We understand that for most families, adoption is a significant financial undertaking. Our fee agreements (which can be found here: Barker Fee Agreements – All Programs) are broken into steps, allowing you to get a sense of when in the process each of the fees is due. We hope this information will better allow you to plan and budget for your adoption journey.
Adoption fees have a wide range, and we know how stressful that can be. Most adoption processes in international programs have fees spread out over a 24-48 month period, but domestic programs can be shorter. We have created this page to ensure that your family has the resources you need in order to build your family through the program that is best for you. The options listed below have been compiled through staff research, suggestions from partner agencies, and suggestions from Barker families who have used these resources to build their families. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions!
Please note that as the status of foundations and organizations is ever-changing, the below information may not always be the most current. In order to receive the most up to date information regarding these financial resources, please reach out to them directly.
Tax Credits and Deductions
Federal Adoption Tax Credit: The Federal Adoption Tax Credit is offered to adoptive parents to help offset the expenses incurred when building a family through adoption. Many families qualify for the tax credit, which can be used for up to $14,300 in 2020 in adoption expenses per child, including agency fees, court costs, medical care, and other international and domestic adoption expenses. You can claim the credit on your federal tax return for the year in which your child’s adoption becomes final and carry it forward for up to five years. Please be sure to consult with your tax preparer or the official IRS website for the most current information:
- IRS Tax Topic 607
- Adoption Tax Credit Working Group’s infographic
- US Federal Adoption Tax Credit
- Adoption Credit at a Glance
Individual State Deductions: Check with your tax preparer for deductions you may be eligible for within your state of residence. Contact your state’s Department of Revenue or Taxation or your State Adoption Specialist for more information. State Adoption Specialists can be found at the Child Welfare Information Gateway.
Learn more about the Adoption Tax Credit, including recent tax year changes, through Adoption Learning Partners’ online e-learning course Understanding the Adoption Tax Credit, or go to the instructions for using the Adoption Tax Credit on the IRS website. We also encourage you to contact your tax specialist to determine whether you qualify.
Retroactive Claims: You may be able to claim newly discovered tax benefits retroactively for up to three years. File Form 1040X to correct an error in a prior year’s federal return to collect a refund if one is due.
In addition to the adoption tax credits, please be sure to take into consideration any financial contributions made to the adoption process by your employer (more information provided below, see “Adoption Benefits in the Workplace”).
Adoption Grants and Loans
The following providers of adoption grants and loans are independent of The Barker Adoption Foundation. It is important to note that the information listed below is updated periodically, and foundations can change their information and grant availability without notice. You may discover additional resources by conducting your own Internet search.
A Child Waits provides grants of up to $7,000 and low-interest loans of up to $10,000 to families adopting internationally who have exhausted all other financial options and cannot proceed with their adoption without help. Combined income should not be more than $150,000. Families may apply for both a grant and loan at the same time. If awarded both a grant and a loan, the total maximum awarded is $10,000.
A Child’s Desire is a Children’s Charity that provides grants to nonprofit adoption agencies and fundraisers to adopting families. Grants are based on donations.
Both Hands awards grants to help reduce the financial barrier to adoption for families.
China Care Foundation (grant) Families, who qualify by adopting special needs or older kids in form of a grant, a low-interest loan or the combination of both based on family finances and need.
$1,000-$3,000 per grant.
Dream4Adoption helps fund adoptions for first time adoptive families and provides financial support to the adoption process, educational support of adopted children and financial assistance to families with an adopted child that has medical needs. Typical grant is $1500 at time of home study and $500 on completion of post adoption services.
Gift of Adoption provides $1,000-$10,000 grants to qualifying families adopting domestically or internationally, with the average grant totaling $3,500.
Help Us Adopt offers families demonstrating financial need grants between $500 – $15,000 towards domestic, international, foster or special needs adoptions.
International Adoption Resources offers $500-$1,500 grants that can be used toward the cost of an international adoption. There are no income requirements, but financial need or financial hardship for either the adoptive family or child is considered.
Journey to Parenthood Foundation a non-profit providing grants to those struggling with infertility. Also provides social support through groups to connect those with infertility.
Mighty Families by Adoption will award two families per year and donate $20,000 to each family to help cover adoption expenses. Hopeful families must be located in the US and actively pursuing domestic infant adoption. The grants are awarded in May and November each year.
The National Adoption Foundation offers $500-$2,000 grants to adoptive families on a needs-based assessment. There is no income requirement. Also provides low-interest loans for adoption.
The National Council For Adoption provides a resource list and guide with a wide variety of information from tax benefits, loans, to fundraising and with a specific list of granting organizations.
The North American Council on Adoptable Children lists eligibility and benefit information for state adoption subsidy programs.
Oxford Adoption Foundation, Inc. offers low-interest loans of up to $5,000 to adoptive families.
Parenthood for Me offers grants to adoptive families pursuing domestic or international adoptions who can demonstrate significant financial need.
Pathways for Little Feet provides interest-free loans to qualifying families based primarily on (but not limited to) financial need.
Resources 4 Adoption provides the very latest in Adoption Financing Education, Information, and Resources.
The Sparrow Fund provides grants to cover the cost of medical reviews from qualifying US providers for families adopting internationally.
United Healthcare Children’s Foundation provides grants to cover prescribed medical services (not fully covered by insurance) for children in need.
The ABBA Fund provides married Christian couples interest-free loans to cover adoption expenses. These loans are typically no more than 1/3 of the total adoption cost and range from about $6,000 – $8,000.
America’s Christian Credit Union offers low-interest-rate adoption loans awarded to Christian families.
Caroline’s Promise Grant offers grants to Christian North Carolina Residents of up to $3,000-$5,000/year.
God’s Grace Adoption Ministry is a non-profit organization that provides matching grants up to $1,000 for Christian families.
Golden Dawn Adoption Assistance provides grants of up to $2,000 to Christian families adopting children with special needs and other hard-to-place children. Grants are considered on a needs-based assessment.
HANDinHAND Christian Adoption provides matching grants for Christian adoptive families based on donations received on behalf of the family from other family members and friends. **Not accepting applications as of November 2020**
Hebrew Free Loan Association provides interest-free loans of up to $ $10,630/child if making $155,860/year or less for Jewish residents of Northern California.
His Kids Too! provides aid to orphans, widows, and adoptive parents. Offers grants to qualifying families who are adopting internationally based on donations the charity receives on behalf of the family from other family members and friends, $2,000 for 1 child, up to $4,000 for 2 children. Grants are paid to the agency (the agency must be on their preferred list).
Katelyn’s Fund Orphan Ministry offers married Christian couples a grant toward international or domestic adoption costs. Grants are awarded up to $3,000 for first-time grants based on available resources, and priority is given to families whose income is under $100,000. Second and third-time grants are awarded up to $1,500. There is a maximum limit of three grants.
Lifesong for Orphans offers interest-free loans to Christian families based on financial need and available funds. Matching grants are given in the range of $1,000-$4,000 which encourage the church community to contribute.
The Lydia Fund offers married Christian couples a grant toward international adoption costs.
Shaohannah’s Hope (also known as “Show Hope”) provides grants up to $7,000 to qualifying Christian families demonstrating financial need, for international, domestic, and foster child adoptions.
Topeka Community Foundation Building Families Fund offers grants to Christian families from Kansas or those with ties to Kansas. The fund has two deadlines each year. Applicants are required to have a completed home study, and to have been matched before applying.
Consider adoption crowdfunding through organizations such as the ones listed below. Consult your adoption program manager first as some international placing organizations may not allow this.
AdopTTogether is a non-profit crowdfunding platform that helps offset adoption expenses by allowing families to fundraise in their community. Donations are tax-deductible.
ABBA Fund - Faith-Based Crowdfunding
Adoption Benefits in the Workplace
Employer Benefits: As noted above, some employers offer adoption benefits, including financial. Find out if your employer offers adoption benefits by contacting your Human Resources Department or the equivalent department at your workplace. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption also releases a list of employers who offer the best family building/adoption benefits each year.
Advocating for Adoption Benefits: If your company does not offer adoption benefits, you might consider proposing them. The Adoption and Workplace Initiative, sponsored by the National Adoption Center and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, has developed materials to help you advocate for adoption benefits in the workplace.
Military Subsidies: The US Military. According to DoD Instruction 1341.09, up to $2,000 per child or up to $5,000 per year is available for qualifying expenses to military families whose adoptions were arranged by a qualified adoption agency or other source authorized to place children for adoption under State or local law. Benefits are paid after the adoption is completed.
Other Resources and Options
- Contact the airlines to inquire about a reduced rate or waiver of fees for adoption-related travel. Family members or friends may donate their frequent flyer mileage or credit-card points that are redeemable for travel.
- Research home-equity loans or refinancing your home.
- Borrow from a 401(k) or retirement account. Consult your tax advisor or financial planner regarding this loan option and how it will affect your future retirement finances.
- Borrow from a life insurance policy. Cash-value life insurance policies often allow you to borrow against the policy. Consult your insurance agent as to whether this option is available to you.
- Consider accepting a loan from family or friends. This can be done formally or informally.