Adoption is an expensive proposition. Not so much the process itself-though attorney’s fees and other expenses can add up-but the ongoing expenses of adding another child to one’s family.
Usually, it is solely the adoptive parents’ responsibility to come up with the necessary funds. If they do not have the wherewithal to adopt a child, then they will not be able to do so.
However, there are a small number of entities that make grants or low-interest loans to facilitate adoptions. The details of these programs and their application procedures vary, so one would want to research them carefully and note all the requirements.
Often the assistance is for difficult cases. If parents are willing to provide a loving home for an older child, or a child with special needs, for instance, but financial issues are preventing them from moving forward with an adoption, funds might be made available so that that adoption can happen.
Often these organizations are tied to a specific religion, and they provide funds only to fellow believers who will raise the adopted child in that religion.
Usually, the grants and loans are only available to those who have shown a commitment to adoption and are well into the process. They will often require that a favorable home study is submitted with the application.
(A home study is a document written by an adoption agency social worker based on months of interviews with and research about a prospective adoptive family.) There will be forms to fill out and deadlines to meet. Many organizations only review applications for a certain limited period each year.
Also, keep in mind that any kind of financial assistance for adoptions like this is highly competitive. There may well be ten or twenty times as many couples applying as will end up getting any money.
A list of eleven such organizations has been compiled on this page of adoption.com. A quick look at three of these entities as examples will give a sense of the nature of these groups and their requirements:
Gift of Adoption Fund: Grants of up to $5,000 are provided to moderate and low-income families, especially those currently experiencing extraordinary hardship yet still interested in adopting, or those willing to adopt a child who will be unusually expensive to care for, perhaps due to high medical expenses. Applicants must submit an application, a completed home study, and a $20 application fee.
Home for Good: Their grant program is specifically to facilitate the adoption of hard to place children, including older children, special needs children, and groups of sibling children that want to remain together. The program works through partner churches and issues grants of varying amounts on a case by case basis.
Help Us Adopt: Grants of up to $5,000 are available. Requirements include being Christian, being heterosexual, having a completed home study, working with a licensed, accredited adoption agency, and having a referral. Grants are issued four times a year, in March, June, September, and December.
Grants from programs like these can be for several thousand dollars, which sounds like a lot, but really is a drop in the bucket compared to what it will cost to raise an adopted child, especially one with special needs.
Mostly they provide a little short term help with the adoption process itself, but a family will still need to be on a pretty stable financial footing to be able to fulfill the obligations entailed by adopting a child.
So grants are definitely helpful and the groups issuing them are to be commended, but they are not a way for families who cannot make ends meet as it is to add another mouth to feed.