How Much Does It Cost To Adopt?
Depending on which path you pursue to adopt a child, the cost can vary from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Discussing the various options with your social worker or adoption agency can help you determine which adoption path – domestic, or international – is right for you and your family. You do not have to be wealthy to adopt, but you do need to be in a positive financial situation with a steady income.
How to Fund An Adoption
Regardless of what type of adoption plan you put together and your current financial situation, you may still find yourself wondering “How are we going to pay our adoption expenses?” Fortunately, there are a variety of sources to help you get started, from grants to tax credits to old-fashioned and high tech fund-raisers.
First you need to put together a realistic budget of how much money you are going to need to cover your adoption expenses, including adoption agency or attorney fees, home study fees, cost of government background checks and fingerprinting, travel expenses, etc. Then put these items on a timeline as to when you anticipate the payments will be due. When you look at the adoption expense in one lump sum, it can be daunting, but spaced out over months or years can make the expenses easier to incorporate into your family budget.
Adoption Expense Receipts
Whether it is a grant, tax credit, employer reimbursement, etc. you will most likely need receipts for your adoption expenses. Be sure to keep accurate records with dates and amounts paid. Keep all receipts, cancelled checks, invoices and statements.
Adoption Tax Credit
While the adoption tax credit is something you receive after the adoption is finalized, this should still be included in your adoption financial planning. For the specific details on the adoption tax credit, visit: irs.gov or consult your accountant.
Employer Adoption Benefits
Many employers offer adoption benefits, including reimbursement of adoption expenses. Check with your Human Resources department for details on your companies plan, but many offer reimbursement of eligible expenses ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 or more. (While you are there, also check to see about paid time off for an adoption.)
Active-duty personnel are reimbursed for one-time adoption costs up to $2,000 per child, whether adopting an infant, a waiting child, or a child from abroad. See DFAS Instruction 1341 for more information.
Adoption fundraising is a way for friends, family and even strangers to help you pay your adoption expenses. When you think of fundraising – it’s not just a lemonade stand anymore! Here are a few ideas to help you get started – but most importantly find what works for you and be creative!
- Selling items you currently own – Or in other words clean out your closet! (This has the added benefit of helping you make room for your new family addition.) Depending on what you have, you could sell using an online site such as ebay.com, bonanzle.com or craigslist.com. You can also have a garage sale or set up a table at a local flea market.
- Make an item to sell – It could be a craft or art item, a cookbook that you write, or a service of some sort. Handmade items can be sold on specialized sites such as etsy.com, artfire.com or dawanda.com or any of the sites listed above for selling merchandise. You may also be able to set up a table at a local craft fair, your church or an area farmers market.
- Direct Selling Fundraisers – Many direct sales companies, such as Thirty-One Gifts, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Silpada, etc. offer fundraising opportunities. Requirements may vary by consultant, but usually you host a party either in person or online, and you receive a percentage of the total sales generated to go towards your fundraising efforts.
- Taking Donations – There are several online sites that allow you to take donations from individuals in order to help fund your adoption. Requirements vary, but some examples include chipin.com and firstgiving.com. Most also give you a link or ‘widget’ that you can include on your personal website, on your Facebook page or in an email to friends and family.
Please remember that tax, fundraising and selling laws and taxes can vary by city, county and state. Please consult your accountant or other trained professional who can give advice for your personal situation before starting any of these endeavors. Sunshine State Home Study and Adoption Services takes no responsibility for the use or misuse of the information contained here-in.