By Cherri Walrod – Founder and Director of Resources4adoption.com © April 2012
Many families today who wish to adopt do not even begin the process because of financial concerns; there are a lot of myths and confusion surrounding just how much adoption costs.
That was my family’s situation for many years. We heard, "Adoption costs $25,000 or more." Since we did not have this kind of cash sitting around, we assumed for years there was just no way we could afford to adopt.
It was not until I began to research adoption costs and resources for myself that I discovered something not commonly known or understood by the general public. There are phases to the process which spreads out the cost and makes it payable in increments. There are also a number of amazing resources to help you cover the costs of adoption.
If you've done any research into adoption financing options at all, chances are you have come across information about adoption grants and loans. However, you need to be aware these sources are usually NOT available until you are well into your adoption process. Since you cannot access grants and loans (and some fundraisers for that matter) until well into the process of adoption, where will you find the money to start?
Common sense directs most of us to look at our bank accounts to determine whether or not we can afford something. While this is typically very wise, for now, let’s look at four ways you can "think outside the bank."
What would you find if you cleaned out underneath your beds, in closets or attics, etc? What could you sell that could help you begin the process of adoption? Do you need money to pay for the application fee? How much does that cost? What could you sell to get the money you need for that fee? What about those family heirlooms? You may want to take some time to evaluate how important an object is to you versus bringing a child into your family, thereby producing a living legacy.
The Role of Resourcefulness Complemented by Creativity:
We could learn a thing or two from "The Greatest Generation." What does the World War II generation have to do with figuring out how to pay for adoption you might ask? For one thing, this generation was the very definition of self-sacrifice and delayed gratification. These concepts are fairly foreign to our generation. If you would like to see real-life examples of true resourcefulness and creativity, this is where you should look. They knew the value of sacrificing today in order to make a better future for their children tomorrow. You may have to reach back a generation or two, draw inspiration from them to make your dream of adoption a reality.
Small Changes and Big Sacrifices:
Sometimes small changes can add up to big savings over time. Other times a bigger sacrifice may be required. Many adoptive families have gone before you. Some examples of things they have done include: skipping vacations for many years, changing home thermostats to lower energy costs, modifying their food budgets or not eating out at all, selling their wedding rings, taking a second job, making jewelry or crafts to sell, shutting off cable/satellite TV, using retirement funds, etc.. The list could go on and on, but the point is these families made a commitment to do whatever it takes to save or make the money needed to help pay for adoption.
Community Resources and Support:
Being an active part of a community can be a very powerful tool when it comes time for networking. It is important to make connections and build long lasting relationships and friendships as soon as possible. This way when you plan adoption fundraisers, you will already have a network of support and connections in place. It can be a little difficult to drum up support only when it’s time to ask for money. People will be more likely to support your cause if you've already established a solid relationship with them well in advance.
We've all heard the expression, "Where there is a will there is a way." This basically means that determined people can accomplish very difficult things. Paying for your adoption may be difficult task, but determine today to be very determined to accomplish your dream of adoption!
Cherri Walrod is mom to six children and the Founder and Director of Resources4Adoption.com. Resources4Adoption.com is the #1 educational resource for adoptive families seeking financial assistance. From help in writing compelling grant and loan applications to providing tips for fundraisers, Resources4Adoption offers personalized support for each family.