Adoptive Families, the award-winning national adoption magazine, is the leading adoption information source for families before, during, and after adoption.


Adoption Expenses: Where to Go for Help

Many parents wonder how to meet the cost of adoption. Make use of the credits, benefits, subsidies, and other resources listed below.

Adoption can cost $15,000 to $25,000 or even more, but credits, reimbursements, and other benefits can make your adoption affordable. Here are some of them:

Federal Adoption Expense Tax Credit

For tax year 2011, the federal adoption expense tax credit is a maximum of $13, 360 per adoption (subject to income limitations).

State Tax Credits

Several states have tax credits for adoptive families, sometimes restricted to those adopting from that state's public child welfare system. Contact your state adoption unit for more information.

Adoption Subsidies

Children with special needs may qualify for a subsidy to help parents pay for ongoing treatments. For more information: North American Council on Adoptable Children,

Nonrecurring Adoption Expense Reimbursement

Families who adopt from the public system may be eligible for reimbursement of adoption-related expenses, such as homestudy, travel, and attorney costs. More information:

Military Subsidies

Active-duty personnel are reimbursed for one-time adoption costs, whether adopting an infant, a waiting child, or a child from abroad. Find out more at

A new guide, Wherever My Family Is: That's Home! Adoption Services for Military Families, explains how to minimize obstacles to adoption, with information about the homestudy process and post-adoption services. Request a copy by calling 888-200-4005, or download it from

Employee Benefits

Some employers offer adoption benefits. See Adoptive Families' picks for adoption-friendly companies and read, "How to Lobby Your Employer for Adoption Benefits," at For more help in lobbying for these benefits, visit

Grants and Loans

Some adoption agencies and organizations offer adoption grants and/or low-cost loans. Agencies with such programs include Holt International, World Association for Children and Parents (WACAP), and Dillon International. (See the adoption agency listings in at for contact information.) For instance, the Gift of Adoption Fund,, and A Child Waits,, offers grants and loans for families adopting internationally., a startup financial assistance grant program, awards grants twice per year to prospective adopters who face significant financial obstacles. 

Other Resources

Look into cash advances from credit cards, second mortgages, home equity loans, and special adoption loans. Consider borrowing from your life insurance policy, 401(k), or pension plan. Perhaps you can tap friends and relatives. If you feel uncomfortable asking them directly, register with, an online adoption gift registry service where friends and family can help defray adoption expenses. Maybe you can take a second job until your child comes, or identify a birthmother who already has medical insurance.

Read tips from parents about the ways they financed adoption.

Bottom line

Leave no stone unturned.

Back To Home Page


Posted by: Jordan at 1:52pm Mar 27

Post a comment

Find Adoption Services


Find Adoption Professionals






Subscribe to Adoptive Families online or via toll-free phone 800-372-3300
Click to email this article to a friend.
Click for printer friendly version.

Child Development, Family, Health, and Education Research

Magazine Publishers of America