Yes- adoption is expensive. It’s true. With that said, I am shocked that many families see the cost as a deal breaker. SO many people say to me, “I wish I could adopt- but it’s too expensive”. Augh…. don’t give up that easily! There are so many expensive things in life- houses, cars, college, starting a business… and the list goes on. Adopting a child through private domestic adoption or international adoption is expensive, but there are a lot of ways to make it more affordable and that’s what I’m here to share today!
Now to answer our most asked question… China adoptions cost around 35,000-40,000 (and from what I have heard this is in an average range for private domestic adoptions and other international programs). Some of this money goes to the agency (there is a team of people working to help with your adoption paperwork for over a year), the home study, costs like immigration, visas and travel expenses.
Remember that adoption payments will be spread out. For example- our program takes an average of two years. On our current adoption, we started about six months ago and we haven’t even paid 5,000 yet. The bulk of the payments are due in the last few months close to when you travel (at least in our experience). So it’s important to remember that you don’t have to have all the money up front to begin the adoption process.
Crowdsourcing + Fundraising
Crowdsourcing is raising money- Kickstarter and GoFundMe campaigns are really well known for this. I’ve also heard of a site called AdoptTogether that was created for this purpose. I think crowdsourcing is a great option for families who need help raising funds toward an adoption savings goal.
I love to support my friends who are adopting and I know so many people feel this way!
Fundraising can be a little more involved. I’ve seen families selling all kinds of things. I think this is a great way to go as long as you make sure you are for sure going to raise money (since starting a shop or a side project COSTS money- be sure to be smart about it and sell something you have experience with- it would suck to lose money when you’re trying to earn it). I just recently bought Nova some clothes from a shop someone started to help fund their adoption. This can be a great option if you have the time and a good idea to help raise some funds.
Check into the federal adoption tax credit it can cover a huge chunk of the expenses- it can be over 10,000. Also check with your accountant about state tax credits that may apply to you.
There are some options listed on the Holt financial assistance page. I don’t have experience applying for grants, but talk to your social worker and agency to see if there are more options that may be a good fit for you.
Yes- there are loan options to help fund adoptions. We don’t experience with this type of loan, but a quick google search will get you started with options.
Old fashioned savings ideas
There are so many ways to save money! Think big, but think small too because small sacrifices can add up over months and years. Figure out how much you need to save each month and then work backwards and try to meet your goal each month.
As cheesy as it sounds I always make a paper chart to color in when we do a large savings goal. It’s so satisfying to color it in as you go along!
-Cut something big out of your budget. Sell something big. Scale back. Think about what assets you have that you don’t need or you aren’t using and consider using those toward your savings goal.
-Work extra hours. Whatever your normal schedule or job, see if there is a way to do a little extra. Over the course for a year or two years this can make a huge difference. If you have the ability, consider getting a side job.
-As soon as you set your adoption goal, go through your online banking and see if there is anything you can cut out of your monthly spending- digital subscriptions, gym memberships you don’t use.. basically anything you are spending money on that you wouldn’t miss. After we did this one we put a temporary ban on ordering delivery meals- this stuff adds up!
-Spending freeze. Take a break from something you love to spend money on- maybe shopping or eating out…. or even all shopping outside of necessities. This can save a lot of money and I love the experience of realizing weekly or daily that our spending freeze is contributing toward our adoption goal.
I hope this has been helpful! I know the cost can be intimidating, but when you break it down into payments and make a plan to save/earn extra money each month it will hopefully feel a lot more attainable. I’m here to answer any questions (you can email me at the top of the page).
Note: Foster Care Adoption is another amazing option to look into. My understanding is that it is free or very low cost. Since I have no personal experience with it I didn’t give advice for it in this post. This blog is meant to share our story- not to be a resource for things I know very little about (in other words- I’m not going to pretend to be an expert if I don’t know what I’m talking about). A local social worker would be a great person to talk to about whether foster care is the right fit for your family.
Considering adoption? Our agency, Holt International, is happy to talk you through different options for adoption (it’s free and there is zero commitment). Holt has adoption programs for China, Korea, Vietnam, Colombia, Thailand, the Philippines, Haiti and India. You can get in touch with them by clicking here.