Who should apply for an adoption loan or grant?Q: Who should apply for adoption grants or loans?

A: Cherri Walrod recommends that perspective adoptive parents should fundraise as much as possible and avoid loans if they can. If you must obtain loans, consider applying for slightly more than you think you will need because adoption costs can fluctuate and increase depending on the amount of time it takes to complete the adoption. Keep in mind that some adoption loans do have limits on the amount which can be borrowed.

If you do consider loans, please be sure to only use reputable loan organizations. Predatory lending can be a serious problem for adoptive families. Walrod recommends the following loan resources: America’s Christian Credit Union, A Child Waits Foundation, ABBA Fund and Pathways for Little Feet. For a full list, visit Walrod’s website.

Since grants do not have to be re-paid, there will always be more requests for funding than funds available. Walrod encourages families to apply for any grants which they are eligible for. If you have limited time, then it is better to pick your top five and focus all your time and effort there. If you need help finding the grants you should focus on, please check out the Adoption Finance Toolkit. There is a matching tool to help you filter grant options based on your family’s criteria.

If you receive grants, most granting organizations send the money directly to your adoption agency. After all of your agency fees are paid then you may get a refund check from them which you might be able to apply towards travel or other adoption related expenses. Be sure to save all your receipts!

Since you cannot predict or count on receiving either one, it is wise to think of other financing options.

Cherri Walrod is the founder and director of Resources 4 Adoption. She is dedicated to providing adoptive families with the most accurate and current information about adoption financing options. For more information on this topic, visit our resource page on adoption grants or loans and visit our blog: “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Adoption Grants.”

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