Adoption can be expensive. If you're looking for ways to cover the costs, consider the following:
Many companies offer their employees adoption assistance -- some up to as much as $10,000.
Many agencies have payment plans. You can make installments payments monthly, quarterly or by other arrangement. Check with your agency for creative ways to make payments.
Adoption Tax Credit
The new, and soon to end, tax credit for adopting is $5,000 per child. The adoption tax credit ends on December 31, 2001.
Check with your local bank branch to see what they can offer you. Some agencies have a list of financial lenders who make adoption loans at lower than usual rates.
Here are two sources for loans to adoptive families:
National Adoption Foundation, 100 Mill Plain Road, Danbury, CT 06811
First Union Bank National Bank of Maryland Adoption Loan Program, Rockville, MD (301) 294-6862 (888) 314-KIDS (5437) Fax: (301) 294-6353
Jewish families who can demonstrate financial need may be eligible to borrow as much as $10,000 -- interest free -- by contacting the Domoi Foundation or the Hebrew Free Loan Association. The repayment schedule for up to $5,000 is over a three-year period; $5,001 to $10,000 is over a five-year period.
Hey, this is the kind of request rich Uncle Bob, who became a zillionaire last year thanks to tech stocks, would love! Contact Mom, Dad, brother, sister, grandparents, any person who may have a little extra cash lying around to help you. This is not the time to be proud. It's not about you. It's providing a child with a forever family!
Garage Sales/Church Bazaars
Get all the stuff you don't want or never use, and sell it. You'll need to make room for the new addition anyway. Best to start with a clean house and get rid of the clutter. You may think a garage sale will bring only a small amount of the money you need, but a couple hundred bucks will pay for your child's medical exam.
Have friends throw a shower, and in lieu of gifts, ask everyone to bring cash.
Get a Part-time Job
Take advantage of that "spare time" you have before baby arrives. Fill it by working a weekend or evening job for some extra cash.
Federal and state adoption assistance, generally referred to as adoption subsidy programs, are available to ensure that families who adopt waiting children have the necessary services and financial resources to meet their children's ongoing needs. Adoption subsidies are available for your child whether your home study was done by a public or a private agency.
Title IV-E Program
In 1980, Congress enacted the Title IV-E Program to remove financial barriers to the adoption of waiting children. Nearly all children waiting in the foster care system are determined to have special needs and many are, therefore, eligible for some adoption subsidy.
Although this is a federally funded program, individual states determine which children qualify. The subsidies, and their amounts, are decided on a case-by-case basis and the needs of the child. The subsidy undergoes an annual renewal process, and the adoption agency helps families through this process.
According to the North American Council on Adoptable Children, to qualify for the Title IV-E adoption assistance program, several criteria must be met:
1. The court must have ordered that the child cannot or should not be returned home to the birth family.
2. The child has special needs, as determined by state definition.
3. The child could not be placed for adoption without a subsidy.
Adoption assistance is exempt from taxation. However, the level or amount of assistance may affect whether the child can be claimed as a dependent and listed as an exemption on your income taxes. As much as $5,000 in employer-provided adoption benefits (up to $6,000 for special-needs adoptions) per child may be excluded from your income. You may claim both a tax credit and an exclusion in connection with the adoption of an eligible child but may not claim the same expenses twice. As with the tax credit, tax-free adoption benefits are gradually phased out once family income rises above $75,000.
Source: National Adoption Information Clearinghouse