Planning your adoption budget

As much as we may wish it, money just doesn’t grow on trees. When it comes to planning your adoption budget, this reality can be particularly disappointing to prospective adoptive parents. The adoption journey is expensive. There are many different financial aspects to consider. On top of any state and legal fees, there are: medical bills, travel, baby supplies, birth mother expenses, etc.

However, Adoption Choices of New York is here to help. We understand the stress and don’t want the price of adoption to stop your dreams of becoming a parent. Here are some resourceful ways that you can  carefully plan ahead, and create an adoption budget that allows you to set enough money aside.

Legal Fees

As a prospective adoptive parent, you have several different routes in which to adopt — agencies, attorneys or foster care. Each of these options have their own pros and cons, of course, so be sure to thoroughly research what’s the best fit for you and your family. Getting quotes from several different agencies can help you develop an estimated baseline for planning your adoption budget.

At Adoption Choices of New York, we focus on domestic infant adoptions. Many of the out-of-pocket expenses prospective adoptive parents pay can usually be reimbursed through the Adoption Tax Credit. To learn more about this, speak to your tax professional. There are state and federal programs, including monthly living stipends, available for those who qualify.

Fees with adopting through agencies and attorneys can vary from state to state, and, sometimes, from case to case. So, it’s good to know what all is included in their prices, and what all you’ll be responsible for. Generally speaking, prospective adoptive parents pay for the home studies, post placement supervisory visits, travel, and legal counsel sessions for both them and the birth parents.

Birth Mother Expenses

In most states, prospective adoptive parents are allowed to provide to pay for expenses relating to the birth mother. This can start when the birth mother enters her last trimester and last through the first two to eight weeks following the child’s birth. Attorneys are good resources to speak with when planning your adoption budget, as they will help you arrange the specific items that should be covered. Everything should be clearly outlined beforehand as some states have criminal statutes prohibiting anything that could be interpreted as “baby-buying.” In those cases, an approved court order may need to be obtained beforehand.

Potential birth mother expenses include:

  • Maternity clothes
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Rent
  • Medical care (i.e. doctor’s appointments, prenatal care and hospital costs)

While your baby’s hospital stay will be covered under your medical coverage, the birth mothers’ stay will not be. Any recommended testing or special appointments are also your responsibility as the prospective adoptive parent. All funds disbursed on behalf of the birth mother should be considered a gift. Even if the adoption falls through, for whatever reason, they are non-refundable and will not be recovered.

Miscellaneous Costs

Don’t forget the basic expenses associated with raising your new son or daughter and preparing your home for their arrival when planning your adoption budget. Things such as:

  • Bedroom furniture
  • Toys
  • Clothes
  • Food
  • etc.

Be sure to leave room for travel expenses as well. Trips to and from the hospital will undoubtedly require gas and potential hotels reservations.

Financial Assistance

To ease the financial stress of adoption, fundraisers can be a good option. In addition to more traditional methods, the website “GoFundMe” is growing in popularity. This allows you to share your story and receive support to raise funds.

Loans are another available option. While the idea of borrowing money can seem risky, if there’s a solid plan in place, you will be able to pay everything back quickly depending on the type of loan. If there’s a concern about insurance rates, taking an amount out of your 401k may be worth considering.

Other areas to explore are employee and military benefits. More and more, today’s employers are offering adoption benefits alongside paid and unpaid leave. On top of this, employers may provide adoption education and offer support networks into their employee assistance programs. So, be sure to check with your HR representative on this. Same with active military members. Be sure to check if you qualify for financial reimbursement for certain adoption expenses before the adoption is finalized.

There are also a variety of grants available. Some are need-based, or take into consideration religious affiliation, status, etc. However, as prospective adoptive parents, you must first complete the home study portion and commit to carry out the rest of the adoption before qualifying. They are not able to use the grants to cover any past expenses or start-up money.

Planning Your Adoption Budget

Careful planning and research will help you craft a solid and realistic adoption budget. Spreadsheets come in handy here. Once you have all the information you need, stick to it the best you can. This will ensure success, and avoid denting your savings account and racking up credit card debt.

Yes, adopting a child is expensive. But – the moment you get to hold your child, all of that fades away. It makes everything worth it.

Adoption Choices of New York

For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of New York.

Support Adoption Choices

CrowdriseAdoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.

However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.

About the Author

Rachel RobertsonRachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.

In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.

When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.

 

Sources:

“Adoption Budget Checklist for Prospective Parents.” Adoptive Families, 14 Mar. 2017, www.adoptivefamilies.com/how-to-adopt/adoption-budget-checklist/.

“Adoption Costs: 5 Things to Know.” Experian, 5 Sept. 2018, www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/adoption-costs-5-things-know/.

“How To Afford Your Adoption.” Adoption Network, Adoption Network Law Center – Safer Than Adoption Agencies, adoptionnetwork.com/how-to-afford-your-adoption.

National Adoption Center. Philadelphia, PA. “Financing an Adoption.” FAQs | National Adoption Center, www.adopt.org/financing-adoption.

“Planning a Domestic Adoption Budget: Cost Breakdown.” Adoptive Families, 18 July 2017, www.adoptivefamilies.com/how-to-adopt/planning-domestic-adoption-budget/.

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