International adoption can be a financial strain for those planning to start a family. There are some resources and options available to help you decide whether international adoption is a good fit for your family.
Agency Fee Structure
Fees and costs are usually staggered over the course of the adoption process, enabling you to plan ahead for costs, but making it unnecessary to have all of the fees in savings. The fees are usually broken down and collected in increments, with the majority of the costs due at the time of or after child assignment. In order to assist families with budgeting issues, many agencies can accept payment via Visa or MasterCard credit card for the service fees or costs which are charged directly by the agency.
Federal Tax Credit
The Internal Revenue adoption tax credit may provide an important savings for your family.
The Hope for Children Act, enacted in 2002, raised the federal adoption tax credit to $10,000 per household. This tax credit applies to the year that the adoption is finalized and is for households earning a certain level of annual income. We encourage you to visit the IRS website for complete and up-to-date details or contact your accountant.
Adoption Friendly Employers
A growing number of employers offer adoption benefits to their employees. Check with your Human Resources Department to see what may be available to you. Some private and government employers give financial assistance or adoption reimbursement for their employees or extended leave for parents when traveling to pick up their child.
The assistance may include reimbursement for specific costs or affixed amount of money, regardless of actual expenses (usually between $2,000 AND $6,000). Other benefits may include paid and unpaid leave and counseling and support before and after adoption. If your employer does not offer a plan, talk to your employer. There are many benefits to the employer, as well as the employee, for offering adoption benefit plans. For more information about employer adoption benefits please contact the national Adoption Center in Philadelphia at 1-800-TO-ADOPT.
Grants and Loans
There are organizations that offer grants and loans to families wishing to adopt.
- Call the National Adoption Foundation about low interest loans to adoptive parents. Visit www.nafadopt.org for details.
- Check out A Child Waits Foundation for information about its low interest loans:, www.achildwaits.org.
- Borrowing from your 401-K plan may be a good way to afford a low interest loan.
- Take out a second mortgage if you own a home or get a signature loan at a bank and take advantage of the historically low interest rates.
Family and Friends
Don't forget that getting help from family, friends, or your church may be an option. You can also hold a fundraiser to help with expenses.
For full-time military personnel, there is a one-time subsidy program available for adoption expenses. Please check with the appropriate base personnel to determine the current benefits.