, too, wish we lived in a utopian society where money played no part in making good placements happen. Adoption today truly is an investment of--and in!--a lifetime. In Texas, where the laws allow licensed in-state agencies to assist birthmoms with "maternity related expenses," adopting parents essentially bear the costs of helping support another household, with no guaranteed outcome. This is intended to facilitate a healthy pregnancy and to offer birthparents needed support while getting back on their feet (physically, emotionally, and vocationally) after such an enormous, personal sacrifice.

However, the numbers add up fast. Rent prices have risen dramatically, along with groceries, utilities, transportation, legal costs and the like. Medical care has skyrocketed; private pay for a healthy labor & delivery plus 2 day mom & baby inpatient stay runs $7-10K and beyond (even in the smaller hospitals). Licensing standards require agency caseworkers to be degreed and experienced, making reasonable salaries a must, given the long hours and fulltime emotional duress of adoption careers. Office lease rates have more than doubled, while the cost of competitive Yellow Page advertising is a mounting operating expenditure each year. (And that doesn't begin to account for all of the out-of-pocket and baby-related expenses adoptors encounter as they become parents, either. Whew!)

The good news is that it is still possible to do a successful domestic adoption for less than $20K, provided there is full Medicaid and/or insurance coverage for mother and baby. As some homestudy workers point out, though, the average family still spends more on their vehicles than their adoption, even though vehicles are traded in every few years and children are not!! It seems irreverent to view it that way, but perhaps it does reflect a certain truth about societal values...

With regards to your comment about fee differentials for hard-to-place (or "special needs cases") this is a longstanding debate even among adoption professionals. The irony, as you noted, is that typically, such placements do require even more hours of professional labor to facilitate, yet the bulk of these costs are subsidized by "normal" placement fees and charitable contributions. This, hopefully, offsets the added expenses that special needs adoptors will likely incur after placement, obtaining services for special kids who may otherwise have languished in foster homes or institutional care. (Is this something you are open to, Laura? Because there are so many of these children in need of loving families like yours.)

Now--who out there can lend some advice about financing and budgeting and tax credits and loans and the like?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your very helpful insights.  You have helped me to understand the financial issues with much more clarity.  I'm very thankful for a logical explanation!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's true...the government really does give you a credit up to $10,000 on your income taxes for adoption related expenses! Adoption Learning Partners has a short (45-60 minute) course you can take to learn more. Adoption Tax Credit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Laura,

Hello!  Welcome to the forum!

The price does seem rediculous.  We decided to take out a home equity line of credit.  The rates are so low and the interest is tax deductable.  We looked into other loans, but they were 7 and up which is just rediculous.  Another way many people do it is to look to their family.  Our families wanted to help out and even cover the entire cost.  We had issues with taking money from our families when we were "dincs" for 10 years.  We had money in savings for retirement, but did not want to touch that and we had just dropped tons of $$ for fertility so things were not so buffered.  One other route is to see if your employer helps out.  There is a web site of many companies that do and some even pay up to 10K!  I wish I worked for them!!!

I have not dealt with the tax deduction yet because we just got little Andrew in October, but I have friends that have and it is 10K.  Some states also give deductions.  Our state does, but I am not sure how much yet.  I will see soon!  Just keep all of your receipts is what I have read.

The one thing that is for sure is that once you have your little one in your arms you just forget about the $$.  It is so worth it.  I love it, I love being a Mom, and I ssssoooo love little Andrew!

Good luck !

Lisa V

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Jonathan & Lisa

Hi Everyone:  

Jonathan and I are finishing up our appication and we are super excited!!!  However, we have run into some walls with regards to financial stuff...but we are trying hard to figure some thing out! Jonathan and I make decent money, but we have spent a lot of our savings and charged a lot of credit cards on infertility.  My mom and stepdad were going to help us out if we needed, but things have changed a bit.... :(   When she sold her house in California and moved here to Texas they thought they'd have enough to help out if we needed.  Unfortunetly, that doesn't look like it will happen right now.  Maybe in a few months, but now right now.  I am a worrier and always look to the future...or should I say worry about the future!!   I have her here with me and she lives right up the street!...so that makes me really happy!!  :)   I just pray that everything will work out for all of us!!  

Jonahtan and I are saving every penny and I even found a way to save almost $100/month just by going over/chaning our phone, cable, internet stuff!!  Jonathan wasn't too thrilled about the cable thing  :p  but he will be ok!!  

What do you all think we should do?  I know we have enough now to start the process and I think over time w/the saving of money, etc...we will be fine...but we don't have my parents to fall back on anymore.  Sometimes it's so hard to pay those credit card bills...because all they mean to me are treatments that didn't work.   :(  

Anyway, I just wanted to see if any of you had any advice for Jonathan and I!!  I would love to hear it!

Thanks for listening!

Lisa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jonathan and Lisa

You have come to the right place, for we all share your desires to be a parent (which is what brought us all to Abrazo in the first place) and we all had set backs along the way of some sort or another.

You said you are finishing up your application. Is this your initial inquiry, or have you attended orientation already and are finishing up the package?  Maybe you could work with Abrazo and attend one of the later orientations in 2004, that way you can continue to save money until that time.  (Perhaps Uncle Sam will smile on you with a nice income tax refund!;)   I know you're probably anxious to get started, so I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers that a way will be provided.  There is a saying, when the Lord closes one door, he opens another!  

 :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lisa!

This is Lisa, mommy of Andrew!  We had the same problem, however my husband refused to take $$ from his parents when it was offered.  I understand that and I respect it as well.  To solve our delima we saved every penny, paid minimums on the credit cards, and stopped going out as much and when we did, we chose to go to places where it would run $20 for dinner as opposed to $40 and up.  By the time we were in the position to take placement we were able to cover over 1/2 of the fees.  What we did for the remainder was take out a home equity line of credit.  The rates for other loans were 7 and up, but this was at 4% and the interest is tax deductible.  The other thing to keep in mind is that when you do take placement and then file your taxes you will get 10K back from federal and some states give back as well, but I am not sure which and how much.  I know ours (Alabama) does, but again no idea how much.  A different route of financial assistance is your employer.  There is a list of companies that donate significant funds towards adoption.  Maybe yours or your husbands do this!  Here is a site that contains a list of companies participating in adoption assistance in one form or another:

http://www.adoptionfriendlyworkplace.org/employers.asp.

Good luck with everything and have fun!  It can and will be stressful, but the end result is incredible!!

Lisa V

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might want to try these agencies that help families by giving you funds in the manner of Grants.  Below I have linked the websites.  We received help from both of these and have found them to be very reliable agencies to use.  There is no "payback" on these grants.

www.jsw-adoption.org           www.ggam.org

You might want to check into this one also.  I don't know anyone who has received funds from them, but as I always say, it doesn't hurt to look into possibilities.  www.homestead.com/brightfutures  If I can be of further

assistance, just email.  Have a great day. Kim :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest stephmatbru

Dear Lisa,

 My wife and I ran into the same problems.  We finally just decided that money is just money.  The ending of such heartache (infertility) and the beginning (a little one) makes the decision a lot easier.  We figured money will be paid back...eventually, but the reward far exceeds the pain.  We are so overjoyed with our little Mikayla and would not hesitate to do it again.  We totally understand, but once you hold that little one for the first time, it is literally  a no brainer.

Mikayla's Parents

Bruce's Great 8 Posse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with you there.  I remember before Kayleigh arrived talking on the phone to an Abrazo mom and it was early in our process and I told her that one of my biggest concerns was how much it was going to cost - or actually, it was the not knowing how much it was going to end up costing that scared us.  We fortunately did have a savings account but still...anyway - she basically told me the same thing you just said - the money part just totally won't even matter once that day comes - you'll do whatever you have to do to make it happen because it's worth it a million times over.  I kept thinking, "but what about having savings for college for our baby, what about being able to take vacations, what about..."  Anyway, we were fortunate enough to not have to borrow money to cover the expenses associated with Kayleigh's adoption but we would have done if we would have needed to.  I didn't understand that until that moment came when I thought we might have to - there was a point when we were given wrong information by Lance's employer regarding insurance coverage for Kayleigh (so folks - that little insurance coverage verification thing that Abrazo gives you in your initial packet - BE SURE YOU SEND IT TO YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY & GET IT BACK FROM THEM!! ) - we were told that our insurance wouldn't cover Kayleigh until the adoption was finalized - finalized as in 6ish months.  And Kayleigh was in the NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit @ $1,000+ per day if nothing went wrong) with no idea of when she'd be out.  At that moment though - both Lance & myself were willing to do ANYTHING (as long as it was legal of course) to make sure that this adoption happened - finances were not going to get in the way.  They then came back and said she was covered from placement which helped us both gain a sigh of relief.

I will say though....ensure you have access to finances in an amount more than you think you will need.  Budget things on the high side (At Orientation, Abrazo gave our group some estimates given various circumstances regarding birthmother's insurance/medicaid coverage, living expenses, etc.....make sure when you're planning things that you take into consideration every possible expense you can think of and then add a bit more...just in case.)  I'm not saying this to scare you or anything - chances are, things will go as they normally do and there won't be extraordinary expenses (i.e. legal, medical, etc) but just in case - those hours when you get the call and you're getting everything ready, etc - are not a time when you need to worry about how you're going to handle something extra if it's come up...

So my advice is that you're on the right track Lisa - you're preparing early and getting all your ducks in a row and even if it means having to wait a bit longer...in the long run, you'll be glad you pulled everything together ahead of time and if you end up with left-over - that's not a problem.

-Lisa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest cathyskala

Hi Lisa...hope you're still looking for replies to your topic, I haven't been keeping track of the Forum for a few weeks now!  Anyway, here's what my husband and I are doing.  For part of the expenses we are borrowing approx $8,500 from my 401K (at my company it's 5% interest--4% goes back to you and 1% to them--and you can pay it back from 1-5 yrs, no prepayment penalty), then we're using a home equity line of credit for approx $10K (@ 6.6% interest fixed for 5 yrs). Finally, we're trying to pay as much as possible out of pocket...for example we've been able to do our orientation weekend, hotel and flight south on our own as well as the homestudy.  We're very middle class so this has been tough, but we're getting a little help with 0% rates on some credit cards...we did that for our wedding 2 yrs ago and it was awesome.  We currently have an interest free rate until May but I just got another notice in the mail (don't you always) for no interest through almost the end of the year.  However there's no guarantees on those cards so we're being very careful with them!!  Anyway, we're excited for our tax return next year to see that $10K tax credit come our way. :D

Hope this info helped a little...we didn't check out many of the grants because it sounded like you had to exhaust all other means of paying for an adoption and we didn't figure we'd qualify, but it sure wouldn't hurt looking into.  Also, I'm not sure how affiliated you are with your church but many religious organizations have wonderful grants as well... unfortunately again my husband and I don't feel involved enough with our church to "feel right" even applying for those but may be an option for you????  Take care, all will work out!

Cath

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Jonathan & Lisa

Hi there Cath:  I was just checking in and noticed your post.  Thank you for the advice.  My husband and I are still looking into all our options re: financing.  I have pretty much completed the application I received in December but I'm wonder if I should wait until we know for sure where will get all this money.  What do you think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ccsmith

Hello-

We are just beginning the adoption process...our biggest concern is financial.  I am very interested in Abrazo as it seems like a wonderful agency to work with.  We have two children, one who I carried, but I cannot carry anymore.  Our second child was carried by a gestational surrogate.  We live in San Antonio.  I am a stay at home mom and my husband is an attorney.  Can someone give me advice or help...I feel overwhelmed.  What is the best way to start?  Are there any adoption assistance programs to help cover the cost of adopting?

Thanks

Courtney

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Courtney,

Welcome!!!

We adopted our daughter, Kayleigh, through Abrazo in December 2002 (she was born 12/5/02 and we took placement of her on 12/9/02 (taking placement is the day when the paperwork is all signed, etc).  They were WONDERFUL - I would highly recommend them...they are a really remarkable agency to work with and I just can't sing their praises enough. (Our first contact was made with Abrazo in early July 2002).

Let's see - there have been some posts on here about financial assistance - there are lots of great ideas about that - we didn't utilize that as we used money we had in a savings account so I'm probably not the best person to speak with on that.  One of the posts regarding financial assistance is:

Abrazo Forum>Adoptive Parents>Looking to Adopt>Finances> Financing an Adoption

Another good post is: (it's on pg 2 at the moment)

Abrazo Forum>Adoptive Parents>Looking to Adopt>Finances> Financing an Adoption, Pink & Blue vs Green

As for trying to figure out a good way to start...

Well, when I started - the first thing I did was read some books....I had no idea which books to get so I just bought several books on adoption - both international and domestic.  At that time (this was actually when we were still going through our infertility treatments - we did 2 unsuccessful IVFs), we weren't sure whether we wanted to do a domestic or international adoption.  I had some misconceptions about domestic adoption (worried that it would take years and years of waiting and worried that noone would choose us or approve us into their program) and I guess deep down, I really wanted to do a domestic adoption because I knew I wanted to adopt an infant - preferably a newborn.  So - once that was decided (that we'd go the domestic route), the next thing was to figure out which agency to work with (I knew I didn't want to do an independent adoption where we do all the leg-work (i.e. advertising, screening birthparents, etc)...I was also really worried about choosing an agency that would put us in this huge waiting list thing and forget about us and we'd be pretty much waiting with our hands tied (you can't (for reasons I completely understand and support) work with 2 agencies at once - nor could one afford to (once you make a commitment to work with an agency, it is fairly standard that you do a non-refundable deposit that is often around 50% of their fee)...anyway - so I was really leary about working with an agency that we'd wait with forever that really could care less about helping us be a family.  

I remembered my mom had been telling from the first time we learned we had infertility that she had a really good friend whose daughter had adopted through Abrazo (rather quickly) and had a wonderful experience - I called her - she raved about Abrazo - that was good enough for me...I wanted to work with Abrazo.  At that point - I'd say I was fairly educated on adoption and how it works - but I wasn't very educated on open adoption - which Abrazo is a huge proponent of.  I wish I had read more on that before making my first contact with them - it worked out okay but thankfully, they were very tolerant and understanding about my lack of knowledge in this area (there are some great suggestions on here about books to read regarding open adoption - another great way to get yourself more knowledgeable about adoption is to talk to other adoptive parents - the best way to do that is on a message board like this and also check to see if there is a support group type thing for adoptive parents in your area (the RESOLVE website is a good place to start to find something www.resolve.org - they have an entire section dedicated to adoption).  Our local support group thing is called AFFGS (www.affgs.org) and it stands for Adoptive Friends & Families of Greater Seattle - it's really cool because they have a group that meets once a month I believe who are waiting to adopt or in the early stages or considering adoption - they usually have a guest speaker and it's just a good forum for the people to meet and learn different things, etc.  Then, once you're a parent through adoption - they have a group called SNAP (support for new adoptive parents) which specifically addresses things that new APs experience and go through - and they have ongoing playgroups and guest speakers and topics, etc.  It's a really good thing to get into - especially for newbies (in my opinion).  Anyway - those are my thoughts - but I think the best thing you can do is to talk to other APs - absorb what they have to share and what they've gone through - each adoption experience is different - there are some things that stay fairly consistent with each one but the more you know about others experiences, etc - the more prepared you'll be when it comes time for you to experience yours.

I'm not sure how far along you are in your journey to adoption - not sure if you're completely new to it and just starting to check it out or if you've already done some things to get it going or learn about it or what....so it's hard to really address questions/concerns you may have...please feel free to post on here and you'll probably get responses from several people on here - this is a pretty active board.  Or, feel free to private message me (underneath my post there should be a button that says "Send Message" or you can e-mail me at linlacor@yahoo.com ) I'd be happy to answer anything I can (I do have a toddler though so sometimes my e-mails get sent without really being finished because I've learned that if I wait to finish it - I never get it sent so I sometimes will just send it as soon as she starts fussing for me to give her some attention...my apologies in advance on that - by the way - this goes for anyone who would like to contact me - I'll be happy to talk to or answer questions to the best of my ability to anyone who wishes to contact me).

The other thing you could do is to just write down (or type) some questions you have and give Abrazo a call (or just give them a call anyway and say you're thinking about adoption - I'm sure they'll be able to help answer anything you have...they are extremely easy to talk to, very down-to-earth, very honest, and compassionate.  I had tons and tons and tons of questions (mostly about their program, costs, waiting time, process (how it all happens), what happens if a birthmother changes her mind) and they were able to address everything I wondered about - sometimes there really isn't a black & white answer - it could be a bit grey...but I liked how up-front they were and informative.

Another place to check out on here that I think is a really cool post with lots of great information and stories - it gave me so much hope when we started our adoption - is:

Abrazo Forum>Joyous Journeys>The Day of the Call - Sharing Your Story

Best wishes to you!!!  Hope to hear more from you!!

Lisa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest cathyskala

Courtney...

Hope you're still keeping an eye out for replies to your note regarding financial concerns, I haven't checked in with the forum for a few weeks now but thought I would let you know what my husband and I did for financing our adoption.  Finances were a BIG deal for us, we definitely fit into the "middle class"  category and watch what we spend closely.  There are adoption grants out there to be had, however we didn't feel we were candidates.  Most said to receive a grant you would have had to exhaust all other potentials for financing.  For example: loans or gifts from family, taking out a second mortgage on your home, borrowing from 401K, etc.  Also, I don't know how much or if you are involved in your church at all but there are religious organizations who also offer grants for adoption (their forms often ask very detailed questions about the extent of participation in the church you take)...again, we didn't feel this was an option for us. So, this is what we did...my husband and I both have 401K's through work but we decided to leave my husband's alone and just borrow some from mine.  We then decided to take advantage of low interest rates and take out a second mortgage on  our home(remember the $10K tax credit...you'll be able to pay much, if not all of this loan back the year you finalize).  Finally, we used two no interest credit cards...I know some people may be a little leary but it's worked out great for us.  Our initial no interest card would have run out next month but we transferred it to another card and we're good for another 13 months.  (If you do that, make sure you choose a card that does not make you pay any fee for balance transfers...it's all in the fine print!;)

My husband and I attended January's orientation, and were back home in Iowa on Feb. 21st with our daughter.  We have a wonderful relationship with our birthmom and have just recently spoken to our birthdad...we're looking forward to returning this fall to finalize and see everyone again (and our birthdad for the first time).  Open adoption has been such a blessing to our family and I can't wait for the story to unfold for yours!

Best of luck!  Cathy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From Steven Curtis Chapman:

There are thousands of Christian families who have room in their heart and their home, but lack the financial resources to adopt a child in desperate need of a family. Whether adopting domestically or internationally, adoption expenses can be costly! Shaohannah's Hope

exists to care for orphans by engaging the church and helping Christian families reduce the financial barrier to adoption.

We accomplish this by awarding financial grants to qualified families presenting the greatest need for assistance. To date we have awarded over 125 financial grants, with hundreds of applicants in process.

Visit our website:  Adoption Scholarships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the latest issue of Family Circle magazine (dated November 9, 2004) there is an article entltled "Adoption Angels." The article focuses on the charitable organizations that have been established to assist couples with adoption expenses, for both domestic and international adoptions.

One of the organizations that assist with the costs of a domestic adoption is the "Gift of Adoption Fund" and they can be located on the web @

www.giftofadoption.org

This foundation offers "grants for adoptive families facing financial hardship during the final phases of adoption." You must already be home-study approved by the state in which you reside. The fund can assist with adoption expenses by "filling in the gaps," and preference is given to those couples in the process of adopting who are experiencing financial hardship or can demonstrate financial need.

To date, the fund has "awarded nearly $600,000 in grants ranging from $2,000 to $5,000, helping upward of 200 children. The fund currently has five chapters in the United States." There is a one time $20 application fee.

Edited by marthaj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In addition to the Gift of Adoption Fund (please see my previous post) check out another web site

www.motherscharm.com

They offer a book entitled "You Can Afford Adoption" for $17.50.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did receive a grant from the gift of adoption fund for our son's adoption. It really does work and it made the difference in financially affording the adoption plan. So if anyone wants to know more details, please PM me and I will answer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW! Thanks Lisa, I 've never seen a site with so much info!!! I never knew there were so many different grants, loans etc for adoption.

It seems adoption may be a reality sooner than we thought. I think we are going to be ready to get back on that rollercoaster right after Christmas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please leave this topic up for Elaine. smile.gif

Elaine, I hope this information will be helpful.

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marcelo and I purchased our first home in July 2004. That was expensive and scary. We've known we wanted to adopt for a long time, but just did not feel it was the right time financially and emotionally.

Now that we are settled in our home and our jobs allow for more family time, we are ready to adopt. The financial aspect of it was very stressful to think about because you have to budget for the expenses of a child as well as the fee for adoption.

We decided that a child was more important to us than any material good. We already took out a loan for the adoption expenses. It will be paid over 5 years (hopefully sooner). By that time, we'll be ready to adopt again. We thought of taking money from our credit cards, but that would make it to easy not to pay it back quickly. We determined that if we were going to do this, we had to prepare. We know we may have a wait ahead of us, but we prefer relieve the stress of determining where the money would come from at the last minute. We would much rather enjoy the ride and prepare our hearts and home for our little one to come.

Glad to share,

Claudia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×