Affording Adoption Guide

Learn a few tips and tricks about affording your adoption.

Shelley Skuster April 02, 2015

Affording adoption can be daunting for many people, but there are creative and commonsense ways that make affording the process of growing your family through adoption possible. Even though affording adoption may seem impossible for many at this time, knowing all the options available to you opens closed doors and makes affording adoption possible for all types of incomes. Affording adoption comes down to some basic money saving practices as well as putting in the hard work and time to save money.

Read on to discover how affording adoption may not be as impossible as you once thought.

If you’re interested in domestic infant adoption and would like to speak with an adoption professional about your adoption options, click here.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about financing your adoption, click here to learn about fundraising options or click here to learn about your loan options.

Costs to Consider
1. Costs to Consider

There are different costs to consider when it comes to adopting a child through foster care, domestic adoption, or international adoption. While expenses vary depending on what route you choose to grow your family, fees for adopting a child typically include extensive background checks, training, counseling, travel expenses, and post-placement legal fees.

Cut Costs
2. Cut Costs

Get rid of unnecessary spending such as cable costs or the DVR option for your television. When you bring home your child, you won’t have much time for TV anyway!

Do you use all the data you pay for on your smartphone? How about negotiating a less expensive cell phone plan, or even downgrading to a phone that doesn’t require a data plan? Downgrading one of our smartphones saves our family more than $60 each month!

Clean the Closets
3. Clean the Closets

You know those clothes you’ve had for three years – the ones with the tags still on ‘em? Sell them!

List the larger items and furniture online. Some cities have “For Sale” groups on Facebook, otherwise Craigslist may be a good avenue to sell items.

The key is pricing items to sell. A buyer loves a great deal, and you’ll love the extra cash!

Make Sacrifices
4. Make Sacrifices

How often is your family spending money on meals out? It may help to pre-plan meals for the week. Or if you’re feeling ambitious and highly organized, plan meals for the entire month!

You can save money by packing leftovers for lunch rather than dining out with your colleagues. Put your cost savings toward your adoption fund.

Hold a Fundraiser
5. Hold a Fundraiser

From pancake breakfasts to garage sales, even collecting peoples’ electronics or pop cans for the deposit, there are creative ways to hold a fundraiser that’ll give you some extra cash to afford the adoption process. offers an online fundraising platform just for adoption-related causes. Through Adoption Fundraising, you can easily create a fundraiser, invite friends, and accept donations. Check it out at Adoption Fundraising, and learn more about fundraising in this adoption fundraising guide.

You can also check out’s Pinterest board for some great fundraiser ideas!

Image: littleny /

Offer Handiwork
6. Offer Handiwork

If you find yard work or minor repair jobs enjoyable, let your neighborhood know you’re willing to take on the handiwork for a little cash. You may be impressed with how many folks take you up on the offer—especially when they know it’s for a good cause!

Apply for Grants
7. Apply for Grants

Applying for grants can seem like another pile of paperwork as the process typically includes an application. But remember—money you receive from a grant is money you don’t need to pay back!

Author of Adopt Without Debt Julie Gumm recommends people check out: Both Hands Foundation, Gift of Adoption, Lifesong for Orphans, Show Hope, and Reece’s Rainbow Adoption Ministry.

Get a Second Job
9. Get a Second Job

Consider picking up a few hours at a local pizza place making deliveries or becoming a weekend barista at a coffee shop.

Put the money you make from your part-time gig directly into an adoption fund. You may be surprised at how quickly it adds up!

Ask for Help
10. Ask for Help

Talk to members of your church, relatives, and friends, and ask them to help. Can they make cookies for a bake sale or crafts for a fair? Ask them to join your team and walk with you on the journey to grow your family through adoption.

If there’s a way they can donate financially, let them know. Adoption Fundraising is one way you can ask friends and family for help through your own online adoption fundraiser.

It’s not always easy to ask for help, but receiving it is humbling.

Another great place to look for helpful advice is our adoption forums.

Cut Impulsive Spending
11. Cut Impulsive Spending

Do you really need a new blouse or that mid-afternoon pick-me-up at a favorite coffee shop? It’s hard to cut impulsive spending, especially when a good deal grabs your attention. But before you purchase something, ask yourself if you really need it or if that money would be better spent on your future child(ren).

Do it Yourself
12. Do it Yourself

In the age of Pinterest, you can learn how to create just about anything from homemade laundry detergent to beauty products. It’s sometimes cheaper making items yourself than paying for a product.

You can also save money by completing general vehicle maintenance, house-cleaning, and pet grooming instead of paying someone for those services.

Host a Restaurant Fundraiser
13. Host a Restaurant Fundraiser

Many restaurants host charity nights during which a percentage of profits directly benefits an organization or cause. Check out restaurants that give back to their communities (i.e. Red Robin, Chick-Fil-A, Texas Roadhouse, Pizza Ranch, Buffalo Wild Wings), and see if your family can host a fundraiser to put toward the expenses of the adoption process.

Inquire About Employee Benefits
14. Inquire About Employee Benefits

A number employers offer adoption expense reimbursements to their employees. Check with your Human Resources Department to learn if any benefits are available for you, and if your employer doesn’t have a policy, ask them to consider one.

Check out the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption for tips on how to encourage your employer to develop an adoption benefits program.

Tax Credit
15. Tax Credit

Don’t forget to save all of your receipts related to the adoption process. It may help to photocopy receipts from legal expenses or travel-related costs to ensure information is still legible when it comes time to file for the Adoption Tax Credit.

Recommended Resources
16. Recommended Resources

Dave Ramsey—Author of Financial Peace University and host of a nationally-syndicated radio show, The Dave Ramsey Show.

Julie Gumm—Author of Adopt Without Debt.

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Shelley Skuster

Shelley is a former award-winning television journalist who traded in suit coats and red lipstick for a messy bun and yoga pants. She's a freelance writer who stays at home with her three daughters who are all ((gasp)) under the age of three and came to her via adoption and birth. She's the woman behind the blog Shelley Writes, and she can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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