How to get an adoption grant

If you are considering applying for an adoption grant to help fund your adoption, one of the best resources available is Resources4Adoption. Cherri Walrod, Founder and Executive Director, is an adoption grant researcher extraordinaire. She graciously agree to write today’s blog on everything you might ever want to know about getting a grant for your adoption, but were afraid to ask. Also check out the Creating a Family resources on Adoption Grants and Loans.


When my family began our adoption journey in 2001, we felt called to adopt. It was a great feeling, but we lacked the financial means to reach our goal.

I began to do research on the Internet to find ways to help pay for our adoptions. Much to my delight and encouragement, I found there were adoption grants available which could possibly help us. However, I was discouraged by the lack of detail on these sources. It was extremely frustrating as I kept on running into the same outdated and inaccurate information. This happened over and over again! Because this drove me crazy (and still does!), I decided to do something about it.

During my years of research and through my own experience applying for grants, I discovered that almost every adoption grant organization has some sort of eligibility criteria. Most require that families adopt through a licensed agency. Many require that the agency be a nonprofit. More and more are requiring the applicant family’s adoption agency be Hague Accredited. There are some which allow single applicants, but it is more common for them to prefer (traditionally) married Christian couples; there are a few adoption grant organizations which will consider private domestic adoptions.

Types of Adoption Grants

There are three basic types of adoption grants:

  • Direct Grants – Grant money paid directly to service provider for adoption expenses. Show Hope is an example of this type of grant.
  • Matching Grants – The grant organization offers to match dollar for dollar donations the adoptive family collects from donors. Lifesong for Orphans is an example an organization which offers this type of grant.
  • Fundraising Grants – The grant organization offers a way to attract donors for the adoption by way of a fundraising project. The Both Hands Foundation is an example of this type of grants.

I regularly check to verify the accuracy of each organization’s information and application criteria. Below is a list of some of the more common adoption grant sources. These sources have remained stable for several years now. For complete information on adoption grants and adoption loans, their application criteria, contact information and due dates, please check out or Facebook

Current Adoption Grant Sources

  • A Child Waits Foundation – A Child Waits Foundation has evolved as international adoption has changed. Initially, A Child Waits offered grants to families adopting older and special needs children. Now, they have broadened their grant and loan criteria so that any family adopting a child internationally may apply. Their grants and loans have always been open to all families regardless of marital status or religious affiliation and run year-round, without application deadlines.
  • Gift of Adoption Fund – Gift of Adoption provides adoption assistance grants of up to $15,000 to complete the adoptions of children in vulnerable circumstances from the U.S. and around the world. Gift of Adoption is the largest provider of adoption grants on a nondiscriminatory basis (without regard to age, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or marital status). Grants are awarded monthly to help complete domestic, international, foster care, and relative/kinship adoptions.
  • Help Us – This grant source is the only one that specifically states they will accept applications from LGBT applicants. Since they have fewer application eligibility criteria, they will naturally receive more applications than they have funds.
  • Lifesong for Orphans – Lifesong for Orphans offers several financial assistance options. They are a Christian-based organization and require applicants be traditionally married, Christian couples. They offer matching grants and loans, and teamed up with the Both Hands foundation a few years ago to offer a unique and very successful fundraising model.
  • Show Hope – Show Hope was originally called Shaohannah’s Hope in honor the founder’s daughter. The founders are Contemporary Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth. This grant organization has quite a few eligibility criteria, including the applicants being traditionally married, Christian couples adopting through a nonprofit agency. They have considered single Christian women’s applications on a case-by-case basis.

Other Adoption Grant Sources

  • State-specific Grants – There are several states that have adoption grant funds specifically for residents of their state. Examples include: Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Tennessee, North and South Carolina and New England states.
  • Adoption Agencies – There are several adoption agencies that have adoption grant funds available to qualified families. Most of these grants are child focused or child specific. Examples include: WACAP’s Promise Fund, Children’s House International, Agape Adoptions’ ZOE Fund, Dillon International’s Building Families Fund, Holt International’s Special Needs Adoption Fund, and many more. Most of the time, these funds are set up to assist adoptions of special needs or hard to place children.

Out-Dated Adoption Grant Sources

Here are a few of the adoption grant organizations that DO NOT accept applications from families for adoption grants. Some are simply no longer in existence, but others have switched to a humanitarian focus instead of offering adoption grants. Please save yourself time by not researching or contacting these organizations.

  • The Boatner Family Foundation
  • The Richard Stillman Foundation
  • His Kids Too
  • The Fore Adoption Foundation
  • China Care Foundation
  • iCARE Foundation

There is so much more adoption grant information and it constantly changes constantly. Hopefully, this will help get you started and save you valuable time. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about this information. I hope it helps bring another child home!

For complete information on adoption grant and loans and tips on how to apply for adoption grants, please check out You can contact me through the website.


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Image credit: Meggy