“Ask AW”: Adoption & The Cost, Part 2

This 2-part series on adoption financing is presented by Jennifer Van Ee.  Jennifer is the Director of Intake at America World. She has a background in children and trauma and a passion for orphan care. She loves being able to combine her faith and her passions in her daily work.

Adoption Cost
The cost of adoption is a huge obstacle for most families who are considering adoption.  However, it is not insurmountable.  In fact, we have heard hundreds of testimonies from America World families who have taken that step of faith and watched God work financial miracles.

Now that we have covered the costs and timelines (Part 1,) we are ready to start making plans to meet these financial goals. In Part 2, we will cover ideas for financing the adoption, including fundraising and grants. 

Eternal Family Program:

The Eternal Family Program is designed for family members, friends and churches to get involved with caring for orphans by providing financial support to a specific family currently in the process of adopting through one of America World's adoption programs. America World will accept contributions on your behalf and will provide an email to donors. Contributions made to the Eternal Family Program go directly to the intended family's adoption costs and help support America World's ministry to orphaned and vulnerable children. For more information about this program and how it works, go to the America World Eternal Family Program page


Personal Finances:

Many families do pay part of their adoption out of pocket, especially at the beginning when grant dollars are not available. These start-up costs are roughly between $6,000-$10,000, all due in the first 3-6 months of the adoption process. This includes the initial program fee, home study, fingerprints and online training. If these dollar amounts seem daunting, here are some questions to consider:

  • Does your family have something you can “sell” such as an expertise in decorating, or musical talents that you could start giving lessons or charge a fee for service? Do you have clothing, household items, and/or appliances you have boxed up to go to the donation center? If so, try selling these items on Craigslist instead.  
  • Is there a current expense you could reduce or get rid of? For example, could your family live as a one-car family, or with an older car with a lower loan amount/insurance rate. You could then take the money saved on monthly payments and put it towards your adoption.
  • Is there any wiggle room in your monthly budget you could start setting aside for your adoption? You can treat it as a bill you owe so that it is consistently being saved. For example, do you eat lunch out fairly often or buy your morning cup of coffee? If so, how much is your spending on these items per month, and would it help to limit it for a while to help save?

The Gowen family has not adopted just once but 6 children and that is on top on their 3 biological children. Visit their family’s story and perspective on financing at their BLOG.

For more family perspectives, you can visit our Testimony page.


When it comes to fundraising, the sky is the limit. It is always fun to hear about new ideas families come up with as fundraisers such as t-shirt sales and concerts! If you already have children in your home, it is also a great way to get them involved. Families have done bake sales, garage sales, community concerts, potlucks, and so many more! Other families have set up pages on crowd sources sites such as Pure Charity, or our Eternal Family Program to help make it easy for people to donate. This is especially helpful if you are sending out fundraising letters/e-mails or putting asks up on your social media accounts. Here are two other ideas from our missions department:

  • Shoe Drive through funds2org.com
  • Mud Love – provides products and partnership for fund raising efforts


Many families are aware of different granting organizations set up to help provide families with the financial resources to be able to adopt. I did want to note that most adoption grants are not distributed until after you have complete your home study so you will need to keep that in mind as your start thinking about finances. For a list of granting organizations, go to our Resource pages

Adoption Tax Credit 

Families are eligible for the adoption credit during the year their adoption is finalized (the year you bring home your child). You will want to consult with a tax professional.

Financing is one of the scariest and biggest hurdles for families interested in adopting. At America World, we recognize that for so many of our families this journey really is a step of faith and you may not know where ever penny is coming from at the beginning of your process. God often calls families to the adoption process so that He can demonstrate His provision and power to provide not just in the life of the orphan, but in the life of the family as well. These are just some tips and ideas from families who have gone through the process themselves to help you discern the right path for your family.

For more tips on financing an adoption, I would encourage you to visit some of the sites below. 


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