One of the biggest challenges facing prospective adoptive parents is the cost of adoption. Domestic adoption can range from $8,000 to over $40,000, international from $20,000 to over $35,000. The cost of providing a child with a forever home is enough to deter many prospective adoptive parents from the journey. The good news? Adoption grants are available.
In order to apply for a grant, you’ll need copies of your recent tax statements, an estimate of how much you have spent on your adoption, and an estimate of how much you anticipate you’ll need to finalize your adoption. Many granting organizations require a valid home study, and for some you’ll need to be matched with a child. Additionally, many organizations require at least three listed references or reference letters, so a good tip is to ask your home study references to supply you with a second letter for granting purposes.
1. Brittany’s Hope Seedling Grant
Special-needs adoption grants are available for international adoptions. Brittany’s Hope works specifically with several affiliate adoption agencies, so check to see if your agency works directly with them. Brittany’s Hope believes in the saying “It takes a village to raise a child,” so grant recipients will be required to raise half of their funds to “pay it forward.” For example, if you receive a $5,000 grant, you’ll be required to raise $2,500. You must have a completed home study and a referral for a specific child. Applications are accepted throughout the year. More information: http://www.brittanyshope.org/seedling/
2. Help Us Adopt
Adoption grants are available for both international and domestic adoption in the amount of $500 to $15,000. Help Us Adopt is open to any family, regardless of race, religion, marital status, or sexual orientation. In order to apply, you must have a completed home study. Applications are accepted three times a year in the February, June, and October cycles. More information: https://www.helpusadopt.org
3. Gift of Adoption Fund
Grants are available for both domestic and international adoptions. Priority is given to applicants whose prospective adoptive children are in danger of “aging out” of the system or to unite biological siblings or keep them from being separated. Adoption assistance grants range from $1,000 to $7,500, with the average grant awarded being $3,500. You must have a completed home study in order to apply, and applications are accepted throughout the year with a $50 application fee. More information: https://giftofadoption.org
4. Show Hope Foundation
Show Hope Foundation is a faith-based organization that supports both international and domestic adoptions. If you’re adopting internationally, it must be from a Hague Convention country. In addition to having a Statement of Need, you must provide a letter from your house of worship and your social worker. All funds are directly dispersed to your agency, and for international adoptions these funds may not be requested until you are within three months of traveling to bring your child home. You must have a completed home study to apply. Applications are accepted via six deadlines throughout the year: February 28, April 30, June 30, August 31, October 31, and December 31. More information: https://showhope.org/our-work/adoption-aid/
5. A Child Waits Foundation
This is an international adoption grant program open to any family, regardless of race, religion, marital status, or sexual orientation. You must have a completed home study and a referral for a specific child. The foundation prefers to receive applications no sooner than three to four months before a prospective family’s final adoption trip, so be sure to check your timeline with your agency. Applications are accepted throughout the year with a $20 application fee. In addition to adoption grants, low-interest adoption loans are available. More information: https://www.achildwaits.org/
6. Lifesong for Orphans
A Christian-run grant program for both international and domestic adoption. Lifesong offers matching grants (ranging from $1,000 to $4,000) that “encourage … the adopting couple’s church family to financially and prayerfully support” the prospective adoption. In addition to a Statement of Need, you must provide a Statement of Faith and a letter from your pastor. A completed home study is necessary to apply. In addition to adoption grants, low-interest adoption loans are available. Applications are accepted throughout the year. More information: http://www.lifesongfororphans.org/adoption-funding/adoption-grant-loan-application/
7. Adopt Together
Slightly different from a traditional granting organization, Adopt Together is effectively a crowdfunding platform for prospective adoptive families of either domestic or international adoption. The benefit of Adopt Together is family and friends can contribute to your adoption fund through a 501c3 organization, and there is no cap to the amount you can raise. You only need a valid home study and a live profile of your family. Profiles and applications are accepted throughout the year. More information: https://adopttogether.org/
Jennifer S. Jones is a writer, performer, storyteller, and arts educator. In a small government office in China, Jennifer became an adoptive mother. She is passionate about the adoption community and talks about the ins and outs, ups and downs, joys and “Is this really us?!?” whenever she can. She writes about her experiences at www.letterstojack.com.