Answers: Funding Your Adoption

Thank you to everyone who responded to Lori’s question:

My husband and I are contemplating another adoption. We didn’t get much help at all the last time and we really need to raise money if we do this again. We didn’t have any luck with grants with our first adoption, but I do know there are a lot of those out there. What other fund raising ideas have people tried that worked? Are there pitfalls to avoid? Tax issues?

Lisa H. wrote:

One of the things that has helped us the most with funding our adoptions has been the fact that we’ve adopted waiting children. All of them had fee reductions and sometimes we also benefited from waiting child funds at each agency. WACAP esp. has a great waiting child program with MANY children whose adoption fees are completely waived, and a loan fund for up to $3000 interest free (I think). And these are truly children who NEED and are WAITING for homes…

We’ve also received grants from Shaohannah’s Hope and from Ibsen Adoption Network (WA families only). And folks at our church have given us over $10,000 and donated mileage to pay for travel.

I truly believe that if you have a heart for a child, then God has the money! He has been MUCH more than faithful to us. I don’t say this tritely…Sometimes it’s come down to us putting $4000 on a charge card, but someone came to us then and told us that God had told them to give us $4000 the day before and they’d wanted to pray about it one more time before they gave. He said it again, so they came with the check and the $4000 wasn’t on our card more than 48 hours!

It’s always been an adventure, but truly, one that has strengthened our faith in God’s provision…


Blogger Bear Creek Mama said…

Okay, this question is pretty timely for me. I was asked twice today why adoption costs so much? It shouldn’t…..hmmmm.
I couldn’t help but answer that God allows it be that way because He needs us to depend on him and I’m now realizing that he also wants us to involve others in our process.
Making our needs known to others has been the hardest part of our adoption.
We got a grant from Shaohannah’s Hope and a matching grant from LifeSong which has not been fulfilled yet.
Our church family is organizing a HUGE garage sale for us at the end of the month that we hope will be a good chunk of the matching grant money. We are notifying a ton of people to donate and even more to come and shop!
Our adoption is the most expensive I’ve ever heard of 🙂 3 kids from Ethiopia and one is unrelated – fees add up. He provides! Somehow, anyhow, He does.

3/08/2009 8:05 PM


Blogger Andrew and Amber said…

We ran fireworks stands to raise money for our adoption. There are several companies that do this (TNT, Phantom, etc). They give you everything you need and you do ALL the work. You keep 20-30% of the profit. We ended up raising about $6,000 last year. The previous year we made about $8,000. It is a ton of work but only a few days (4-5 days) for a lot of money. Plus it involves the community in the adoption.

3/09/2009 2:08 PM


Blogger Laurel said…

Paying for our adoption …

We didn’t really DO anything … except completely and totally TRUST God.

I KNOW that God can and will provide for adoptions. Sometimes He calls us to DO things, and sometimes He provides without any work on our part (except the work of truly TRUSTING Him).

When we started the adoption process we already had 10 bio. children, and my husband is a school teacher. We didn’t have a big bank account, but we had the knowledge and faith that this was what God was calling us to do.

So, we jumped right in without any worry about how God was going to pay for it. We thought we were going to have to DO stuff. We thought we would be having fundraisers and applying for grants. But, God chose another route.

A couple whom we had met just once, donated $15,000 to our church to be distributed throughout the adoption process. Were we shocked?! To say
the least.

We also worked, and saved, and put away another $10,000 towards all of the travel expenses. But, God really did the work, and TOTALLY blessed us because we completely put our trust in Him.

Now … this is hard to share … because we don’t want everyone to think that God will just write a blank check for you. And, we don’t want others to think that we are something special for God to provide for us this way. What we have learned is that, sometimes He has much work for us to do; but sometimes He provides financial provision just to bless us.

I encourage families to step out in faith, trusting God, and willing to work. Then, allow God to show you the individual plan that He has for your individual adoption journey.

mama of 13

3/09/2009 7:48 PM


Blogger Cindy said…

For our second adoption, we held a HUGE yard sale. I mean HUGE. For about 6 months prior to the planned sale, we got word out to everyone we knew that we were accepting donations of items for the sale. Anything that folks wanted to get rid of , we would take it. We stored it all in our garage until the sale. We were blessed with SO much stuff. Truly, I cant even tell you in words how much stuff we actually received. We got word out everywhere about our sale, and had a huge turn-out. We also sold hotdogs, baked goods (donated by ladies from our church), & soda. When people came to the sale and learned what it was for, many were extra generous and gave us more money than what their total price of purchases came to. We saw God work in those 3 days of that sale to help bring our little boy home. We raised around $4,000 in one weekend!

3/10/2009 5:28 AM

Anita wrote:

i follow your blog and love reading it. I have two friends who have recently adopted; one from Kazakhstan and one from Ethiopia. One of these couples held a garage sale and also a dessert social at our church, to raise money. The other couple raised money through a spaghetti dinner and also, through the wife’s mom, who designs and makes jewelry. You can find her etsy shop here:

Bethany from Positively Orphaned wrote:

[In response to the question about funding adoption] – I’m writing to direct some of your readers to the section of my blog titled ‘Adoption Grants And Funding’. It is located in the right sidebar column and it contains 39 grant options, several links to information about a $10,000 tax credit, many loans, information about employer adoption benefits & military adoption benefits, and it also mentions a fund raiser.
Another option people might want to consider is working with an adoption agency which substantially reduces their fees for certain waiting children. For example, World Association of Children and Parents has a wonderful program called Promise Child which subsidizes nearly all adoption related expenses. The eligibility requirements of the children are detailed on their website, and they include children 2 years or older with HIV. If any of your readers are unsure about adopting a child with HIV, I would encourage them to research it a bit more before out ruling it – it’s actually a lot easier than most people might think.

Dawn wrote:

We bought boxes of M&M’s from Sam’s Club. They had 36 bags each of plain and peanut and were in a dispensable box/display pack. The bags sold for $1 a piece. The cost was $30 a box with a profit of $42. We had friends, family and businesses display them. We put a picture of our son on the box with type saying “Please help us raise funds to bring our little boy home from Ethiopia.” Grandma took it to the bowling alley, meetings and luncheons with her friends. She had people putting money in it without even taking M&M’s. (You can see the photo at the top of this post)

The Kellers wrote:

Have people tried WACAP? Some of the adoptions are free and some are $5,000. That is who we will be using for Ethiopia.

Melinda wrote:

Thought I would add my story of how we funded our 2nd adoption. The first one we were a little prideful and didn’t want to ask for any help so we just took out a loan for the entire adoption. The second time around I felt that God was calling us to adopt an older child and that He wanted to provide, we just needed to ask for the help. 🙂 We first refinanced our house and were able to skip two house payments, maybe not the smartest thing in some aspects, but it worked for us. That allowed us to get the homestudy started, our agency application fee and the UCIS government fees paid for. We then had a big garage sale. We got the word out through flyers both advertising the sale and asking for donations. Through generous friends and family we were able to raise $3000 with the sale and selling things through the paper and craigslist.

We also applied for at least 5 or 6 grants. We ended up being blessed with two of them. One was from Shaohannah’s Hope for
$2000 and the other was for $3000 from LifeSong. Of course the LifeSong one was a matching grant so we approached our church about presenting this and were denied (long story) so we sent out letters to friends and family. We ended up only raising $2000 so we received $2000 from LifeSong.

When our adoption was almost complete we ended up hearing from my husband’s work that they were now going to start offering adoption benefits. That was totally God because 6 mo. earlier they only had them for management not union employees. If you know anything about Union’s, if it’s not in the contract, it isn’t going to happen! My husband approached the main boss at his work and lo and behold God moved in that man’s heart and the benefit’s now exist for everyone. We ended up getting a reimbursement for $5000. That is for each child so if you adopt more than one, it works out great. So for us we only had to pay $2000 out of pocket if that. God can and will move, we just have to be obedient and follow His leading.

Katie R. said…

about paying for adoptions… I just found this article on the same topic & thought you’d like to see it, too. 🙂

3/10/2009 11:54 AM


Definitely take a minute to read the
blog post recommended by Katie. The author’s basic ideas are to “think big”, “think broadly”, and “think boldly”. All good advice when you need to raise
of money for a very good cause.

For families adopting HIV+ children, From HIV to Home has Family Fundraising Kits to support you in your efforts to raise funds. I blogged about my friend, Signe’s very successful Walk-a-thon, HERE. With the help of From HIV to Home, it was very simple to do, fun for all, and they raised a lot of money to bring their son home.

Thank you again to everyone for taking the time to share your great ideas! I’ll share mine in a future post.


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Signe
    March 14, 2009

    Our walkathon was such a wonderful way to raise funds for our adoption. From HIV to Home had flyers that we were able to print and send out. They had suggestions for treats, and length of walk, and all of the particulars. They were also very prompt sending receipts to all of the donors, and sending us our money to cover expenses. It was very simple, and very convenient for everyone involved.

    It was also a great encouragement to us. We sent out invitations to our friends and family. They in turn asked for donations. You never know who will be ready to help in your adoption. Several people gave above and beyond what we had hoped for. People we had never met, but that had a heart for orphans. It allowed us to finish our adoption without going into debt. If you are adopting HIV+ children, it is a great way to help cover the costs.

  2. lorismusings
    March 14, 2009

    I love all the ideas and hearing everyone’s stories. It is neat to hear how God provides in different ways. I am sure He proves Himself faithful to those who are obedient to His calling.

    Is the walk a thon only for HIV adoptions? I am assuming it doesn’t matter what agency you are using.

  3. Nicole
    March 14, 2009

    Thank you so much for posting this. We just received PRE-APPROVAL from China to adopt our new daughter. This whole adoption (just like the 4 others) was totally orchastrated by the Lord. The Lord has provided for each adoption however this will be the first time where our budget will just not allow another loan payment, etc. THIS ADOPTION will be totally relying on HIM for everything. Thusfar He has provided all the money for the first part of the adoption. I know we will have to totally trust and rely on Him to raise the other $19,000 we need to bring our new daughter home. I am filled with anxiousness and wonderment as I think about the wonderful works HE will do to bring this child home to us.

  4. Jillian and Crew
    March 14, 2009

    God used our year and half of fundraising to show us that “even our little bit” counts to Him. We never donated to causes-we just had $10 bucks…God used $5, $10, $15 donations to fund our adoption and in turn teach us that every gift matters, every support and encourgacing word makes a difference. It all adds up to them coming home if we let Him do the math. We fundraised our ENTIRE adoption except for 2 last minute grants for travel.

  5. Melinda
    March 15, 2009

    Love all the ideas, especially Randy’s post shared here. It will definitly help if we decide to adopt again soon. I have a question that goes along with this that I know you are experienced at and many other’s who read here. My husband says he is not even as concerned about the initial cost’s of adoption, but how do we afford to add more kids and provide financially for them on one income. Currently we have 5 kids and homeschool. We do budget and don’t go on any real vacations. The only activity our kids do is soccer. We eat out maybe once a week. I think one of the biggest worries is college. Any ideas from you or your readers on this. We do have a little debt. One credit card we hope to pay off this year and we have one van payment and of course our house payment. Thanks in advance.

  6. Thankfulmom
    March 15, 2009

    That is a great question. I’ll post it to everyone later this week and see what suggestions and advice people have to offer.

    If you have an answer to Melinda’s questions, please email it to me at and I’ll save it for the post.

    Thank you,


  7. Kimberly Leclercq
    March 24, 2009

    I’m selling bracelets through You earn $2/bracelet and don’t have to put out any money. Just direct friends and family to the site. ADOPT MORE is working hard to spread awareness of adoption while providing fund raising opportunities for prospective adoptive parents!

    Any adopting family can participate.


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