When we began exploring the idea of adopting, there were a million running through our minds. We weren’t picky–we knew we could give any child a loving home–but there were many questions that lingered. We wondered: Are we truly ready? Are we prepared to answer the wide variety of questions people may have? Could we even afford to adopt? We knew that saving money would have to be priority.
We chose a faith-over-fear mindset and did the best we could; our little one was waiting for us and we didn’t have time to waste on worrying. I’m not the type of person to go into anything without some kind of plan, so here’s a few tips we learned during our unique adoption journey:
Utilize Your Tax Credit
We had a private adoption with very short notice. We not only had the normal fees of using a private adoption but also additional fees to expedite our home study. During our home study, we had to take a series of classes and one of the best courses we were encouraged to take was a tax course. We had been blindly paying whatever was asked of us, but this course taught us what receipts to keep and how to track expenses.
For more on this, check out this list of FAQs from the North American Council on Adoptable Children.
Look Into Employer Paid Support
Some companies actually have programs to help employees cover adoption expenses. These programs don’t tend to be overly advertised by companies, so you may need to ask if your employer offers such a program. If you are able to take part in a program like this, remember to document what you receive, from whom, and when. Your CPA can give further guidance on this.
Create Personal Fundraisers
Companies like GoFundMe allow families to raise funds to cover adoption expenses. Some families even use companies like Bonfire to make a custom t-shirt fundraiser. Keep an open mind and check out Pinterest for other ideas on how friends and family can help you raise money to cover your adoption expenses. Your friends and family want to see your family happy and complete. I recommend contacting your CPA or adoption attorney with questions and for further guidance on saving money for adoption.
Work With Local Nonprofits
Local nonprofits may not have national reach or huge marketing budgets, but they do have people dedicated to helping others on a similar journey. Local nonprofits can be the heartbeat of a community’s outreach and offer services, supplies, or even grants to help families.
Contact Local Child and Family Services Early
Fostering to adopt is a different process than what our family did. The fees tend to be lower and the process longer. Regardless of your adoption approach, contact your county child services to see what programs they may have available. For example, Early Head Start programs offer affordable/free child care (to qualifying families) with milestone evaluations to ensure a child doesn’t fall behind developmentally or physically.
We hope you find these tips useful as you start saving money for your adoption journey. There are many children in our communities waiting for their forever home. While the journey may not always be smooth, we assure you that it is always worth it.