The cost of adopting can seem daunting, and I think many people decide they are not able to adopt because of the cost. There are fees for the adoption agency, the home study, immigration paperwork, plus travel expenses if you are doing an international adoption. And because our wait will likely extend into next year, we will have to renew our home study and immigration paperwork.
But there’s hope! The US Government offers a federal adoption tax credit, which is currently at $11,390. Several states also offer tax credits or deductions. Virginia is not yet one of them, although the General Assembly did consider an adoption tax credit proposal during the 2007 session. If you are considering adoption, check with your state’s tax office to see whether there are any tax credits or deductions for which you would be eligible. (This is not tax advice. Please check with your accountant.)
David’s employer offers adoption assistance benefits. We hope to apply some of those benefits to our adoption expenses. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has a listing of adoption-friendly workplaces. And if your employer does not offer adoption assistance benefits, perhaps it is worth asking the human resources department to consider establishing a new policy. The Dave Thomas Foundation offers a toolkit to help you prepare a presentation on adoption benefits.
There are also grants available from organizations for families who qualify for financial need. There are often more applicants than money available, but it may be worth checking into to see if you would qualify. Shaohannah’s Hope, the ministry started by Steven and Mary Beth Chapman, is one organization that offers grants.
You should also check out the website for Adoptive Families Magazine. It offers a great overview on adoption costs, and advice from families who have adopted. For those of you who have or are adopting, I would love to hear your ideas on financing adoption.