how to afford adoption

“I’d like to adopt, but it’s just so expensive.”

This is one of the most common phrases I hear when I mention that we’ve adopted.

Turns out, money is a big reason why people don’t adopt. According to a recent survey, 33% of Americans consider adoption and 79% of them are worried about the cost. In the end, less than 2% of those people adopt.

We’ve adopted three times and each time we had a “adoption financial plan.”

We also believe that money should NOT be an obstacle for adopting a child.  Good planning and a variety of creative solutions can bring a child into your forever family.

It’s possible to save for adoption on a stable income without taking out loans. We are proof of that. It’s possible to adopt and still pay your bills. You won’t starve. You won’t go bankrupt. You might even be surprised at how your needs are provided for in incredible ways. It will stretch your faith.

Most people who adopt don’t have $25,000 sitting around. Instead, they feel called to the adoption journey and intentionally pursue it with a plan in hand.

That doesn’t mean you won’t have to sacrifice. You may have to give up your cable TV, your gym membership, or some other first world luxury.

When you compare the value of a child to the importance of a golf habit, then it makes sense that golfing, for a time period, might have to be put on hold. Suddenly that club membership just doesn’t seem so important.

So what does it take to come up with an adoption financial plan?

I’m no money expert, but here is a snapshot of how we’ve afforded it.


An Adoption Savings Plan

1. Make painful cuts in the budget.

Get rid of all the excess fat in your spending.  It might be a temporary cut, or you might find afterward that it has revolutionized your lifestyle. You can live on far less than you think.

2. Live on one income.

Our first adoption was funded because we both worked and only lived on one income. Added bonus: It prepared us to live on a single income after the baby was born so I could be a stay at home mom.

3. Take on extra work.

When our daughter was two, I babysat to earn extra money for Silas’s adoption. It was hard to care for two toddlers at the same time, but it was a great way to earn cash for our adoption and stay home with my daughter at the same time.

4. Applying for adoption grants.

There are more out there than you think. They are long and tedious to apply for, but free money is worth it.  With our second adoption, we received a Show Hope grant from Stephen Curtis Chapman’s adoption foundation.

5. Fundraising.

Let me tell you, it can be fun to see how your little community rallies around you.  We were beyond thrilled to see our little Pure Charity fundraiser totally funded.  Don’t overlook the power of a grassroots effort when it comes to funding your adoption. With social media and crowdsourcing, fundraising has never been easier.

6. Donations.

Friends and family may loan or give you money because they love you. These usually come out of the blue, unasked for, at a time when you least expect it. The generosity of others will move you.  It will teach you to be more generous.

It usually takes a variety of all these things to bring in all the cash needed for an adoption. So make a plan and then after that?

Pray hard.  Give it to God.  Work your tail off.  Watch the need be filled. See God work. 

If you’re called to adopt, the money will come together.  We are proof of that.


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