Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known – Jer. 33:3.
I had a wonderful time at my Facebook party the other night with other authors from Ambassador International! I enjoyed meeting some new people, who I hope will purchase my book when it comes out in November, and I enjoyed answering questions about adoption and foster care.
One of the questions I asked was, “What do you think is the biggest obstacle to adopting?” Predictably, the majority of responses said, “Money.” So today, I want to help bust this myth, and hopefully those who are tender toward adopting will see that adoption is not just for the wealthy!
Before I give you my top tips, though, I want you to stop here and pray. Pray that God will open your heart to listen to His call. Pray for the 130 million orphans around the world who are waiting for a family to call their own. Pray for that one child who needs you. If God is calling you to adopt, then He will provide the way. But here are just a few suggestions to help you get started.
1. Apply for as many grants as you can. There are thousands of grants available for all types of adoptions. There are grants for special needs families, international adoptions, sibling groups, and private adoptions. There are large and small grants like the following:
- Show Hope – This grant is offered for international and domestic adoptions and was started by Steven and Mary Beth Chapman. The grant is one of the most well-known, though, so it is important to get your paperwork filled out as soon as possible and to stay on top of the process. There are six different application deadlines throughout the year, and the closest one is coming up at the end of this month on April 30. In order to apply for this grant, you must be working with a 501(c)3 agency. The average amount of this grant is $5,000.
- Gift of Adoption – This is another grant that is offered for both international and domestic adoptions. This grant requires a $50 application fee and a completed home study through a 501(c)3 agency. This grant awards between $1,000-$7,500. Grants are awarded monthly.
- Abba Fund – This grant is a matching grant and is available for domestic and international adoptions. The purpose of a matching grant is to support the efforts of friends, family, and the church in helping a family to adopt. For this grant, you will do your own fundraising, and the Abba Fund will match up to $5,000!
Go here for a more extensive list of adoption grants available.
2. Clean out your attic and have a yard sale. This may seem like a small way to raise money for your adoption, but the key is to make it big and to advertise. Ask for donations of items to be sold. Advertise on social media and on Craigslist that you are having an adoption fundraiser. You will be surprised how many people want to support adoption but can’t adopt themselves! People want to help, and you will bless them by allowing them to be a part of helping to grow your family. You can also host a spaghetti dinner, sell t-shirts, or host an online auction! Fundraising is a wonderful way to get your community involved in orphan care!
3. Apply for adoption loans. Many people make the mistake of going into deep debt for adoption, often taking out a second mortgage or opening a credit card to pay for expenses. The problem is that these loans carry hefty interest rates. But adoption loans are specifically designed to help families keep the costs simple. Organizations such as the Abba Fund and Pathways for Little Feet offer interest-free loans and payment plans that are affordable based on your financial situation.
4. Adopt through foster care. If you are still thinking that you can’t afford adoption, then foster care may be the route for you. In the U.S., there are 500,000 children in the foster care system. Over 100,000 of them are currently available for adoption. The costs are covered by the state, but the biggest deterrent is the waiting time. While the children may be placed in your home quickly, the actual termination of parental rights and finalization of the adoption can some times take a couple of years. During that time, there is a possibility that the child could be returned to their biological family. So while the financial costs may be low, the emotional costs are something to consider as well.
5. Remember the adoption tax credit. Currently, the tax credit for adoptions that were finalized in 2016 is $13,460. That can go a long way to paying down any adoption debt you incur. But the credit is only available for the year the adoption has been finalized, and it can take up to five years for the entire credit to be applied. So while this is definitely something to remember, it will not help you with the upfront costs of adopting.
6. Utilize social media. Many people are beginning to use social media to their advantage, and that includes adoptions as well. Organizations such as Quiver Full Adoptions help you to match with a birth mother by creating a profile for you on social media. In doing so, adoption costs often average around $10,000, rather than the $20-$50,000 average that is an obstacle for most people.
These are just a few ways that you can overcome the hurdles of the financial burden of adoption. There are so many different ways and online resources available. My family is not well-off by any means. In fact, if we didn’t have the help and support of our community, then we would never have been able to fund our adoptions. But there are so many different options available to help bring a child into your home, and I don’t want you to be overwhelmed by the financial aspects.
Please take these tips into consideration and pray about whether God has a child waiting for you.
You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may confirm His covenant that He swore to your fathers, as it is this day (Deut. 8:18).