Thursday, April 4, 2013

Affording Adoption

Adoption is expensive. That’s no secret to anyone who has adopted or who has explored the idea of adoption. We’ve adopted two kids in a four-year time span with one adoption being a special needs adoption. That’s meant traveling internationally twice in just over two years. There’s no denying that we’ve been blessed, but we’ve also learned a thing or two about paying for adoption.

There are many wonderful organizations who assist with grants depending on the type of adoption (international, domestic, special needs, etc…) Additionally, many adoption agencies have their own in-house grants or low-interest loans/no-interest loans for qualifying applicants. This post isn’t about that. This post is about how to fund your adoption  and minimize adoption costs on your own. 

Saving for/during the adoption process:

Employer assistance – Many large corporations (and some smaller ones) still offer adoption assistance. It’s frequently a reimbursement that is offered after the adoption is finalized. This many not help you with up front costs, but it can be a nice chunk of change on the back end.

Notaries – You’ll need so many documents notarized that soon your grocery list will look incomplete without a notary’s stamp. If you’re lucky you’ll find a notary among your friends, at your church or hidden in your company’s HR department. If you end up paying for notary services, check with your local bank or AAA. Notary services may be offered as part of your banking services or for a reduced fee. AAA also offers notary services to its members in some locations for a nominal fee (roughly $4).

Sell – This may seem fairly obvious but now is the time to get rid of those items cluttering the garage or spare bedroom via a yard sale or Craigslist ad. (Never used Craigslist before? This post explains how to get started.) But don’t just stop with the obvious items like the weight set that props up the dog food bag, look at the bookshelf and media console too. Did you know you can sell books, CDS and DVDs on Amazon? Here’s a great post explaining how to sell using the Amazon Marketplace here. And while you’re in seller mode, check the closets for outgrown kids clothes to sell to an online consignment shop. I like Thredup. 

Buy  - It would be easy to say don’t buy anything from now until you have your adoption money in-hand. But that’s simply not realistic. Instead, when you do shop, maximize how you spend your money. Are you using a credit card or debit card that gives you cash back, travel rewards or shopper rewards? Now is also the time to be looking ahead, if you’ll be travelling internationally, make sure your credit card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee as that will rack up additional charges.

Change Your Buying Habits – Anyone can clip a .50 cent coupon and call it a day. But it’s going to take more than pocket change to pay for an adoption. Plus, let’s face it, growing your family is one of the best reasons to get your finances in order. Are you doing everything you can to be moneywise?

  • Are you learning to stockpile and coupon using money blogs like: or
  • Are you using Ibotta, an online savings app for Android and iPhone users that allows you to upload your receipt for cash when you’re purchased certain items?
  • Before you shop are you checking  for an online coupon code or in-store coupon?

Earn While You Surf - Let’s face it, you need to remain caffeinated during the wait. So while you wait, you may as well get your coffee for free. Are you using to earn points each time you surf the web toward Amazon, Starbucks and Target gift cards?

Keep – Keep every document, every receipt, every parking stub that is adoption-related. You will need these when you claim the adoption tax credit, which you claim when you’re filing for the tax year in which the adoption was finalized. (If you finalized your adoption in 2012, you’ll claim the credit in 2013 when you file your 2012 taxes.) When you do write adoption-related checks, be sure to get copies of the checks shortly after they’ve been cashed. If you wait too long, your bank may charge you for copies of archived checks.)

Saving after the adoption:

It’s never to early to start a college fund. Are you signed up for

Your family is finally all together and you’d love a family photo to prove it, but you’re tapped out financially. Check out

(Note: Several of the links in this post are referral links.)

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