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Best personal loans for adoption

You've got options when you're looking to add a new member to your family.

Adopting a child can between $2,000 and $50,000, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Personal loans, which usually run from $1,000 to $50,000, can spread out that cost over two to five years. But look into less-expensive options first, like adoption grants, subsidies and reimbursements. While they might not cover everything, they can reduce how much you need to borrow.

5 best personal loans for adoption

We reviewed over 120 personal loan providers before selecting these five providers based on factors like the rates, terms and loan amounts available. Many of these providers offer general-use personal loans. We found that while some lenders advertise adoption loans, they don’t always offer the most favorable rates and terms and might not be the best choice.

Best for excellent credit

LightStream personal loans

Finder rating 4.83 / 5 ★★★★★

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on Lightstream's secure website
LightStream might be your best choice if lowering costs is your top priority. It offers financing specifically for adoption costs with loans as high as $100,000. While its adoption loan rates start slightly higher than its general-use personal loans, it will beat offers from competitors — as long as the offer meets certain terms and conditions.
  • Available in all states
*Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 5.95% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $303.99.

Truist Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2020 Truist Financial Corporation. SunTrust, Truist, LightStream, the LightStream logo, and the SunTrust logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.

Best for good credit

SoFi personal loans

Finder rating 4.3 / 5 ★★★★★

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on SoFi's secure website
SoFi also offers highly competitive rates starting at 4.99% and loans up to $100,000. But in addition to financing, it offers borrowers services like free financial advice. This can help you stay on track of your finances while you adjust to the cost of a new family member. But it can take as long as 30 days to get your funds
  • Not available in: Mississippi, Vermont
Fixed rates from 4.99% APR to 19.63% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of August 11, 2021 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

Best for fair and bad credit

Monevo personal loans

Finder rating 4.4 / 5 ★★★★★

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on Monevo's secure website
This connection service can help you prequalify with multiple lenders by filling out one application. It's won several awards and is available to all credit types. But if you want to use its online service, you must consent to being contacted by its partners, which can result in lots of calls and emails.
  • Available in all states

Best for a flexible return policy: Discover personal loans

Discover personal loans

Finder rating 4 / 5 ★★★★★

With Discover, you can return your loan at no cost within 30 days of receiving the funds. This kind of flexibility can be helpful if you're not sure an adoption is going to go through but want to have the funds ready. But it doesn't accept joint applicants, so you can't apply with your spouse.
  • Available in all states

Best for applying with a cosigner

Laurel Road personal loans

Finder rating 4.2 / 5 ★★★★★

Laurel Road is one of the only personal loan providers that accepts true cosigners, rather than coapplicants. This can be a good option for couples that want to apply jointly with mixed credit types. But its rates start higher than average for most borrowers. That is, with the exception of doctors and dentists, who qualify for rates starting at 6.5% APR and loans up to $80,000.
  • Available in all states

How much does adoption cost?

Adopting a child can top $50,000, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway. The cost mainly depends on the service you use.

  • Foster care adoption: $2,000 to $4,200
  • Private agency adoption: $20,000 to $45,000
  • Independent adoption: $15,000 to $40,000
  • Intercountry adoption: $20,000 and $50,000

Most of these includes costs like legal fees, home study, medical expenses, preadoption and postadoption counseling for the birth parents, adoptive parent training, social work services and supervision of the child during the adoption process. Home study fees alone can cost between $1,500 and $4,000 and may not be included in the base fees.

Foster care adoption

You might pay as little as $0 after subsidies if you adopt a child through the foster care system. But adoptive parents must pay adoption transaction costs upfront and get a reimbursement from the federal government. These include court documentation fees that range from $500 to $2,000 and legal fees that can run from $1,500 to $4,000.

After the adoption goes through, you’ll receive a monthly stipend for child care.

First-year costs

The expense of bringing a new child into your home doesn’t end with adoption fees. It’s estimated that families spend between $12,350 and $13,900 every year per child, according to a 2017 U.S. Department of Agriculture study.

If you need help affording some of the initial costs of raising a baby — like nursery furniture, formula and clothing — you may want to consider a baby loan as well. These are personal loans that help new parents cover common first-year expenses.

5 ways to keep adoption costs down

Adopting a child may be expensive, but there are ways to lower the cost or make a large loan a little more manageable:
  1. Adopt a waiting child currently in foster care. In this case, the public agency would complete the home study section of the process at no extra cost. If you and the child live in the same county or state, the agency may also cover postplacement supervision costs.
  2. Apply for a tax credit. While it won’t help cover the initial cost, it can lower your tax bill — making the budget during your first year as a family a little more affordable. As of 2019, the tax credit was set at $14,080 per child.
  3. Build your credit. The better your credit, the lower your interest rate when you apply for a loan. While you’re working on saving for the new addition to your family, take steps to improve your credit to increase your chances of qualifying for a competitive interest rate.
  4. Look into employer benefits. Some employers offer financial assistance for prospective adoptive parents. Whether this is a reimbursement or lump sum of money, looking into an adoption program sponsored by your employer could easily cut down on adoption costs.
  5. Find a grant. Many national, state and local organizations offer free money to families looking to adopt. Take your time to research and apply for as many as you can — every little bit can help.

How else can I pay for an adoption?

Before you take out an adoption loan, consider these options. They’re less expensive and in some cases might even be free.

Adoption grants

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.

Government subsidies

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.

Crowdfunding

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.

When is getting a loan for adoption a good idea?

You might want to apply for an adoption or baby loan if you find yourself in one of the following situations:

  • You applied to grants and still came up short. Exhaust all of your free aid first before applying for a loan — even interest-free loans can come with fees.
  • You don’t have enough time to save up. Adoption can be a long and drawn-out process. Instead of getting funds to pay for all of your adoption costs at once, you might want to consider getting financing for your immediate needs and opening a high-interest savings account for future costs.
  • You have immediate expenses. Grants can take a while to process, and tax credits aren’t available year-round. Taking out a loan that doesn’t come with prepayment penalties can give you the cash you need now and allow you to pay it back as soon as your funds come in.

Compare more personal loans to cover adoption costs

Select your credit score range and state to compare more personal loans that might be available to you.

Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Loan Amount
BHG personal loans
Varies
700
$20,000 - $200,000
A highly-rated lender with quick turnaround and reliable customer service.
Credible personal loans
2.49% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
$600 - $100,000
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.
Best Egg personal loans
5.99% to 29.99%
600
$2,000 - $50,000
A prime online lending platform with multiple repayment methods.
PenFed Credit Union personal loans
5.99% to 17.99%
650
$600 - $50,000
With over 80 years of lending experience, this credit union offers personal loans for a variety of expenses.
SoFi personal loans
4.99% to 19.63%
680
$5,000 - $100,000
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no fees.
Monevo personal loans
1.99% to 35.99%
None
$500 - $100,000
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
Tally+ Express
7.9% to 29.99%
660
$2,000 - $30,000

Only available for Line of Credit and Debt consolidation

Upgrade personal loans
5.94% to 35.97%
600
$1,000 - $50,000
Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.
Avant personal loans
9.95% to 35.99%
600
$2,000 - $35,000
Conveniently check your loan options without affecting your credit score.
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Bottom line

Bringing home a new member of your family is an exciting but expensive prospect. Comparing your personal loan options and applying for grants can help ease the burden on your budget so you can focus your attention on this brand-new adventure.

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