5 Ways to Keep Adoption Costs Down That You Probably Haven’t Considered

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

a gay couple with a baby on a walk/hike in nature/park

If you’ve dreamed of starting or adding to your family by adopting a child, you might feel a bit discouraged after learning how much the process can cost. Newborn adoptions in the U.S. cost an average of $40,000, while international adoptions cost an average of $44,000, according to the 2016-2017 survey by Adoptive Families.

That’s a staggering amount, especially if you have other expenses such as student loan payments and daily living costs.

Here’s how to make paying for adoption more affordable and turn your dream into a reality.

1. Research your employer adoption benefits

Some employers provide adoptions services as part of their benefits packages. These services can include providing information on how to adopt, offering parental leave, and giving financial assistance to make paying for adoption easier. That financial help is key if you’re trying to avoid adding money problems to what can be an already stressful situation.

The amount and type of aid vary by company. You could get a lump sum of $1,000 to $15,000 to help with the process, have fees (i.e., agency, court, and legal) covered, or get some costs reimbursed. Reimbursement programs can cover about 80% of particular adoption-related expenses up to a preset limit, according to American Adoptions, and more if you have a special-needs child.

To find out if your employer has a program, contact your human resources and review your benefits policy. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption releases an annual list of the top 100 adoption-friendly workplaces, so you could check if your company made the list.

If you’re a member of the military, you might qualify for a reimbursement program that offers up to $2,000 per child (maximum of $5,000 per year) for qualified expenses. That’s in addition to parental leave and medical care for the new member of your family.

2. Find an agency with flexible policies

Using an adoption agency has benefits. Not only does it do the legwork of finding a child, but it can help with counseling services, social work needs, and post-placement services. This transitional help can be pricey, though, with overall costs ranging from $20,000 to $45,000.

While that sum often includes costs such as legal expenses, court fee, and a home study, it’s a huge chunk of money that you might not be able to afford. But some agencies have an adjustable fee policy based on your income.

Other agencies might charge you in installments, so you don’t have to pay a lump sum upfront. This will give you time to save the funds or budget accordingly while starting the adoption process. Ask your agency what payment plans are available and see if you can pick one that suits your needs.

3. Use a grant program

There are grants available from a variety of organizations to help reduce the costs of adoption. Amounts can range from $500 to $10,000. The grants have different eligibility criteria such as marital status, religion, and income level.

Research to see what’s available through your local organizations as well as national ones. Here are some groups that provide grants to adoptive families in need. Even if it’s a few hundred dollars here and there, it can add up. One family raised over $47,000 through a combination of grants.

4. Take out loans

Even if you’re able to use some savings and get a few grants, the total might not be enough to cover the total cost of adoption. That’s when you could consider taking out a personal loan.

Interest rates typically are based on your financial profile and credit history, so you might secure a low rate if you’re in good financial standing. That could help you borrow a lump sum to cover the various adoption costs and pay back a manageable monthly amount over several years.

Let’s say you took out a $20,000 personal loan at a 5.50% interest rate for a term of three years. You’d have to pay around $600 a month rather than come up with the $20,000 upfront. Use our personal loan calculator to figure out what your monthly cost would be, based on your needs.

Also, some organizations offer adoption-specific low- or no-interest loans that could help in paying for adoption:

5. Raise funds

If you don’t mind being open about your adoption plans, then you could consider fundraising publicly to cover your costs. This can be done by hosting local bake sales or using websites such as GoFundMe to request money to help pay for an adoption.

You’ll have to reveal details about your personal life, but this route could help reduce costs significantly.

One couple raised over $5,000 in under two days to make their adoption journey easier, and another family surpassed its $10,000 goal by bringing in over $40,000 in donations to adopt two boys.

Paying for adoption is possible

The cost of the adoption process can be daunting. You might want to help a child in need and make your family feel complete, but going into debt to adopt a child isn’t ideal.

However, there are many ways to help reduce the high costs so that you can focus on the joy of expanding your family. Some research and legwork will prevent a financial headache in what can be a stressful journey.

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1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

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  1. Personal LoansFixed rates from 6.199% APR to 15.365% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.145% APR to 14.685% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of June 15, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.145% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.97% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply:SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

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  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.