GO for Adoption Grants


Camie Schuiteman, Family Resources Specialist for MLJ Adoptions, International

Adoptive families, prepared to be encouraged! This is a great time to pursue adoption! There are many grant options available to you. The potential list of grant-giving foundations is the longest I have seen in twelve years. That is good news for those needing funding. There are grants available for domestic, international, and even embryo adoptions. So, let’s dig into what you need to do and know for pursuing adoption grants.

 First, make a list of all the foundations available to you. Criteria may be based upon location, income, current family size, and adoption type being pursued. Realize from the beginning that you will not receive all of them. Two or three grants of a substantial amount can greatly boost your funding efforts. Decide in what order to submit the applications. Take re-application guidelines into consideration. Give yourself time to re-apply if you are not accepted the first time. Some applications request that you be in the final stages of the adoption process. Know the foundation. Give appropriate information based upon the focus of each foundation. Have a clear understanding of their goals and what type of families they are seeking. Your adoption must match their mission statement. Are they faith-based, non-faith-based, fertility specific, focused on special needs …?

When filling out applications, do not let the volume of applications weaken your answers. Know in advance, a properly completed application will require much time. It will be worth it! No one-line answers. For faith-based foundations, spend sufficient time on your statement of faith. Share your heart.  Be specific about the total amount of money needed to complete the adoption. You will most likely be asked to describe your cash flow, details about your family budget, and specifically how you are sacrificing to add to the adoption fund. Once you have satisfactorily written your responses, you can cut and paste for further applications because the work will already be done.

One topic to cover in your answers should be your motivation to adopt. For faith-based foundations, share the importance of your faith family, church involvement, and the importance of nurturing children spiritually. Share what you are doing to prepare for adoption. Reading Karyn Purvis books and being trauma-informed is a must.

Regarding references, follow the same guidelines. Choose those who know you well enough to give deep answers which also reveal your heart for adoption and your faith if applicable. Ask them in advance and give them an estimate of how many applications to which they are agreeing to respond. Remember their efforts when you travel to bring your child home or complete the adoption. They deserve a small, but special, souvenir.

Finally, if you reach a critical situation in funding, do not hesitate to contact foundations who have not responded to your application. Remember, donors are people and hearing your voice and story over the phone may help them to know you better. Describe the situation and ask if the board would consider your application as soon as possible. Donors and foundations have a sincere desire to serve adoptive families. At the same time, they are attempting to make wise choices with the money available. They just may respond positively to your request.   

Finally, be creative! You are not an average family; you are an amazing, adoptive family. You are stepping out in faith and crossing many boundaries to give a forever loving home to a child in need. Make sure your application reflects your “amazingness!” MLJ Adoptions, International, is honored to serve amazing families. Our clients have access to the newest information regarding grants and fundraising. For additional information, contact camie@mljadoptions.com.

Camie serves as MLJ Adoption's Financial Resources Coordinator. She successfully raised over $50,000 for the adoption of her two daughters from Vietnam. Camie is a pastor’s wife, busy mother of five, educator, and advocate for the fatherless.