Adoption can be a costly way to become a parent. It’s certainly worth it — you can’t put a price on family — but that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy to come up with the necessary funds. You may even feel like adoption is out of reach because you can’t afford it.

The truth is, most anyone can afford adoption with some time, effort and help from professionals. For our part, American Adoptions is committed to helping adoptive families to find ways to afford the necessary costs of adoption. So if you need some ideas for affording adoption, don’t hesitate to contact us.

As you work toward financing your adoption, these 10 tips may help:

1. Take a Break from Saving If You Need to Cover Essentials

In addition to the tragic loss of lives and countless people who are sick, many families are suffering financial repercussions from the global COVID-19 pandemic. You may have been furloughed, suffered a job loss, or your savings have taken a hit.

We understand that growing your family will still be one of your highest priorities. But if you need to put your adoption process on hold while you build your savings back up, we recommend doing so.

American Adoptions will be here to help you pick up where you left off, as soon as you feel financially able.

2. Set Up a Designated Savings Account Just for Adoption

Check to see if your online banking app has an option to automatically transfer funds into a separate, designated savings account every time you get paid. Many banks have this option, and you can specify how much of each paycheck you want to go into that adoption savings account. If your bank doesn’t have this feature, there are third-party apps that you can essentially use as your digital adoption piggy bank.

This way, you won’t have to worry about eating into your regular, rainy-day savings, which are still important to maintain. It can be tempting to divert all of your savings into your adoption journey because of how important this is, but having a separate savings account can ensure that you aren’t left without emergency money. Plus, you can see exactly how much you’ve saved for your adoption.

3. Cut Out or Downgrade as Many Extraneous Costs as You Can

You’ve probably already done this, but it bears repeating. Comb through your expenditures one more time, and make sure you pare down as many unnecessary costs as you can. Cancel cable and monthly subscriptions, downgrade your credit cards and phone plans, etc.

Because everyone is spending more time at home and social distancing, this might be the time to cancel that gym membership and slash down your entertainment and restaurants budgets. Nobody is going anywhere at the moment, so now is the perfect time to save that money!

4. Now May Be the Time for a Loan, or to Defer Old Loan Payments

Because of COVID-19, many lenders are offering more leniency than ever. You’re more likely to get a good interest rate on a loan, so now may be the time to take out a loan for your adoption costs. You could also defer any existing loan payments for a while.

You should always be careful around debt, so be certain this is the right move for you. However, it could cost less to borrow money right now than it typically would. Be sure to shop around for the best interest rates and terms, and speak with a financial advisor before making any big moves.

5. Refinancing Your Car or Home

Similarly, terms and interest rates on refinancing your car or home are good right now. Again, this is something you’ll want to think about, but if you were already considering refinancing, now might be the time to do so.

6. Start Fundraising

It’s a tried-and-true method of raising and saving money for adoption, so now is the time to think out-of-the-box with your adoption fundraising efforts. Hosting a barbeque or garage sale may not be the best move right now, given social distancing guidelines. However, there are still plenty of ways you can fundraise for your adoption.

Consider a socially distanced car wash, sell handmade goods online, start a GoFundMe, or hold a virtual auction where your friends, family and community members donate items, services, baked goods or anything they can contribute. Find more fundraising ideas here.

7. Reconsider Foster Care Adoption

Ultimately, adopting through foster care would cost you little to nothing. It’s the least expensive way to grow a family.

Adopting a child through foster care is not for everyone. It requires you to move forward with your eyes fully open to the benefits and challenges of this type of adoption, and to be prepared to raise a child who has experienced some amount of trauma. Talk with a foster care professional to learn more about this option and to decide if it may be right for you.

You may decide that you still prefer a private domestic infant adoption to foster care, but it’s worth considering. We’re here to support you, whichever path you decide to take.

8. Apply for Adoption Grants

There are a number of grants that can help families with the costs of adoption. Start applying!

Here are some adoption grants that are worth looking into:

9. Talk to Your Employer about Adoption Assistance

Does your employer offer adoption assistance to employees? If so, take advantage of it!

If not, now might be the time to bring it up to your employer or H.R. representative. We have some guides that may be useful in starting that conversation or in helping you to advocate for employee adoption benefits in your workplace.

10. Understand Where You Should NOT Cut Corners

If you’re struggling to afford the costs of adoption, it’s important to know where you should never try to cut costs — for the safety of pregnant women, children and for your own protection.

Here are some common pitfalls to avoid when trying to save money for adoption:

  • Don’t try to D.I.Y. any aspect of your adoption. You must work with an experienced and reputable professional. Trying to find a child to adopt on your own can be dangerous and can ultimately cost you more money, time and tears than if you’d worked with a licensed professional. This journey is too important and complex to try to navigate yourself.
  • Don’t be rigid with your adoption budget. Greater flexibility with your budget allows more prospective birth mothers to consider you. Pregnant women will have varying levels of financial need, and some women need more help affording the costs of their pregnancy than others. Setting a rigid and limited budget means that you’ll wait longer to be matched with a prospective birth mother.
  • Don’t look for the cheapest adoption agency. You truly do get what you pay for. If an adoption agency’s price point seems too good to be true, then it probably is. A good agency will have the best people on staff, and plenty of them. They’ll spend money to advertise your family to potential birth mothers, and they’ll offer more services (higher-quality ones at that) to prospective birth and adoptive families. No other adoption agency offers you financial protection like American Adoptions does.

Adoption can be difficult to save up for, even without the economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19. But we’re here to help however we can. Talk to your American Adoptions specialist today about what can be done to help you continue your adoption dream.