At first, the cost of adoption can feel insurmountable. Yet, the vast majority of families who begin the international adoption process are not “rich.” Very few families who decide to adopt have the finances to do so at first, but they are committed to creating a plan and working the plan to achieve their goal of affording adoption. The most successful families have a plan and try to stay out of debt. I am consistently amazed and inspired by families who make great sacrifices to bring their child or children home. Every family’s plan will look a little different, but below you can find a few ideas to get you started as you think about affording adoption.
- Get inspired – There are many wonderful affording adoption resources and finance books to inspire and encourage your family on this journey. Sometimes it takes a spark of inspiration to get the ball rolling. You may check out the following, but there are certainly many other resources:
- The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey – This book is not about adoption, but it will inspire you to budget, pay down debt and make the sacrifices necessary to achieve your financial dreams. I know that many are huge fans of this book, and I like it because it stresses the reality that in order to achieve a big goal, you may have to make big sacrifices.
- Adopt without Debt and You Can Adopt without Debt by Julie Gumm – This book is easy to read and focused on adoption. Gumm provides some great insights, especially about fundraising for adoption.
- Make or modify your budget – This sounds simple, and it is. Looking for places where you can cut a little can add up significantly over time. The hard part is implementing your new, leaner budget. Maybe your family can eat out less, trim your grocery budget, pledge to only order water when eating away from home, ditch a gym or magazine membership, etc. As you begin to save a bit more money, you may find it beneficial to opening a separate savings account for the money. This way you are not seeing the money sitting in your checking account. If your family is able to intentionally develop an attitude of sacrificial saving, you may find that you are amazed as the amount of money you can “find.”
- Sell something (maybe many things) – There are so many ways to sell things online these days, it is amazing! Selling unused items around your home may help to kickstart your adoption, and you may actually be surprised what people are interested in purchasing. I recently sold a wine barrel, and I ended up being contacted by several interested people that actually drove up the price. That was a nice surprise! There are many options of places to sell your used items, but I have provided a few below.
- Selling Books – Halfprice books (in-person sales)
- Selling Gift Cards – Gift Card Granny
- Grants – MLJ Adoptions maintains a list of resources and grants annually, which can be found here. Our Financial Resources Guide is a great place to start, but there may also be other grant options for your family, based on the country you plan to adopt from, special needs of a child, and a variety of other factors. You will also want to check with your employer, as some adoption friendly employers offer grants or reimbursements. It is worth noting, however, that typically grant issuing organizations will only distribute funds to families who have already completed their home study.
- Fundraising – There are hundreds of fundraising ideas online, and especially on Pinterest, that it can be overwhelming to know how to start or what to do first. To get this process started, you will want to think about talents and skills that you already have that may help you raise funds for your adoption. Maybe you love to run and would like to set up a 5k fundraiser. Maybe you love crafting and could sell crafts on Etsy or other online platforms. One of the most important things about fundraising it to try to make it personal to you and your talents, and to make it fun!
Raising funds for an adoption can be difficult and tedious. It helps to start with the expectation that this may not be easy or fast, but knowing that it will be worth it and focusing on your goal will help to keep you motivated and inspired. Our Financial Resources Coordinator would be happy to speak with you about more ideas for affording adoption.