Finances are often the largest obstacle for families when considering international adoption. Although the expenses can seem overwhelming, we have seen God provide financially countless times for families who faithfully seek to provide a loving home for one of His orphaned children.
It is important to begin the adoption experience with realistic expectations of the costs involved. We have highlighted many ideas that can help make financing your adoption a reality. We invite you to speak with an Inquiry Coordinator regarding any questions you may have about funding your adoption.
The following list provides other resources to investigate that may help fund an adoption:
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 human resources department to inquire about available benefits.
For help asking your employer for this benefit, visit: http://www.davethomasfoundation.org. Also read Elizabeth Mair’s article “How to Lobby Your Employer for Adoption Benefits”.
The federal government Adoption Tax Credit offsets qualified adoption expenses making adoption possible for some families who could otherwise not afford it. This credit can be as much as $13,170. Contact your tax advisor or www.irs.gov for complete details.
Several states have also enacted tax credits for adoptive families. Some are restricted to those adopting from the state’s public system. Contact your state adoption unit for more information.
Children with special needs may qualify for an adoption subsidy to help parents pay for ongoing treatments. Adoption subsidy agreements must be negotiated with the placing agency before the child’s adoption is finalized. More information is available from the North American Council on Adoptable Children at http://www.nacac.org/adoptionsubsidy/adoptionsubsidy.html.
Active-duty personnel are reimbursed for one-time adoption costs up to $2,000 per child, whether adopting an infant, a waiting child, or a child from abroad.
Adoption Grants and Loans
A number of organizations offer adoption grants and/or low-cost loans. Some are limited to children with special characteristics, while others are available to any prospective parents who meet the organization’s criteria.
Brittany’s Hope facilitates adoption of special needs, older, and sibling children by providing financial grants to qualifying families; actively seeks out healthy and happy families who can offer love and support to special needs children; raises public awareness of the need for healthy homes for special needs, older, and sibling children; and raises public awareness of the unique joys of parenting a special child. For more info visit http://www.brittanyshope.org.
A Child Waits Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable foundation that has grants and low interest loans available to families who are adopting internationally. For more information or to apply, call (866) 999-2445 or visit http://www.achildwaits.org.
Gift of Adoption Fund is the largest organization devoted to helping parents by reducing the prohibitive costs of adoption. Founded in 1996, Gift of Adoption awards grants to provide the last funds needed to complete the adoption process. Grants of up to $7,500 are awarded monthly to qualified applicants to remove prohibitive financial barriers and make possible the adoptions of some of the most vulnerable children in the U.S. and around the world. Eight gifts on average are awarded each month to qualified applicants based on demonstrated financial need, situational hardship, and home study approval. To apply for a grant, visit http://www.giftofadoption.org.
Global Orphan Outreach exists to make it possible for families to adopt with the aid of grants. Global Orphan Outreach procures and submits grant applications on behalf of the prospective adoptive parents. This service is available for any family adopting internationally or domestically. For more information visit www.globalorphanoutreach.com.
HelpUsAdopt.org is a financial assistance grant program that provides qualified couples and individuals with grants of up to $15,000 toward their adoption expenses. Grants will be awarded twice a year. For information visit www.helpusadopt.org.
Parenthood for Me provides emotional support, educational tools, and financial support to those adopting. They aim to ease some of the financial burden bestowed on people who desperately want to be parents. They offer grants for adoption as well as infertility treatments. For more information visit www.parenthoodforme.org.
Pathways for Little Feet is a not-for-profit organization that helps families adopt children through financial assistance. The organization’s Perpetual Family Fund provides no-interest loans to families who desire to adopt but find the initial costs prohibitive. As loans are repaid, new families receive them, allowing child after child to join loving families. For additional information about how this organization helps families in need of resources, visit www.pathwaysforlittlefeet.org.
Tomorrow Is a Gift is a private, adoption resource website created by Barbara Burke, an adoptive parent to seven children. Burke has compiled an extensive list for prospective adoptive parents researching adoption grants and affording adoption. Visit the Burkes’ website at www.adoptionfamily.org and click on “Adoption Grants” on the homepage.
Lifesong for Orphans helps to remove the financial barriers to adoption through matching grants and interest-free loans. Matching grants are an innovative tool that encourages the adopting couple’s church family to financially and prayerfully support the adoption. Interest-free loans help overcome the initial “cash flow crunch” of adoption expenses by utilizing the federal tax credit. The loan can be repaid in manageable monthly or annual payments. Learn more at www.lifesongfororphans.org.
Sea of Faces provides financial assistance grants to Christian couples adopting internationally. Grants are awarded at the end of every calendar quarter pending available funds. A $10 tax-deductible donation is requested to download the application. For initial qualification criteria and more information, visit www.seaoffaces.org.
Show Hope awards financial grants to qualifying Christian families already in the process of adopting to help reduce the financial burden associated with adoption. For more information on the grant application process, visit www.showhope.org.
Read “How to Make Adoption an Affordable Option,” a comprehensive booklet from the National Endowment for Financial Education. You can also order the booklet from the Consumer Information Center (Item #508-F): 888-878-3256.
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 even offers a helpful, easy-to-read financial chart to see all options at a glance and compare. The site also offers application tips, a coaching service to help ease the confusion of the loan and grant application process, and an insightful blog.
PNC Bank is an “adoption friendly” bank. The bank assists families with getting their finances organized and offers adoption loans. Contact your local branch to see how the bank can assist you.
For more granting organizations, search the web for “adoption grants,” but be wary of demands for application or other fees.
Special Note: AGCI Grants are not available for expense reimbursement, travel, or any other third party/miscellaneous expenditure related to the adoption process.
If you meet these requirements, you may start your grant application process by filling out the Grant Consideration Form.
All completed application materials must be returned by mail and email to:
All God’s Children International
attn: Grant Coordinator
3308 NE Peerless Place
Portland, OR 97232
A TO Z FUNDRAISING
Art Sales – This one is perfect for kids; have kids produce great works of art and have a show. Family and friends buy back their budding artists’ masterpieces.
Art – Ask friends who are artists or photographers to donate their work, or approach local artists. Stage an exhibition and charge entrance fee and commission.
Ask Everyone You Meet – Tell them your story and let them know how they can get involved.
Auctions of All Kinds –
• Auction off a prime parking space at work with permission from the boss.
• Auction off a half or whole day off from work.
• Auction a picnic lunch.
• Auction desserts, homemade dinners, local artwork, or other creative and fun items.
Babysit – Work with your church youth group to provide a “date night” where you and the teens provide babysitting while the parents go out to dinner.
No-Bake Sale – Co-workers pay so they do not have to bake goodies.
Book Sale – Dust those bookshelves and have a book sale.
Boss for the Day – Allow people to bid on being boss for a day – high bid wins.
Bake Sale – Hold a Friday bake sale so employees have treats for the weekend. Make sure items are wrapped attractively so they could be given as gifts.
Bingo – Hold a one-off evening or regular morning sessions.
Brown Bag Lunch Day – Everyone brings their lunch and donates the money they would have spent for lunch to your adoption fund.
Beary Thoughtful, LLC. – Beary Thoughtful Bears design Custom Teddy Bears that are excellent fundraisers for adoption supporters, sport leagues, and other organizations (866-842-3277).
Carnival Fundraiser – Start your fundraiser by contacting local businesses and asking them to 1) donate prizes or the money to purchase them or 2) pledge to match a percentage or your proceeds. (For example, ask a merchant to donate a new bicycle or tricycle and raffle it off. Post a “Donated by” sign near the prize.)
• Hold a “carnival” with games like a dunk tank, fish pond, throwing rings over bottles, etc.
• Hold a hula-hoop-a-thon and have participants get pledges for the number of seconds or minutes they can hula before the hoop falls.
• Have a balloon pop.
• Fill a large jar with jelly beans (you’ll need to count them) and let attendees guess the number.
• Sell canned soft drinks at your event. (You can also recycle the aluminum from empty cans.)
• Have several donation jars on hand for attendees who don’t want to “play” but may still donate.
Carpool – For fun and profit.
Car Wash – In your neighborhood.
Car Window Washes – Your family can wash car windows at fast-food restaurant drive-through windows.
Change Jar – Keep a change jar in high traffic areas. All change is donated to your fundraising totals.
Cook Book Sale – A great addition to a bake sale! Your friends “donate” their secret family recipes.
Christmas Trees/Wreath – Ask a local retailer to donate $1 for every tree and wreath sold.
Christmas Tidings – Make fresh evergreen wreaths to sell adorned with festive holiday bows, berries, and pine cones.
Cake Drawing Every Hour – Bake different cakes, exchange tickets for a donation, and then raffle off the cakes.
Host a Dance Party – Sock hop, beach party, disco, square dance, senior citizens dance, etc.
Dress Down Day – Employees donate a small fee to be allowed to “dress down” at work (approved by the boss).
Dinner – Hold a dinner. Get a hall donated, sell tickets, and get some entertainment donated.
Drives and Collections – Aluminum can and glass bottle drives, plastic containers, recyclable paper, phones, precious (and not-so-precious) metals, inkjet cartridges, coupon collections.
Email – Contact all your friends and get them involved.
Expert Talks – Ask people to donate their time and expertise.
Flowers and Plants – Sell corsages, your donations will blossom. Sell your extra houseplants or bouquets from your garden.
Film Evening – Charge an entrance fee to an evening re-creation of vintage cinema by showing classic films and musicals.
Fancy Dress Party – Pay and win prizes.
Gift Wrapping – During the holidays (or Mother’s Day), you can set up a booth at a local mall or in a store.
Guess the Number or Weight – Jars of jelly beans, pennies, dried beans, etc. Prize goes to the closest guess.
Garage Sales – Ask your family, friends, and church family to clean out their attics, garages, and basements and bring items for a garage sale.
Games – Twister, Jenga, Team Trivial Pursuit. Pay to enter, donated prizes.
Garden Party – Sell tickets or invite guests to make a donation.
Gardening – Offer your gardening services to friends and family.
Home Scents Candle Company – Simple to sell premium fragranced, eco-friendly soy candles. Designed specifically for adoption fundraising, easy to handle, and no breakage. 500 candles sold = $2,800 profit raised. Find out more at www.homescentscandlecompany.com.
Human Jukebox – Set up a decorated cardboard box with someone that sings selected songs outside of a supermarket (after receiving permission) and ask for a donation for each song that is requested.
Handyman for a Day – Charge a fee to shovel snow, rake leaves, or mow a friend’s lawn to help your adoption.
Inkjet Cartridge Sale – An easy way to raise funds on an ongoing basis is with an inkjet cartridge fundraiser.
International Themed Evening – A buffet dinner, with each friend bringing a dish from a different culture.
Ironing – Offer your ironing services.
Jail and Bail – Pre-arranged; for a donation, employees are arrested and for an additional donation can post their own bail, or employees have a bounty placed on their head, arrested, and set free when entire bounty is raised.
Join in with an Existing Event – At a fun fair or school fete (for example) in your community, run a stall or activity.
Jewelry Making – Buy your own beads and sell at a craft market.
Justgiving – Set up your own online sponsorship page at www.justgiving.com.
Knitting – Sell scarves, hats, ponchos, etc.
Lawn Service – After mowing your lawn, mow someone else’s too.
Meals (Spaghetti Dinner, Pancake Breakfast, Soup Lunch) – Also a chance to sell cookbooks or candies during event.
Make the Most of Your Talents – Make necklaces, sculptures, or cook food to sell.
Magic Shows – Charge an entrance fee.
Marathon – Get sponsored to run 26.2 miles!
Massage – Charge friends and family.
Mobile Phone Recycle – Collect old mobiles.
Murder Mystery Night – Dress the part to make it more fun!
Name Bead Bonanza – Take orders for personalized bracelets, key chains, necklaces, etc. for a donation.
October Festival – Celebrate autumn and the fall bounty by raising funds. Have pumpkins, straw bales, dried corn stalks, colorful gourds, and bright flowers for your decor. Consider the following activities: a dance, pumpkin carving contest, apple bobbing, face painting, petting zoo, pony rides, bake sale, and a scarecrow decorating contest. Charge an admission fee and sell other goods and services at your festival.
Order Taker Fundraiser – Also called pre-sales, brochure sales, or catalog sales. Your adoption supporters are provided a fundraising brochure to show potential supporters and an order form. If your group is selling a single item, volunteers may also have a sample to show. Supporters select products from the brochure and record the order on the order form. Once your members are done, all order forms are tallied and sent to the fundraising company, which ships the products to the contact person for your group fundraiser. Your members and volunteers then deliver the products to your supporters. Depending on your choice, your group can collect funds from their supporters when the order is collected or upon product delivery.
On-line Fundraiser – On-line fundraising is generally handled in one of two ways. In the first, the fundraising company you are working with creates a personalized website for your group. You encourage supporters to purchase products or services from that site and you receive a percentage of sales. The second way is to have a coded link on your organization’s website that will take the visitor to a personalized page on the company’s site. Again, you encourage supporters to make purchases through the coded link and your group receives a percentage of the sales. Your fundraiser could be for a specific time frame or may be ongoing throughout the year.
Pet Service – Love pets? Walk someone’s dog.
Pies – Find which fruit is in season, make and sell your delicious pies.
Pot Luck Lunches at the Workplace – Prepare foods, salads, desserts, etc. and offer to co-workers at a set price.
Personal Donation Letters – Send a letter to family, friends, and church family explaining your needs, your goals, and offering different levels of donations.
Quilts – Sell quilt squares made by adoptive families in your area. The squares can be sold in honor of the children and families united by adoption.
Quarter Canister Campaign – Old film canisters hold $7 worth of quarters.
Romance – Cater a romantic dinner for two; highest donation wins the dinner.
Stay at Home Tea – On Valentine’s Day donate $1 for the pleasure of having your cup of tea at home.
Smile Day Give-Away – Each time you catch someone at your office smiling, they can donate a designated amount to your adoption. Give the smiling donor a smiley face sticker or button to wear.
Turkey Drawing – Offer a dollar to win your Thanksgiving/holiday turkey.
Taxi – Drive your friends around at a fee.
Talent Contest – Charge admission.
Tea Mornings – Put the kettle on and get baking. Entertain guests with raffles and auctions.
Ten Pin Bowling – Bowling alleys sometimes have special rates.
Treasure Hunt – Entry fee and donated prizes.
Unique Boutique – Collect or make unique one-of-a kind items for raising funds via a silent or live auction.
Video Sale – How many times can you watch Forrest Gump?
White Elephant Sales and Silent Auctions – Ask businesses to donate close-out merchandise.
Xylophone Concert – Hold a music concert or recital. Pass refreshments and ask for donations, or sell tickets in advance.
X-Box Tournament – Have a night where you charge people to come and play your favorite video games like Guitar Hero or Rock Band!
Yard Sale – Hold the ultimate yard sale.
Zzzz – Sleep when all the fundraising ends!