Often one of the largest obstacles for families who are considering international adoption is the cost. At OFY we understand that funding an adoption, especially an international adoption, is very expensive. While many individuals and couples have the desire, skills and resources to care for a child, the initial costs keep them from adopting. Although the expenses can seem overwhelming, we are committed to helping families explore options to make adoption more affordable. Fortunately, there are some funding sources available to help with the cost of adoption.
Beginning the adoption experience with a realistic expectation about the costs of adoption and what is available in the way of assistance is an important first step. We recommend that couples pursuing adoption take some time to research different grants or adoption loan programs to help fund their adoption. Through our research of funding sources listed on the internet, we have discovered that all adoption grant organizations have eligibility criteria. Most require that families adopt through a licensed agency, many require that the agency be a non-profit and often they require that the agency be Hague Accredited. (OFY meets all three requirements). There are some grant organizations that accept applications from single applicants, but there are more that prefer a married couple. Adoption grants are based on a wide variety of criteria.
Eligibility for grants may be based on criteria including such things as:
• Where you live
• Where you are adopting from (China, Africa, Ukraine etc.)
• Your religious affiliation
• Characteristics of the child you are adopting. (i.e. older child or child with special needs)
• Where you work
• Your financial need
The amount of an adoption grant will vary, but awards often fall in the $2,000 to $4,000 range. One of the most important things to keep in mind as you choose grants to apply for is the sheer volume of applications that these foundations and organizations receive every year. Read the applications completely for deadlines, fees and eligibility. Some grants are awarded annually and others monthly. Be realistic as you read through the information provided by each organization. Apply only to those where you really meet all of the eligibility criteria so your valuable time isn’t wasted completing applications for organizations that won’t consider you.
Many employers provide benefits for their employees who adopt. These may include leave when a child arrives in the home, reimbursement of adoption expenses, or assistance with adoption information and referral services. Contact your employer’s human resources department to inquire about available benefits. For help asking your employer for this benefit, visit: www.davethomasfoundation.org.
The time you dedicate to research may end up being an important investment in both your adoption and your financial future. The following are a few resources that we can offer to begin to help families through this process.
• Gift of Adoption Fund: This program offers grants from $1,000 to $7,500 and applicants must be U.S. citizens, demonstrate financial need and have an approved homestudy by a Hague Accredited adoption agency.
• Lifesong for Orphans: This program provides grant-matching options for parents, interest-free loans, or fundraising service projects.
• Brittany’s Hope: This foundation is a nonprofit that aids in funding international adoptions of children with special needs through grant matching.
• Show Hope: This organization provides grants to those whose goal is to meet the needs of orphans around the world.
To view a list of grants, loans, credits, and fundraising ideas, visit the Financial Resources section at www.resources4adoption.com. This section explains each option, suggests websites to get started, and offers a helpful, easy-to-read financial chart to see all options at a glance and helps you to compare.
Adoption grant information changes constantly. As we research what is available, OFY will continue to post information in our blogs and on Face Book to keep you up to date on what we find. We will also begin to compile a resource page to further assist families with ideas that can make financing adoption a reality. If you are aware of any grant opportunities available for adoption and want to provide us with additional information to add to our resource list please call us. We would love to hear from you!