Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
We encounter so many people who say, “I’d adopt, but I can’t afford it. It costs too much.” And they’re right! Why does it cost so much and how can we walk out in obedience God’s call to adopt regardless of our financial situation?
There are several reasons why adoption is expensive. When we embark on an adoption adventure the first thing we encounter is the “paperwork mountain.” Whether we adopt domestically or internationally, every adoption requires: a Home Study prepared by a licensed social worker (one of the most expensive parts), fingerprinting for criminal background checks, among other documents. International adoption requires fingerprinting and documents (I-600 for non Hague) through Homeland Security, physicals, marriage licenses, birth certificates, etc. all needing to be notarized, and often county certified, and apostilled by the Dept. of State (county seals and apostilles cost a small fee each). Hague process adoptions are more complicated as they include even more paperwork to process. Either way, if an adoption agency is used there are agency fees. If it’s a domestic infant adoption there may be medical fees for the birth mom. International adoption requires travel expenses (air fare, lodging, food, transportation, translation fees, facilitator fees, passports,etc.). It’s a lot and it can seem overwhelming.
Adoption is an adventure with lots of ups and downs, especially international adoption. We must remember, if God is for us who can be against us? I believe spiritual warfare is the main reason adoption seems impossible. The last thing the enemy wants is for children to be rescued from darkness and hopelessness and placed in loving, safe (especially Christian) homes where they will have a hope and a future.
So if adoption has been on your heart, but you think you just can’t afford it, first thing’s first – pray, and keep praying. Then, do what you can do: start saving and consider some of the following ideas, then step out in faith and let God do what only He can do!
Adoption Grands & No Interest Loans: There are Christian ministries offering grants and loans to adoptive families. Visit lifesongfororphans.org and Steven Curtis Chapman’s ministry showhope.org. The local Church can also step in here and help families with adoption expenses.
Adoption Tax Credit from the IRS: visit irs.gov and search adoption tax credit for more details. Another informative website on adoption costs, tax credits, and grants is childwelfare.gov which brings you to the Child Welfare Information Gateway. Just click on Search A-Z, click on C, and choose “cost of adopting.”
Creative Fundraising Ideas: Brainstorm for ideas that work for your family and community. Adoptive families can do yard sales, bake sales, make and sell items, etc. Christine Reed an adoptive mom from California features fundraising ideas her family has used for several adoptions on her blog smilesandtrials.blogspot.com. Christine’s family has made and sold hand made items such as jewelry, hats, cook books, car decals, etc. Plus her blog is very inspiring for adoptive families.
Special Needs Adoption Grants: Reese’s Rainbow is an organization bringing awareness to the needs of special needs children around the world. Visit their website to see pictures and bios of waiting children. Each child has a grant that people can donate to which helps with that child’s adoption expenses. Consider adopting a child through Reese’s Rainbow or make a donation to a specific child’s fund to help another family adopt. Visit reesesrainbow.org
Foster Care Adoption: Probably the most affordable way to adopt is through the foster care system. There are minimal expenses when adopting through the foster care system because much of the paperwork is done when a family goes through the process of becoming certified foster parents. It doesn’t cost a foster family anything to get certified. Contact the local foster care agency in your area or, if you live in upstate NY, contact one of the agencies listed on this site.
When God calls us to adopt, we must step out in faith, and He will do the rest. Adoption is God’s heart – He adopted us! The Lord will accomplish His purposes. It’s really not that we can’t afford to adopt…we can’t afford NOT to!