Adoption: Financial Considerations

The average cost of an adoption in the United States is $10,000 to $20,000.  Some do cost much more and some cost less.  The cost of the adoption will be influenced by the agency you work with, your state laws, whether your adoption is local or international, and the age of the child you are adopting.

Making the decision to adopt is a big one.  Some couples choose to adopt because they are experiencing infertility and adoption is their only chance to start a family, others are looking to add to their existing family and either can’t or don’t want to have more children of their own, while other couples choose adoption because they feel a need to help children.  No matter what brings you to the decision to adopt it is a good option for starting or growing your family.

Due to the expense of adoption many families must consider all their options in terms of financing. Most families don’t have the funds necessary just sitting in a bank account some where!  Here in the United States there are many avenues a family can go down in order to get assistance with the financial burdens of adoption.  I encourage you to talk to an adoption planner or counselor if you are planning an adoption to figure out what financial assistance may be available to you.

Here are a few of the assistance programs commonly available:

  • Employee Benefits: Many employers now offer adoption assistance as part of their employee benefits package.  Review your benefits package and talk with your manager or human resources representative to find out more about what is available, who is eligible, and what you have to do to take advantage of this benefit.
  • Federal Tax Credit: There is a tax credit of up to $10,000 available under the United States federal tax law if you make under $190,000.  Contact the IRS or a tax accountant to find out more about this credit.
  • State Tax Credit: Many states also offer a tax credit.  Contact your local tax office or a tax accountant to find out if your state offers a tax credit.
  • Military Benefits: In most cases the US Military will reimburse up to $2000 for adoption expenses for active duty military personnel.  If you are in the military talk with your Commanding Officer about your eligibility.
  • Dependency Exemption and Child Tax Credit: These are not specific adoption benefits, however, for parents trying to figure out the finances of adoption the available dependency exemptions and child tax credits at both the federal and state levels may give you the added money you are looking for.
  • Adoption Loans: Many large insurance companies and financial institutions now offer adoption loans.  These can be great ways to come up with the money necessary to finalize the adoption and can then be paid off with tax benefits or employer benefits you receive after the adoption.
  • Private Grants: Some organizations offer private grants for families seeking to adopt, particularly those more socio-economically challenged families.  To find out more about available private grants contact the National Adoption Foundation at 203-791-3811.

Considering the financial burden of adoption can be overwhelming for some families.  Knowing all the financial assistance available to you can make going down the road to adoption a little easier.  Talk with your adoption counselor, a local adoption agency, or a financial planner to determine what assistance if available to you and how you can take advantage of it.

Did you adopt?  How did you come up with the necessary funds?  What options did you find that you weren’t aware of?

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2 comments on “Adoption: Financial Considerations

  1. Many parents pursuing international adoption are now looking at fundraising to help bring in the necessary money to complete an international adoption. Great fundraisers include garage sales, puzzle fundraisers – where adoptive parents ask donors to “buy” the individual puzzle pieces and fundraising dinners.

    By being creative, you can host an event that is fun for all and that will help cover a large portion of your adoption expenses.

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