Before you take out an adoption loan, consider these options. They’re less expensive and in some cases might even be free.
Some organizations offer grants to families preparing to adopt a child. The National Adoption Foundation, A Child Waits Foundation, Help Us Adopt, Gift of Adoption Fund and CMomA are a few places to start your search.
You generally won’t be able to fund your entire adoption with a grant, but they can help you cover some of the initial costs.
Adoption agency payment plans
Many adoption agencies don’t ask for money up front. Instead, they divide your cost into smaller installments. You’ll typically pay a third after submitting your application, another third after finishing home study and the final third at the start of postplacement supervision. While you might still need to get financing to pay off these costs, it’ll be a much more manageable amount and allow you time to save up between payments.
Employer adoption reimbursements
A significant number of government agencies and businesses offer adoption benefits to employees. These can come in the form of adoption information, referral services, postadoption counseling and paid or unpaid leave. Some employers also provide financial reimbursement for agency fees, as well as medical and legal expenses.
You may be able to take advantage of federal and state adoption assistance if you’re adopting a hard-to-place child or from foster care. The federal government offers up to $2,000 upfront and recurring monthly payments. States might offer even more to parents who aren’t eligible for the federal funds.
Tap into your social network by starting a crowdfunding campaign to pay for your adoption. You can either use social media platforms specific to adoption like AdoptTogether or go with a site that has wider name recognition like Kickstarter or GoFundMe. Be sure to invest time on a video and regularly post on social media to get the widest reach.
Interest-free adoption loans
Several charitable organizations like Oxford Adoption Foundation and Lifesong for Orphans offer loans with no interest. You typically need to complete your home study before you apply and might not be able to get enough funds to cover the entire cost of adoption — Oxford only gives out loans of $5,000.
It can also be a bit slower than other types of financing, taking between one and three months from start to finish. On top of this, you may have to pay a small monthly fee during repayment.
Low-interest adoption loans
Some personal loan providers like America’s Christian Credit Union and charitable foundations also offer adoption loans at lower interest rates than you might find when applying for a traditional personal loan. You can typically borrow more than you would with an interest-free adoption loan and could even potentially get enough funds to cover the whole cost. You may be required to complete a home study before applying.