When you are thinking about welcoming a child into your life through adoption, many questions come to mind. Brains are sometimes flooded with doubt and interrogations like, “Am I prepared to be a parent?” or “Do I have all the financial resources to give my child the life they deserve?” While it can be easy to get caught up in this stage of cross examination, we are here to assure you this is totally normal. This uncertainty may be hard to navigate, but there are many resources available. All potential parents must consider the average cost of adoption – and recognize it as a lifelong decision that will continue to impact your finances long after. While it is important to ensure you are in the best financial standing in order to adopt a child, most would agree that the cost associated with adoption is priceless.
Financial Options To Adopt
Before going into the adoption process, it is important to make sure that you are in good financial standing. Typical signs of strong financial health include a steady flow of income, rare changes in expenses, strong returns on investments, and a cash balance that is growing and is on track to continue to grow. A good indicator of this is if you have a decent credit score and history. Credit determines many aspects of your financial life – there are certain criteria you must meet to have the credit score to buy a house if you’re looking to move or settle down before you adopt, or be eligible for a loan, which can directly impact your ability to adopt a child if this is your main funding source. There are many ways to adopt a child and all the options vary in terms of cost and overall household income. The cost of domestic adoption ranges from $20,000 to $45,000. This cost is typically dependent on where you live and the agency or attorney that you choose. Options to cover this cost can be through using savings, taking out a loan, or through utilizing adoption grants.
Build your Savings
The task of financing an adoption can feel extremely heavy at times due to how quickly it can add up. Application fees, legal fees, and birth mother expenses are all costs to consider that can sometimes be overlooked. It is recommended that a couple builds up their savings before the adoption process to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Some couples pay for their adoption through saving alone, while other couples use a combination of methods to achieve this. A savings can be built through techniques like budgeting and watching your spending. This means not indulging in financial wants and desires, like choosing to stay in instead of eating out. Another way to generate more income in savings is through picking up a side hustle, or by hosting a fundraiser to raise money for the adoption.
Apply For Grants
There are multiple adoption grants and programs that couples can apply for to obtain financial assistance. Grants are often more sought after than adoption loans because they have no interest or personal cost to the obtainer. While the application process for adoption grants can be time consuming, it is worth a shot given they do not need to be paid back at all. However, just because a couple applies for a grant does not mean that they will receive it. Oftentimes, grants are funded through non profit organizations who may have budget restrictions, guiding them to be picky and to choose the best potential candidates for the money. However, there are a wide variety of grants available based on certain criteria such as need, income, demographics, and more which can help boost your chances of getting approved.
Take Out a Loan
A loan is also an option for funding an adoption. The downfall to this is that the loan will need to be paid back, usually with interest. More standard traditional loans have an interest rate ranging from 5-20% of the amount borrowed. However, some interest-free adoption loans are now on the market allowing the couple to pay the amount borrowed back over time. Adoption loan programs often access a consumer’s credit, assets, liabilities, savings, and more to determine which type of loan the person is qualified for. These considerations control the terms of the loan like the amount you’re approved for, the interest rate, and the length of the loan. The benefit of a loan is that it often takes less time to receive than a grant and it is more widely accessible. In some cases, cash for the loan can be granted immediately to the consumer.
Although the pathway to finance an adoption is typically not an easy one, it is more than worth the sometimes bumpy trek. Whatever route a couple decides to pursue is all a matter of choice, one they decide based on what is best for them and their finances. While the choice to adopt will impact all aspects of a couple’s life, the benefits often outweigh the doubts, making it worthwhile for everyone involved in the end.