Creative Resources to find Adoption Funding

open adoption creative funding ideas
The number one reason otherwise qualified families state for not moving forward in their adoption is because of funds. They are ready to love a child through adoption, but are unable to adopt the child that they have always wanted due to money concerns.

As sad as this is, in the early 1980’s my husband and I faced the same thing 30 years ago and found if there is a will there is a way.

Adoptions can be expensive, running from around $30,000 to $60,000 for home studies, agency fees, legal representation costs, service fees and travel, among other items. What many people don’t realize is that there are alternatives for adoption funding.

Most people don’t think twice about signing loan papers for a car but don’t want to do the same for an adoption. An adoption will last longer than a car and give more joy over a lifetime. The following information is to help you find a way to get started sooner rather than later and find a way to adopt no matter what your financial situation is.

Getting creative with funding is the key to financing the adoption you’ve been dreaming about. Working toward adding a child to your family may not be easy, but it will be well worth the effort taken to find these resources. Some families are finding through these suggestions they can adopt for free or for less than they had ever expected. Remember you get out what you put in, so the more research you do, the better you will be at finding money for your adoption.

Employer’s adoption benefit
The first thing you want to check into is your employee adoption benefit- this is becoming more popular and more small and medium size companies are offering some type of adoption credit for their employees. For example, Verizon has a $10,000 adoption benefit, and Pepsi has a generous adoption benefit as well. Small companies have found tax benefits to adding these adoption incentives to their benefit package – ask your Human Resource Dept for details. Or visit Adoption-Friendly Workplace Program. They offer free materials to help people advocate for adoption benefits in their workplace. Call 877-777-4222 for details.
The Federal Tax Credit
Parents who finalized an adoption can claim a credit for adoption expenses on their federal income tax returns. The tax credit phases out for taxpayers with high modified adjusted gross income.

Qualifying expenses include necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, traveling expenses, and other expenses directly related to the adoption. Adoptive parents who plan to claim the credit should file Form 8839, titled Qualified Adoption Expenses, and attach it to Form 1040. For more information and other downloads to required forms, please visit the IRS website by clicking here.

Sounds simple, but you have to start somewhere and it will help motivate you to add to it. If you have made the decision to adopt, start saving money right away; the sooner the better. Just cutting back on Starbucks lattes can help – at $5 a day you can stash enough to get you started.
Raising Money With Online Auctions
Go through your garage, attic and house for treasures and unused items that you have stowed away and forgotten about. Ask friends for donations of items they don’t want. Run a free ad to ask for donations for funding your adoption. Selling these online through auction can aid you in raising a good amount of money. Try eBay or Craigslist.
Have a Yard Sale
Whatever you cannot sell online, you may be able to sell at a yard sale. Ask relatives and friends if they have any old usable items that they can donate toward your “Adoption Yard Sale.” Two hopeful adoptive mothers I know created banners to hang over their garage – stating they were funding their adoption and neighbors and other community families donated boxes and also bought at top dollar to help them. Be sure to keep your signs all looking the same and mentioning Adoption Garage Sale. You might also make up flyers to pass around at church, local schools, and work.
Adoption Grants
Though you may not be aware of them, there are some grants that perhaps may help with some of the expense of adopting a child. Many of these grants will help cover international adoptions, or adoptions of special needs children. Most grants range from $2,000 – $5,000, but can go much higher if you fit the requirements. Often, these grants are need-based. offers grants for African American infant and older child adoptions to qualifying adoptive parents.
Plan a Fundraiser
Some families have successfully planned a Spaghetti Feed at their church. You might ask for donations of food and plan a silent auction from local businesses that want the extra exposure.

For any successful fundraiser, be sure to contact the local press, including radio stations for interviews and to post your event on Craigslist and in flyers at local schools, churches, businesses and remember to let friends and family members know.

Set up an “adoption walkathon ”
Ask friends and family to pledge a dollar per mile to help bring your child or baby home through adoption.
There are several ways to raise the money needed for adoption if you are creative. Having a yard sale or raising money through online auctions may not seem like it would bring you a lot of help, but it will. One mother I helped rose over $1,200 on one garage sale and over $2,500 on her online auctions. Two hours per night is all it takes to sell in online auctions. An exceptional amount of money can be raised if friends and family donate items to your cause. You might be surprised at how the extra items can make a difference. Any amount helps, and if you still find yourself short of what you need, there are grants and loans to help you obtain the money you need.

Remember the tax credit and employer benefits – these are the first to look into.

With a little foresight and planning and the many adoption funding options available today, the average family has a chance to bring the light of love into their home with the adoption of a child. Families are able to adopt for much less than they might have thought. There are so many children out there that need the warm and secure home you have to offer; why not take advantage of every funding alternative available to you? Completing your family circle with an adoption will soon be more than just a dream!

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is a recognized adoption expert and award-winning author. Through Lifetime Adoption, which she founded in 1986, she has helped thousands of families build their families through adoption. To learn more about adoption success, read Caldwell’s books, Adoption: Your Step-by-Step Guide, Adopting Online, and Called to Adoption.