After you have completed your home study you will be able to apply for grants and loans. There are several organizations that offer financial assistance to qualified adoptive families to help with adoption expenses.
We cannot endorse or guarantee any of the grants listed but our families have had success with several of these agencies.
Don’t forget about the tax credit! The Tax Credit is available to families who have completed their adoptions, it is currently $13,190 per child. The IRS also provides a $1,000 Tax Credit per qualifying child you have per year. Please consult with your accountant for eligibility and procedure.
APPLYING FOR ADOPTION GRANTS & LOANS
Top Tips For Applying For Adoption Grants & Loans
- Review applicant requirements prior to applying. Most organizations require applicants to have a completed home study, work with a licensed agency, and have U.S. citizenship.
- Most organizations want similar information. You will save tremendous time and effort by typing and saving your answers to application questions. For each application with a question that is similar to one you have already answered, you can then begin with your previous answers instead of always starting from scratch. (See the Information to Prepare section below.)
- Gather all of the documents that need to be copied — tax returns, home study, letters of reference, etc. — and make at least 10-15 copies of each document. When possible make double-sided copies to cut down on bulk and associated postage costs.
- Purchase envelopes large enough to hold your documents (10″ x 13″).
- Create an “Adoption” folder on your computer. Make several sub-folders (e.g., “Grants,” Loans,” etc.) and then make a folder for each individual grant, loan, etc. Save all application files in the corresponding folder. This may seem excessive, but it will save you from a lot of stress down the road.
- Print applications.
- Organize applications in order of due date.
- Check and double-check all application checklists and due dates. Some applications don’t have a due date, but others need to be postmarked by a certain date.
- Check and double-check all application content, too!
- Remember to sign everything and make sure your spouse or partner, if appropriate, does the same.
Information to Prepare
- TESTIMONIES AND STATEMENT OF FAITH: Many foundations are religious-based and require the adoptive couple’s testimonies and statement of faith.
- TAX RETURNS: Almost all of the organizations request copies of your tax returns from the previous 2 years (just the first two pages in most cases). It’s a good idea to keep multiple copies easily accessible.
- HOME STUDY: All organizations will want a copy of your home study. Make double-sided copies of your home study to cut the bulk and save postage costs.
- PICTURES: Some organizations ask for a picture of your family and of the child you are adopting, when possible. It’s a good idea to have good photos on quality photo paper on-hand when you need them rather than having to scrounge and dig through outdated photos to find a suitable picture.
- PERSONAL FAMILY BUDGET/MONTHLY CASH FLOW: You will need to make sure you have a working and current family budget. Use a spreadsheet program like Excel so you can easily print one every time an application asks for cash flow. (NOTE: A Child Waits Foundation will only accept applications on its forms. Most other places do not care if the information is on their form as long as the information requested is provided). Organizations want to see a detailed list of all your debts and assets and then a calculation of net worth.
- MOTIVATION TO ADOPT: Most organizations will ask for a statement explaining your desire to adopt in general. In some instances they may request your reasons to adopt “this particular child” (for example, when adopting a special needs or waiting child).
- Make a list of people you might want to ask and who know your character well. Who has served an important role in your life? Who would write a quality letter for you? Who has an occupation/role that would weigh heavy in the mind of the application reviewer?
- Ask the appropriate individuals on your list if they would be willing to write a letter and make sure to give them guidance.
- Some foundations ask for specific things that may require a unique letter. There’s no getting around it. However, if you can give your recommendation writers a short list of the things that need to be mentioned in the letter they can write a generic letter addressing all areas. It could be addressed “To Whom It May Concern:” so you can copy it multiple times and won’t have to keep asking them to crank out a letter every time you fill out a new application.
- LETTERS OF REFERENCE: You will also need letters of reference from trusted sources, such as:
- Your clergy
- Co-worker or employer
- Small group leader
These tips come from Cherri Walrod, the Founder of Resources4Adoption. Resources4Adoption maintains a list of active adoption grants and loans and provides it for free to families who are looking for ways to afford their adoption.
3 TYPES OF GRANTS
Adoption grants are basically “free” money for your adoption. But free doesn’t mean they come without work. You just THOUGHT you were done with all that adoption paperwork.
The first key is to understand the types of grants that are available to adoptive families: direct, fundraising and matching.
Direct grants are the most desired, but also the most difficult to get. Direct grant organizations, like Show Hope, review applicants and award money outright. The money is never paid directly to families, but is paid to your adoption agency or attorney.
Of course these grants are very sought after and have limited funding based on their own fundraising. Other examples include Gift of Adoption and A Child Waits.
Fundraising grants give you an account with a non-profit grant organization to which people can donate. This provides your friends and family with the added benefit of a tax deduction when they give to your adoption fund.
These are the easiest grants to qualify for since the grant organization is not giving you money out of their pocket. I tell every adoptive family that they need to apply for these types of grants. It’s a no-brainer.
I guarantee at least a few people are going to want to donate toward your adoption, why not give them the tax break as well?
It is common for fundraising grant organizations to charge a small administrative. Ten percent seems to be the norm. Like direct grants, the money goes to your agency, not you.
Examples include Lifesong for Orphans and His Kids Too!
Matching grants are basically a combination of direct and fundraising. The grant organization allows you to fundraise and provide the tax benefit to your donors. Then they match a certain dollar amount of donations received.
They will often provide you with sample fundraising letters, or you can find some on other parents blogs. Lifesong for Orphans is one matching grant organization.
You may dread the thought of more paperwork. Or like me, you might think that your family makes too much money to qualify.
Sadly, I wish I had spent more time and applied for more grants. I was quite lackadaisical about it. We did have a fundraising grant and I applied for one direct grant which we did not receive.
The beauty of the application process is that most organizations want the same information. So gather it up, grab a cup of coffee and your computer and you can apply for multiple grants without too much additional work.
Article written by Julie Gumm
Her new book “YOU CAN ADOPT WITHOUT DEBT” is now available on Amazon.com!
National Adoption Foundation
$1000.00-$1500.00 Award quarterly
Norman Goldberg 1.845.803.4837
A Child Waits
$1000.00 – $10,000 awarded quarterly
Attn: Raymona Griffins
Fifth Third Adoption Financing
0% $10,000 secured credit card
Sara Harding 1.812.774.4131
Oxford Adoption Foundation
up to $5000.00 0% interest loans
Jamie Knight 1.239.430.6240
Pathways For Little Feet
up to 20,000 0% interest loans
Heath Pressley 713.860.4930
The DOMOI Foundation promotes international adoptions, providing interest-free loans and financial assistance to adults ready and committed to adopt.
Eric Hall (650) 969-1980
Jacob Free Loan Foundation
Provides interest-free loans of up to $5000 to assist with adoption expenses.
Photos of orphans, inside orphanage in Kyiv, Ukraine.