Monday, March 7, 2011

Financing an Adoption

     And there we have it. One of the biggest obstacles in adopting, next to of course fear and priorities, is trying to find enough money to actually cover the costs associated with adoption. Totalling in around $10,000-$50,000, finances often eliminate those without free flowing cash, which I am pretty sure is the majority of us. A lot of people interested in adoption, or just beginning the process, look at those daunting numbers and run. My husband and I are guilty of doing just such a thing. Six years ago, when we first began our adoption journey, international was where we looked first. The huge costs, however, scared us away immediately, which is how we came to learn of adopting one of BC’s Waiting Children. But what about everyone else? Not everyone out there is prepared to adopt a child with special needs (which is the majority of BC’s Waiting Children), so where does that leave the rest of this open and willing group? These people who are more than happy to open up their homes and give a child a loving and forever family! The sad reality is that many of them will turn away from adoption. But with the growing number of orphans around the world today, that is just not acceptable! So what can we do about it?

One of the more well known options is applying for an adoption grant. Several charities, more in the US than in Canada, offer grants, where once a home study is completed, a couple can apply for a grant that is usually applied directly to an adoption agency or travel agency. Costs can vary but I most often come across $10,000 grants. This is an excellent way to help cover costs, but unfortunately is not a complete solution. The fact is, there is simply not enough funds available for every family applying for the grants. Orphan’s Hope, a charity offering adoption grants here in Canada, sets up a sort of lottery, pooling qualified applicants together and then choosing the “winning” applicant as funds become available. Unfortunately $10,000 is often nowhere near enough money. An alternative to charities is to also lobby your church to set up adoption funds, where fundraisers and offerings can aid as support.

Another option available to adoptive parents in Canada is adoption loans. The National Bank of Canada offers low interest loans, as well as several Christian charities which offer zero or low interest loans as well. At the end of the day, this option seems better than nothing, if it enables someone to give a home to a child in need, but should we really be going into debt? If other options are available I think this should be a last resort.

An option that I think is both helpful, underutilized, and actually brings awareness at the same time, is community involvement. Adoption is something God calls us to do, commands us to do, and yet not everyone is always in a place to go ahead and actually adopt. That doesn’t mean people unable to adopt themselves, can’t still help support an adoption placement! An excellent alternative is to fundraise support through friends and family, and even your local community, to help bring a needy child to their forever home. This can include actual fundraisers, such as bake sales, dinners, golf tournaments, movie nights, etc, with proceeds going to an adoptive family. Another way is to just outright ask for monetary donations. I think people who understand an adoptive family’s heart, and know it is for a good cause, would be happy to offer what support they can. For example, a couple who has perhaps 10 family members could ask for a $100 donation from each of them, and if their friends, lets say they had 100 of them, each donated $20 a month for 5 months, that couple could possibly raise $11,000. Coupled with an adoption grant, and maybe even a couple bake sales, that couple is in a much better place than an out right loan! Some family members are even willing to donate much higher amounts when simply asked! Your company might be another great option. Asking your boss for $1000, or passing around the penny jar, are great options to get your coworkers involved. Not only will it help bring you closer to bringing a child home, but it allows others to feel involved in the process as well. Asking for money can always be an awkward task, but the worst that can happen is they can say no! So if you’ve been considering an adoption, and finances are one of your big mountains, then roll up your sleeves, get creative, and put a little work into it and you may just find a supportive solution to the problem at hand!

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