Adoption Expenses: Where to Go for Help
Many parents wonder how to meet the cost of adoption. Make use of the credits, benefits, subsidies, and other resources listed below.
Adoption can cost $15,000 to $25,000 or even more, but credits, reimbursements, and other benefits can make your adoption affordable. Here are some of them:
Federal Adoption Expense Tax Credit
For tax year 2011, the federal adoption expense tax credit is a maximum of $13, 360 per adoption (subject to income limitations).
State Tax Credits
Several states have tax credits for adoptive families, sometimes restricted to those adopting from that state's public child welfare system. Contact your state adoption unit for more information.
Children with special needs may qualify for a subsidy to help parents pay for ongoing treatments. For more information: North American Council on Adoptable Children, http://www.nacac.org/adoptionsubsidy/adoptionsubsidy.html.
Nonrecurring Adoption Expense Reimbursement
Families who adopt from the public system may be eligible for reimbursement of adoption-related expenses, such as homestudy, travel, and attorney costs. More information: http://www.nacac.org/adoptionsubsidy/stateprofiles.html.
Active-duty personnel are reimbursed for one-time adoption costs, whether adopting an infant, a waiting child, or a child from abroad. Find out more at www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f_milita.cfm.
A new guide, Wherever My Family Is: That's Home! Adoption Services for Military Families, explains how to minimize obstacles to adoption, with information about the homestudy process and post-adoption services. Request a copy by calling 888-200-4005, or download it from www.adoptuskids.org/images/resourcecenter/militaryguide.pdf.
Some employers offer adoption benefits. See Adoptive Families' picks for adoption-friendly companies and read, "How to Lobby Your Employer for Adoption Benefits," at www.adoptivefamilies.com/topcompanies. For more help in lobbying for these benefits, visit www.adoptionfriendlyworkplace.org.
Grants and Loans
Some adoption agencies and organizations offer adoption grants and/or low-cost loans. Agencies with such programs include Holt International, World Association for Children and Parents (WACAP), and Dillon International. (See the adoption agency listings in at www.theadoptionguide.com for contact information.) For instance, the Gift of Adoption Fund, www.giftofadoption.org, and A Child Waits, www.achildwaits.org, offers grants and loans for families adopting internationally. Helpusadopt.org, a startup financial assistance grant program, awards grants twice per year to prospective adopters who face significant financial obstacles.
Look into cash advances from credit cards, second mortgages, home equity loans, and special adoption loans. Consider borrowing from your life insurance policy, 401(k), or pension plan. Perhaps you can tap friends and relatives. If you feel uncomfortable asking them directly, register with www.gotchagiftregistry.com, an online adoption gift registry service where friends and family can help defray adoption expenses. Maybe you can take a second job until your child comes, or identify a birthmother who already has medical insurance.
Leave no stone unturned.
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