Financing Your Adoption
Adoption Fees Timeline
|ALL ADOPTION PROGRAMS|
|WHFC Agency Fee - Part I||Upon application|
|WHFC Home Study||45 days after application|
|Pre-Adopt Education||During home study process|
|WHFC Agency Fee - Part II||45 days after application|
|Child Placement Fees||Due||Child Placement Fees||Due|
|USCIS||During home study process||Family Profile||Before presentation to birth parents|
|Dossier||Before/upon submission||Program Activation||Upon submission of profile/home study|
|Program Services||Upon acceptance of referral||Program Services||Timing varies|
|Charitable Fee||Upon acceptance of referral*||Charitable Fee||Upon acceptance of referral*|
|In-Country Fees||Before/during travel||Travel Costs||Before/during travel|
|Travel Costs||Before/during travel|
|ALL ADOPTION PROGRAMS|
|Post-Placement Services||Upon acceptance of referral*|
|Finalization||About 6 months after arrival|
*Timing may vary for some adoptions
Adoption is a significant financial undertaking for most families. Fees vary depending on the range and type of adoption services provided, the program selected and the related expenses, including travel. Our fee schedules provide detailed breakdowns on pre-placement, child-placement and post-placement fees by country and are listed in our Adoption Services and Programs Guide. If you are comparing fees among different agencies, it is critical to understand exactly which services are included for each stated fee.
There are many opportunities for you to make your child’s adoption more affordable, including tax credits and deductions, WHFC subsidies, general adoption grants, loans and other funding resources. Here are some places to begin.
Tax Credits and Deductions
Federal Adoption Tax Credit – As of 2015, adoptive families may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $13,400 per adopted child. You can claim the credit on your federal tax return for the year in which your child’s adoption becomes final by using Form 8839. This is an important financial benefit because it is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your tax liability. For more information, consult with your tax preparer or see:
- IRS Tax Topic 607
- Seven Facts About the Expanded Adoption Credit
- Adoption Tax Credit Working Group’s infographic
- US Federal Adoption Tax Credit
- Adoption Credit at a Glance
- What Parents Need to Know About the Adoption Tax Credit
In addition to the adoption tax credit, you may be able to exclude certain amounts your employer paid for qualifying adoption expenses from your gross income for federal tax purposes.
Individual State Deductions – Check with your tax preparer for deductions you may be eligible for within your state of residence. For example, Massachusetts residents can claim an exemption for the full amount of fees paid to adoption agencies. Contact your state’s Department of Revenue or Taxation or your State Adoption Specialist for more information. State Adoption Specialists can be found at The Child Welfare Information Gateway.
Retroactive Claims – You may be able to claim newly discovered tax benefits retroactively for up to 3 years. File Form 1040X to correct an error in a prior year’s federal return to collect a refund if one is due.
Adoption Benefits in the Workplace
Employer Benefits – Find out if your employer offers adoption benefits by contacting your Human Resources Department. You may also check with the National Adoption Center at 800-TO-ADOPT (800-862-3678).
Advocating for Adoption Benefits – If your company does not offer adoption benefits, you might consider proposing them. The Adoption and Workplace Initiative, sponsored by the National Adoption Center and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, has developed materials to help you advocate for adoption benefits in the workplace.
Military Subsidies – The US Military will reimburse active-duty personnel for most one-time adoption costs up to $2,000 per child or up to $5,000 per year for qualifying expenses for adoptions arranged by a qualified adoption agency.
- We offer families a confidential consultation to review financial options and help you develop a financial plan.
- We offer additional financial help to families who are adopting one of our Waiting Kids. Waiting Kids are children who are ready to be adopted NOW and we are actively recruiting families. The specific situation of our Waiting Kids vary country to country, but most of them will have a known medical condition, be over the age of five, or a member of a large sibling group. Every family pursuing the adoption of a specific Waiting Kid or sibling group is eligible for a $5,000 subsidy at the time of referral. Waiting Kids from China are eligible for a $7500 WHFC Subsidy. Families adopting a Waiting Kid and have a demonstrated financial need may be eligible for up to a total of $10,000 subsidy through WHFC.
- WHFC is also a partner agency for the Seedling Gift Program of Brittany's Hope, a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping place children with special needs from around the world. Under the program, WHFC distributes subsidies that help defray the cost of these adoptions to families who qualify.
Adoption Grants and Loans
The following providers of adoption grants and loans are independent of WHFC. Please be advised that the information listed can change without notice. You may discover additional resources by conducting your own Internet search.
A Child Waits provides grants of up to $5,000 and low-interest loans of up to $10,000 to families adopting internationally who have exhausted all other financial options and cannot proceed with their adoption without help. Families may apply for both a grant and loan at the same time. If awarded both a grant and a loan, the total maximum awarded is $10,000.
Affording Adoption Foundation awards grants at various times throughout the year and based on financial need.
Both Hands awards grants to help reduce the financial barrier to adoption for families.
Gift of Adoption provides $1,000-7,500 grants to qualifying families adopting domestically or internationally, with the average grant totaling $3,500.
Help Us Adopt offers families demonstrating financial need grants between $500 - $15,000 towards domestic, international, foster or special needs adoptions.
International Adoption Resources offers $500-1,500 grants that can be used toward the cost of an international adoption. There are no income requirements, but financial need or financial hardship for either the adoptive family or child is considered.
The National Adoption Foundation offers $500 - $2,000 grants to adoptive families on a needs-based assessment. There is no income requirement.
The National Adoption Foundation has partnered with Citizens Bank to help provide adoption loans on a case by case basis. The loan amount ranges from $5,000-$50,000.
The National Council For Adoption provides a resource list and guide with a wide variety of information from tax benefits, loans, to fundraising and with a specific list of granting organizations.
The North American Council on Adoptable Children lists eligibility and benefit information for state adoption subsidy programs.
Oxford Adoption Foundation, Inc. offers low-interest loans of up to $5,000 to adoptive families.
Parenthood for Me offers grants to adoptive families pursuing domestic or international adoptions who can demonstrate significant financial need.
Pathways for Little Feet provides interest-free loans to qualifying families based primarily on (but not limited to) financial need.
Resources 4 Adoption provides the very latest in Adoption Financing Education, Information, and Resources.
The Sparrow Fund provides grants to cover the cost of medical reviews from qualifying US providers for families adopting internationally.
United Healthcare Children's Foundation provides grants to cover prescribed medical services (not fully covered by insurance) for children in need.
The ABBA Fund provides married Christian couples interest-free loans to cover adoption expenses. These loans are typically no more than 1/3 of the total adoption cost and range from about $6,000 - $8,000.
America’s Christian Credit Union offers low interest rate adoption loans awarded to Christian families.
Feng Li Li Foundation awards grants to Christian adoptive couples. No Website; must request an application by mail or phone: 180 Laurel Avenue, Forest, IL 60045 Phone: 847-482-0500
God's Grace Adoption Ministry provides matching grants in the $2,500 range, or assistance with fundraising, for Christian families.
Golden Dawn Adoption Assistance provides grants of up to $2,000 to Christian families adopting children with special needs and other hard-to-place children. Grants are considered on a needs based assessment.
HANDinHAND Christian Adoption provides matching grants for Christian adoptive families based on donations received on behalf of the family from other family members and friends.
Hebrew Free Loan Association provides interest-free loans of up to $15,000 for adoption expenses to Jewish residents of Northern California.
His Kids Too! offers grants to qualifying families who are adopting internationally based on donations the charity receives on behalf of the family from other family members and friends.
IBSEN Adoption Network is a Christian organization offering grants to Washington State families adopting waiting children, difficult to place and/or children with special needs.
Katelyn’s Fund Orphan Ministry offers married Christian couples a grant toward international or domestic adoption costs. Grants are awarded up to $3,000 based on available resources, and priority is given to families whose income is under $100,000.
Lifesong for Orphans offers interest-free loans to Christian families based on financial need and available funds. Matching grants are given in the range of $1,000-$4,000 which encourage the church community to contribute.
The Lydia Fund offers married Christian couples a grant toward international adoption costs.
Shaohannah's Hope (also known as “Show Hope”) provides grants to qualifying Christian families for international, domestic and foster child adoptions.
Topeka Community Foundation Building Families Fund offers grants to Christian families from Kansas, or those with ties to Kansas, for up to half of all verified international or domestic adoption costs.
We suggest you contact the airlines to inquire about a reduced rate or waiver of fees for adoption-related travel. You may also want to consider asking family members or friends for a donation of frequent flyer mileage or credit-card points that are redeemable for travel.
Other Resources to Consider
- Research home-equity loans or refinancing your home.
- Borrow from a 401(k) or retirement account. Consult your tax advisor or financial planner regarding this loan option and how it will affect your future retirement finances.
- Borrow from a life insurance policy. Cash-value life insurance policies often allow you to borrow against the policy. Consult your insurance agent as to whether this option is available to you.
- Consider accepting a loan from family or friends. This can be done as formally or informally as you prefer.
- WHFC can accept financial gifts from family or friends on your behalf; however, because the gift is for your child’s adoption, not WHFC, it would not qualify as a tax-deductible donation.