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Making International Adoption More Affordable

by McKenna on February 2, 2009
category: Adoption,Finances

1035531_holding_earth_1.jpg Last week, I highlighted the cost of international adoptions {specific to our adoption}.  The cost of adoption is one of the biggest deterrents for folks in taking this avenue  to expanding their family.  It was certainly one of our biggest discussions before we decided to dive in to our adoption.  This week, I would love to share with you some ways to make international adoption more affordable!

Employer Reimbursement

  • Check with your employer and see if they offer any reimbursements of adoption costs.  Some employers reimburse up to $6,000 or more per child adopted of international adoption expenses! If your employer doesn’t offer a reimbursement, why not ask if the company will consider adding this benefit for their employees.  Here’s a GREAT article on how you can approach your employer about reimbursing adoption expenses.

Federal Income Tax Credit

  • The United States offers almost $12,000 right now of tax credit to families who adopt internationally.  This is a big deal and most people don’t even know about it!  I don’t want to go on confusing everyone, so instead of trying to talk “taxes,” I’ll direct you to the IRS’s explanation!  ;) I need to ask my accountant friend if she can write a book explaining this stuff in layman’s terms!!  It seriously makes my head hurt…but it makes me happy that we have another avenue to help with the adoption expenses!


  • Adoption grants are highly competitive and sadly, there just isn’t very much money floating around, but grants are definitely worth applying for!  We surprisingly received a $500 adoption grant from a generous family who started a small memorial fund which gives adoption grants in honor of their son they lost to cancer.  By researching and googling and asking around, you never know what you mind find!


  • A little effort to have some fund raising events can go a long way!  We had a very successful garage sale and our friends and family donated an amazing amount of stuff for us to sell.  If you count the piano that was later sold on Craigslist, we raised over $2,000 in one weekend by selling other people’s stuff!  It was an easy way for our loved ones to support us and we had a lot of fun!  Other fund raising ideas are: online raffles, poker night with the pot going to the adoption, home parties {like Beauty Control, Pampered Chef, etc…}, spaghetti dinners at your church, etc…

Get the word out!

  • Making the decision to adopt is a big deal and not everyone understands the enormous costs of adoption.  Nobody wants to come across needy, but unless you are up front about the costs of your adoption, your friends and family may not know that you need their help!  Not everyone is drawn to adopting a child, however most people have a heart for orphans and want to help them in any way they can.  Allow your loved ones to help an orphan by sponsoring your adoption.


  • Maybe you can work overtime one-two hours each week to help with your costs?

Negotiate and Shop around!

  • It never hurts to ask!  Don’t be afraid to negotiate home study costs with your social worker or lodging expenses and taxi rides when you’re traveling in country.  Just about every expense along the adoption path is variable and flexible, so try to get the best deal!  Be sure to shop around.  When we began our home study, I contacted several social workers.  The costs ranged from $800 to $2,500!  We are also planning on only sending one of us on our second trip to save $1,000 in airfare costs.

While I’ll be the first to admit that international adoption is very expensive, it is not impossible!  You may also be surprised at the unsolicited gestures of support you receive from friends and family and even strangers who hear about your adoption!  I have been amazed at how generous people are and even more amazed at the random acts of kindness that have been demonstrated toward our family from people we do not even know as we’ve begun our adoption quest!

Do you have any ideas on how to make adoption more affordable? 

1 Response to Making International Adoption More Affordable

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Marianne
    April 11, 2009 @ 11:05 am

    Hi! I came across your blog when doing a google search on the breakdown of the costs of international adoption. I am encouraged to see how you were able to do it and appreciate you sharing the breakdown of costs. I noticed how you adopted a RR child – congratulations! She is beautiful! I would love to one day adopt a special needs child, particularly one with DS, and came across RR a few months ago. But in the meantime, until the Lord opens the door for us, I will continue to pray that these special children find loving forever families.

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