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Adoption Costs and How to Afford Them

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Becoming a parent is never cheap, whether through birth or adoption. With adoption, though, new parents face a significant cash outlay up front. Adoption costs don't have to be overwhelming. Here are a few suggestions to help you afford to adopt.

Raise money
As obvious as it may sound, you can take some time to raise money.

  • Take a second job, with all of the income from it going into a special account just for adoption expenses.
  • Create something to sell. If you're good at crafts or baking, you've got a head start on coming up with something people will buy.
  • Have a raffle. Solicit prizes from businesses in your community; you may be surprised how many will donate to benefit an adoption fund.
  • Have a garage sale. You probably won't cover all your expenses, but a few thousand dollars can make a good dent!

Ask family members and friends
Family members may be willing to loan you the money. This may be your best option if things move quickly and you need cash fast. You can also ask for cash for your baby fund instead of holiday gifts. Some organizations will allow friends and relatives to make tax-deductible donations to an account designated for your adoption expenses. You can even set up a website with a button for friends to donate through PayPal.

Turn to your social network
Your church, social or special interest groups can conduct fundraisers for you. Their reach may be greater than yours on your own.

Look for financial assistance
There are many sources of financial help for adoption costs. Some will support the initial costs. Others will reimburse you for part (or all) of what you've spent.

  • Adoption loans and grants from private agencies or nonprofit groups
  • Employer benefits, often offered alongside maternity and paternity benefits
  • Medical insurance
  • Adoption tax credits, both federal and state
  • Military adoption credit for active duty personnel
  • State subsidies for adopting a special needs child through your local foster care system. “Special needs” includes children with significant developmental or medical issues, but it may also include children who are simply older, in a minority group or siblings being placed together.

Affording adoption may be easier than you think. Educate yourself about adoption costs, plan carefully, and create a budget to include the expenses you know you'll face. Whether you use your community and government resources, or just get creative about raising money, you'll find there are ways you can afford to adopt!

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