Adoptive parents will often say the two hardest things about their adoption were financing it and the “wait time” to be matched or receive a referral. Our friends at MLJ Adoptions (mljadoptions.com) have written excellent articles about how to manage your emotions about the wait time. From the practical standpoint when people are first considering adoption, money seems to be the biggest obstacle. Often, when people start the adoption journey they have little information about realistic costs for adoption. Many prospective parents are surprised to find that they have usually underestimated the costs and have not budgeted sufficiently. We suggest your check out adoption.com for their information on estimating and budgeting your adoption, or call our office or MLJ Adoptions for more information. If you have started the adoption journey and need creative ways to find funds, here are some ideas:
OPTIONS FOR FINANCING YOUR ADOPTION
This information is to give you a sample of options; however, it is not exhaustive. Most agencies or attorneys will not do any fundraising for you. We encourage you to research on your own to find other funding sources or attend a seminar at an agency, such as MLJ Adoptions, where you can learn more detailed information about ways to fund your adoption.
Corporate Matching Gifts
• Check with your employer’s human resources division
• Target, Wendy’s, Chase, Hewitt, Eli Lilly & Co., Proctor & Gamble and Hallmark all have adoption assistance benefit programs
• Call The National Adoption Center at (800) TO-ADOPT for information on corporate employee adoption benefit plans
• Also check www.adopting.org/employer.html, www.adoptionbenefits.com, or www.abanet.org/family/advocate/sp97tax.html
Many churches and civic organizations will support and assist in fundraising efforts for adoptions.
Also, there are other fundraising options such as: www.justlovecoffee.com. Think creatively about hosting garage sales, making and selling adoption-themed jewelry, or organizing a bowling tournaments. Bake sales at your church or other similar events can also be effective.
Military, Nonrecurring Program
Full-time military personnel are eligible for a one-time subsidy of up to $2,000 per child. For more information, visit: http://www.nmfa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reus_adoptionintro
Grants and Loans
There are numerous organizations which offer grants for adoption. A number of lenders and financial institutions also have special adoption programs. A sample of a few follow. As these change fairly often, we suggest you conduct current research on the web to find the most current and active programs.
• The Fatherless Foundation offers grants to offset the costs of adoption. Visit www.thefatherlessfoundation.org or email: email@example.com.
• The National Adoption Foundation offers low interest loans and grants to offset the costs of adoption. www.nafadopt.org.
• Help Us Adopt is a national non-profit financial assistance program providing grants: www.helpusadopt.org
• The ABBA Fund provides interest free adoption loans: www.abbafund.org
• Love Knows No Borders will provide information on financial assistance if you send a SASE (two stamps) to 500 B Monroe Turnpike, P.O. Box 350, Monroe, CT 06468.
• Promise the Children provides grants to adopting families working with approved facilitators: firstname.lastname@example.org. (international adoptions)
• The Boatner Family Foundation provides grants up to $10,000. Write to: P.O. Box 132272, The Woodlands, Texas 77393-2272.
• A Child Waits: http://www.achildwaits.org/ Adoption loans and grants for international adoption
• Gift of Adoption, www.giftofadoption.org, The Gift of Adoption Fund provides grants for adopting families. Must have a completed home study. Grants range from $1,000 to $7,500 with the average grant award at $3,500.
• Lifesong for Orphans has both grants and loans available: www.lifesongfororphans.org
• Adoption Network Law Center offers credit based loans: (800) 367-2367.
• Fifth Third, First Union, and US Bank also provide for adoption loans. Please contact your local branch.
• Old National Bank Adoption Loan Program offers home equity and personal loans to cover adoption costs. Call Marlene Fritz at the Carmel Banking Center at (317) 573-0310, or visit www.oldnational.com and see your local Old National office.
• America’s Christian Credit Union offers an adoption loan program. Started in January of 2009, it has funded over $3.7 million in loans to help bring families together. Visit their web site at www.americanchristiancu.com or contact Bryan London at 626-208-5410.
• Child Adoption Funds, #225 9393 N. 90th St., Suite #102, Scottsdale, AZ 85252.
• The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption provides numerous resources for adoption assistance. View their website at www.davethomasfoundationforadoption.org.
• Steven Curtis Chapman runs a foundation called Shaohannah’s Hope that provides grants to adopting families. http://www.showhope.org/
• The Fore Adoption Foundation assists families adopting from foster care, sibling groups or special needs children: http://www.foreadoption.com/
Also, second mortgages and home equity lines of credit can be used for adoption expenses and the interest is tax deductible.
Take a loan against your IRA, 401K, or retirement plan. Check with your plan administrator for specifics about borrowing and any restrictions or penalties, but in most cases, you’re paying yourself back, so you benefit a few ways in the long run.
Finally, remember that you may qualify for state and/or federal tax credits. The federal government provides a tax credit of just over $13,000 per child to help with adoption expenses. The details are available online (http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html) and forms may be downloaded at www.irs.ustreas.gov . Please note that the expanded adoption tax credit was changed for 2011 and the IRS issued news and instructions for the changes. (http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=242932,00.html). We also suggest that you read the helpful hints and explanations provided on the Creating a Family website (www.creatingafamily.org). Check with your tax preparer or advisor to see if you may qualify for the federal credit.
Several states offer tax credits to aid in adoption expenses as well as other grants and subsidy programs. To learn if you qualify, contact your state tax office or visit your state website. Unfortunately, Indiana does not currently offer tax credits. If you are thinking about adopting in the future, consider writing to your state representative and start lobbying for legislation to offer adoption credits.