How Can I Afford to Adopt a Child?
There are several ways to offset the cost of adopting a child. Whether you adopt an infant or you adopt from public foster care, assistance is available to help families like yours afford the cost of adoption. We’ve outlined some of the ways to make adoption more affordable. Check them out!
1. Choose an Adoption Agency with Sliding Scale Fees
Adoption agency fees vary widely. Adoption agencies with sliding scale fees charge families based on their income. Choosing an adoption agency with sliding scale fees helps ensure you’re not paying more than you can afford in total adoption placement fees.
2. Adoption Assistance Programs Through Your Employer
Does your employer offer adoption assistance? You might be surprised. Many employers offer assistance to adoptive families. Here are some examples of adoption-friendly workplaces who are helping their employers afford the cost of adoption:
- NVIDIA covers 100% of adoption-related expenses to qualified employees
- American Express recently announced a $35,000 stipend for parents who choose to adopt
- Ferring Pharmaceuticals provides up to $25,000 in reimbursements for families adopting children
- Barilla America provides $16,000 in reimbursements to adoptive parents.
- Citizens Bank provides up to $23,400 toward eligible adoption expenses and fees to its employees.
- Abbott provides up to $20,000 for eligible expenses related to the adoption of a child.
- Hasbro, Inc reimburses up to $15,000 of eligible adoption-related expenses per child, as well as offsetting the costs of bringing a foster child into the home at up to $1,500 per child for foster parents.
- Active-duty US Military Service Members are also eligible to receive $2,000 in reimbursement for adoption expenses.
In addition to offering generous reimbursement packages that help offset the costs of adopting a child, many companies offer paid parental leave to help new adoptive families bond. The law firm Latham & Watkins, LLP offers at least 22 weeks of paid leave to adoptive parents. Like paid maternity leave packages, parental leave packages for adoptive families are becoming more common.
Read more about the most adoption-friendly workplaces in the United States.
To find out if your employer offers adoption assistance, contact your benefits department.
3. Adoption Loans
Adoption have become a popular way to offset or cover the cost of adoption. Despite being financially secure, some families find the upfront cost of adopting is too high. Here is how many families are borrowing money to finance an adoption:
- Home equity loans: Some families choose to open a home equity loan in order to finance an adoption. This option provides access to a low-interest line of credit with tax-deductible interest.
- Personal Loans: There are many companies that offer fixed-interest loans for the purpose of adoption. Some families select this option in order to avoid payments from becoming more expensive than anticipated.
- Credit Cards: While most financial planners advise against paying for large purchases with credit cards, some families who qualify for reimbursements through their employers choose to pay for adoption-related expenses with a credit card because they know they will be able to quickly pay off the balance.
4. The Adoption Tax Credit
The 2018 Adoption Tax Credit is $13,810 per child. In order to be eligible for the tax credit, you must have a federal tax liability, and you have 5 years to use the full amount of the credit. There are limitations on gross income for claiming the full amount of the Adoption Tax Credit, so it is important to discuss filing for this credit with your tax professional.
5. Crowdfunding an Adoption
More families are turning to fundraising platforms like GoFundMe to raise money to finance their adoption plans. While this method of peer-to-peer fundraising (known as “crowdfunding”) is appealing and often generates substantial income for hopeful adoptive parents, we encourage parents to be thoughtful about this approach.
This type of fundraising can expose very personal details of a child’s life, asking donors to provide financial support based on trauma or loss the child experienced before they found a family. While this type of adoption funding is well-intentioned, we encourage families considering crowdfunding platforms to think about how they will discuss these fundraisers with their child as they grow older. If you decide to move forward with adoption crowdfunding to finance your adoption, we encourage you to be mindful of the information you share online about your adoption plan, your agency and the child you plan to adopt.
6. Subsidies from Local Government Agencies
If you adopt a child with special needs from foster care, you may be eligible to receive a subsidy to help offset the costs of providing long term care for your child. The amount of your adoption subsidy will vary depending on the jurisdiction you adopt from and the needs of your child. Adoption subsidies are intended to ensure costs of caring for special needs children are not an undue burned on adoptive families and that your adopted child is able to receive the care he or she needs. If you decide to adopt a child from foster care, your adoption agency or social worker can help you navigate the process of receiving an adoption subsidy.
Need more information about the cost of adoption? Contact us today!