Families pursuing international adoption have often found these approaches helpful in covering international adoption costs:
1. Mortgage Refinancing
Borrowing against the equity in your home can free up cash to pay adoption expenses. Here’s the story of one adoptive parent who chose this avenue: “We are close to having everything done to send in our homestudy paperwork, and we just got our mortgage commitment papers. We rolled our home equity loan and current mortgage into a new mortgage at a lower rate, and will be saving a few hundred dollars a month now, and have gotten cash out with the new mortgage as well. That cash is our adoption finance!”
2. Adoption Cost Assistance for Travel Expenses
Cost assistance for travel requires some creativity. Travel expense help can come in the form of asking for donations from travel providers, like airlines and travel agencies, or asking for donations of frequent flyer miles. Families can also ask friends for money using fundraising sites like GoFundMe.com.
3. Military Benefits for Adoption Costs
Full-time military personnel, whether married couples and singles, are eligible for a one-time adoption cost subsidy program. Check with your base personnel for current benefit levels, but typically, military families can receive up to $2,000 a year for adoption related expenses. Benefits are paid after an adoption is finalized. Visit the following sites for more information: Military Adoption, Child Welfare and Military Family.
4. Government Assistance
In addition to the federal adoption tax credit program and state adoption tax credit programs, many states reimburse families for adoption costs when they adopt a special needs child. Your state’s department of family services and your state’s tax department are good sources for more information about such programs. You may also want to consult an accountant or other professional in your home state who is familiar with state tax code to discuss state adoption cost reimbursement.
5. Employer Benefits for Adoption Costs
Your employer may offer adoption benefits. These benefits can take many forms, from adoption grants and help with closing costs on mortgages to work schedule flexibility and legal services insurance programs. If your employer doesn’t offer adoption benefits, encourage them to develop a program by educating them about adoption. A list of companies that offer adoption benefits and how to get a program started can be found at the Dave Thomas Foundation For Adoption®. You can also find an Adoption Benefits Toolkit for Employers by clicking on “How We Can Help You” and going to the Employers sections to request the Toolkit.