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.”Image credit: oskay
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The grant amounts listed on the provided links available equate in value to how much a savvy shopper may spend to provide care for a newborn for its entire first YEAR of life. However, not a cent of these funds go to childcare, but just to cover part of the exorbitant fees of baby brokers in a hot consumer market.
The release of such grants should be conditioned on a verified statement by the birth mother/father that freely state that financial hardship is not a material factor in their plans to go forward with the adoption. Over 90% of mothers site such economic vulnerabilities as their deciding factor in following through with these adoptions, often made to feel like parenting through rehabilitative financial hardship is “selfish” and “unfair to their baby.”
Adoption isn’t a truly free “choice” unless the mother is able to make it but for doubts related to their current financial state or support system. Statistics show that not even 1/5 of the amounts these grants can total would be enough to validate a woman’s confidence in her ability to parent. It is an extremely egregious practice and semi-conducive to human trafficking to supply funds solely to rip a wet-wound infant from its vulnerable mother. The prospective biological mother should also be notified in writing of the intent to provide the adoptive couple these funds to help pay for these adoption fees all before the final court date where her parental rights will be terminated.
Perhaps, a finding that economic duress is fueling such a permanent and damaging severance would call for them to be allocated toward family preservation instead.
The average grant sum awarded to pay baby brokers solely for the delivery of wound-wet infants, no portion of which goes toward caring for the child whatsoever, can equate to the cost of first year expenses for the first YEAR.
If a finding suggests that economic hardship is a prominent factor influencing the biological family’s plan to relinquish their baby up for adoption, then the grant provider’s should be prohibited from awarding strangers financial help to separate the child from his natural parents. This is exploitive at best and the stepping stone to outright human trafficking.