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January 11, 2017

How to Adopt Without Debt

adopt without debt

Let’s preface this post by stating the obvious: Adoption can be expensive with no easy way to pay for it (unless you own the Isle of Maldives).

That said, it is possible for the average American family to afford an adoption, and–with a significant amount of determination, prayer, and elbow grease–to pay for it without accumulating debilitating debt. Let’s look at a potential road map to debt-free adoption.

1. Make the need known.
Most of us have been hardwired not to ask for money. In fact, we’ve been taught not to trust people who do. So when it comes to adoption, we feel hesitant to ask for help. Yet we may be underestimating what our friends and family want to do to make our adoption a reality. Consider writing a letter to those you know and love. Briefly share God’s heart for the orphan, His call to the church, your call to adopt, the details of your adoption journey, and your financial need.

Bonus idea:

Set up an online mySTORY account to make online giving even easier. (Note: 100% of each donation received by Lifesong goes directly to the need. Lifesong does not take admin fees.)

2. Ruthlessly cut unnecessary expenses.

Consider the things you may not need in this current season of life and do whatever you can to put pennies back in your pocket. Cut items like cable, fast food, and subscriptions where you can. Host a garage sale. (Better yet, invite friends to donate their unwanted items to your sale.)

3. Be discerning with fundraisers.
Sometimes we avoid directly asking people for money by selling T-shirts or hosting spaghetti dinners. And while these aren’t bad strategies, (We encourage families to fundraise!) selling a $20 T-shirt for a $7 profit may not always cut your straightest path to debt-free adoption. Consider fundraisers with the lowest possible overhead costs (such as offering babysitting or doing yard work) and host a fundraiser only after you’ve stated the need (see #1) to those in your inner circle.

Learn about hosting a Both Hands fundraiser!
Matthew and Heather

Matthew, Heather, and their sweet daughter, Chloe, recently adopted from South Korea

There were times throughout the process when we were not sure where the money would come from to fund our adoption process. God never failed us. Each time money was due, we had it. We don’t just have $40,000 sitting in the bank. If we can do this, anyone can. God provides!
–Matthew & Heather

4. Partner with a business.
Look for businesses in your area who might be willing to donate services or products to support your adoption. Ask restaurants to put out a jar collecting change for your adoption. Check with your place of employment to see if they offer any adoption benefits. Build a team of people who will help you think outside the box to raise necessary funding.

5. Apply Adoption Tax Credits. For 2016, the Adoption Tax Credit was $13,460. And though it isn’t as simple as receiving a fat check in the mail, it can be helpful after you finalize your adoption. For now, qualified adoption expenses for tax purposes include adoption fees, attorney fees, court costs, travel expenses, and re-adoption expenses related to adopting overseas.

6. Apply for adoption grants. At least 27 different grant organizations (including Lifesong!) are looking to support adoptive families in process.

Research and apply for applicable grants.

7. Pursue fostering-to-adopt.
We would be remiss not to include fostering-to-adopt on a list of ways to affordably bring a child into your family. Thousands of waiting children in the U.S. need a family and do not require the same financial gymnastics to bring them home. Fostering-to-adopt isn’t for everyone (just like adopting overseas isn’t for everyone), but if you haven’t decided where you will adopt, keep fostering-to-adopt in mind. And check out our foster care ministry, The Forgotten Initiative, for encouragement and support.

In conclusion

Be encouraged. If God called you to pursue adoption, He will provide the resources to obey. Fundraising is a journey that God will use to prepare you for everything that is to come once your child is home. It will grow your faith, change your views, and heighten your awareness of your dependence on God–all helpful when rearing a child who will need love and healing.

He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:24

 (UPDATE: Congratulations to Niki Holland Carman! YOU WON!)

Lori and Jeremy with Fund Your Adoption have generously partnered with us to offer one lucky winner an elite online course (valued at $399!) that teaches you how to adopt without debt and coaches you each step of the way. With 12 video lessons, $600 worth of bonus material, and one-on-one coaching, you can learn everything you need to adopt without debt.

TO ENTER: 1) Tag someone in the Facebook post comments section who is considering or in the process of adopting, and 2) leave a comment below here on the blog to let us know you did. At 4:00 Central on Thursday, January 12, one name will be drawn and announced.

Learn more about Lifesong grants and loans.


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34 Responses to “How to Adopt Without Debt”

  1. Amy Kelly says:

    I tagged someone onFB to enter the contest.

  2. brittany says:

    I tagged my hubby!

  3. Cynthia Lipps says:

    I tagged my sweet husband.

  4. I tagged people on the Facebook post, and would love to be considered for the drawing!

  5. Adam Disbrow says:

    I tagged some friends who have thought of adopting for the contest.

  6. Laura says:

    Tagged someone!

  7. I also tagged my husband.

  8. Grier Marr says:

    Tagged someone!! Yay

  9. Amanda says:

    Tagged my hubby.

  10. James Jacobs says:

    I tagged my wife

  11. Horacio and Sirlene Flores says:

    I tagged a dear friend and coworker.

  12. Cari King says:

    I tagged someone! Great tips in this post <3

  13. Mandy says:

    I am adopting and commented!

  14. Amanda Prata says:

    I tagged Brian Timberlake on facebook. (My name on FB is different because I work at a police station and I use an alias 🙂 )
    After 2 miscarriages, 4 failed IVF attempts included 5 different egg plants, and 9 months of working with the state to adopt only to find out that they do not deal with newborn adoptions. Brian and I NEED this. PLEASE help us before our time runs out.
    Thank you so much Amanda

  15. Niki carman says:

    I tagged rick and can’t wait to show him!

  16. Andrew Pohlmann says:

    I tagged my wife…….

  17. Tracy says:

    I tagged!

  18. Meagan says:


  19. We love LifeSong and Fund Your Adoption. Both have been very helpful to us!

  20. Jennifer Lusk says:

    I tagged a dear friend in the comments on Facebook. As one who has had to fund an adoption I understand how hard it is and how you need all the help you can get

  21. Jessica says:

    Tagged my husband 🙂

  22. I tagged my husband Jon Trent! <3

  23. Natalie Backus says:

    Tagged someone!

  24. Micah Lipps says:

    I tagged my wife.

  25. Becky Washington says:

    I tagged someone!!

  26. Betty Watkins says:

    I tagged my daughter

  27. Michelle Puckett says:

    Commented and tagged!

  28. Dana TenHulzen says:

    I tagged my wonderful husband! Thank you

  29. Kim Harper says:

    I tagged a wonderful couple whom we have been so wonderfully blessed with to begin our own adoption journey with. It means so much to be able to pray together for our future kiddos, as well as to be able to come together to discuss the adoption journey itself! Good luck Julie (and Kent) Sandschafer! 😉

  30. Mistie Ranjbar says:

    This is wonderful. Great resources.

  31. Saralyn says:

    I tagged my amazing husband as we have adopted once, but may be getting ready to start the process again. Love the idea of adopting again, though it can be an overwhelmed thought!

  32. Em says:

    Tagged my husband 🙂