How Do Ordinary Americans Afford Adoption?

2
Nov

aa-tipsMany families have the heart for international adoption, but not all feel they possess the financial wherewithal to adopt internationally. The cost of an international adoption can be prohibitive to some families, but MLJ Adoptions has also seen many ordinary families use simple strategies to afford adoption. It’s our hope that by your family would think through how to implement these strategies as you consider international adoption so that finances aren’t the reason why you choose not to pursue adoption. Here are a few strategies that may work for you!

Careful planning
Understand fully the financial commitment which you are undertaking. Review your fee sheet carefully, paying attention not only to the amounts listed but the timeframes listed. If you are planning on using adoption grants to cover a portion of your expenses, it is important to know that many granting organizations do not allow you to apply for a grant until after your home study process is complete.

Budgeting and Sacrifice
At the outset of your adoption journey, review your income and expenses. Identify any future windfalls which may be coming your way such as a bonus from work or a tax refund. Or perhaps you will identify an opportunity to earn additional income such as a part time job or selling craft items. Carefully review your expenses. Are there places to cut your expenses? Once you’ve reviewed your financial situation, identify the difference between your income and expenses. Start placing this amount in a separate savings account each month to use towards your adoption.

Adoption Tax Credit
The adoption tax credit has helped thousands of American families offset the high cost of adoption since the credit was established in 1997. The maximum adoption tax credit for 2016 will be $13,460. The precise amount of the tax credit depends on the expenses incurred and the amount of taxes owed by the adopting parents. It is important to consult your tax consultant as the adoption tax credit is not refundable and will not benefit all families.

Employer Adoption Assistance
More and more employers provide adoption benefits for employees choosing to grow their families through adoption. The Dave Thomas Foundation celebrates employers who support their adoptive families with the 2016 list of Best Adoption-Friendly Places to Work. Check with the human resources department at your employer to see what benefits they might offer.

Military Families
Military families are eligible for reimbursement of adoption expenses. In order to qualify for the reimbursement, service members must be serving on continuous active duty for at least 180 days and the adoption must be finalized while on active duty. You can read more here. Additionally, MLJ Adoptions waives the application fee for military families.

Fundraising
There are endless ways to fundraise to cover the cost of adoptions. Families can hold auctions or garage sales. Families also look to online options such as Adopt Together or Pure Charity. Families should review their skills and determine what type of fundraiser works best.

Ordinary families have successfully navigated the cost of adoption using these strategies. It wasn’t easy for them but it was so worth the hard work and effort when they were able to open their home to a child in need!

Sheri Molnar is the Director of Operations and Finance at MLJ Adoptions. Visiting children living in institutions in Honduras and Congo has provided her with a tremendous motivation to come into work each day and work tirelessly on behalf of children in need of loving, permanent homes.

Sheri Molnar is the Director of Operations and Finance at MLJ Adoptions. Visiting children living in institutions in Honduras and Congo has provided her with a tremendous motivation to come into work each day and work tirelessly on behalf of children in need of loving, permanent homes.