Deciding to grow your family through adoption is exciting, but it can also be expensive. Adoption-related expenses vary widely depending on whether you're adopting a child from foster care, going through a private agency, or adopting internationally.
Adopting a child from foster care involves very little expense because federal and state adoption assistance programs help offset costs. But a private adoption can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $45,000
, and an intercountry adoption averages between $20,000 and $50,000, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway. Fortunately, adoption loans can help you finance these costs. Here’s what you need to know about adoption loans.Can I get a loan to finance an adoption?
In short, yes. Many prospective parents turn to adoption loans to help pay for the cost of adoption. In fact, adoption loans come in several different forms. Some lenders offer loans specifically for adoption. But you may also be able to use a personal loan to finance your adoption costs.
Interest-free adoption loans
Some nonprofits and religious organizations offer interest-free adoption loans to adoptive families who meet their criteria. If you don’t qualify for one of these adoption loans, you can compare personal loan rates
for adoption expenses using Credible.What's the difference between adoption loans and grants?
Both adoption loans and grants offer funds to help adoptive parents cover the cost of adoptions, but there’s a crucial difference: Adoption loans must be paid back, whereas adoption grants are gifts that don’t have to be repaid.
Because they don’t have to be repaid, there can be a lot of competition for adoption grant resources. It’s a good idea to apply for a variety of adoption grants to improve your chances of getting some financial assistance.Here are a couple adoption grants to consider:
- Gift of Adoption Fund — The Gift of Adoption Fund offers grants of up to $15,000 to help individuals complete a relative, domestic, or international adoption. Grants are awarded without regard to race, religion, age, marital status, or sexual orientation. Applicants must submit two letters of reference and a $50 application fee with their completed application.
- HelpUsAdopt.org — HelpUsAdopt.org provides adoption grants between $500 and $15,000 to couples and individuals regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, marital status, or sexual orientation. At least one applicant must be a U.S. citizen, and applicants must use a licensed adoption agency in the U.S. The organization prioritizes applicants without children or with failed or disrupted adoption placements.
What are some adoption loan alternatives?
Adoption loans and grants aren’t the only options for financing your adoption costs. Here are some alternatives to consider:
- Cash-out refinance — With a cash-out refinance, you refinance your existing mortgage with a larger loan and get the difference between the two loans in cash. In general, you need a credit score of at least 620 and a maximum combined loan-to-value ratio of 80% to qualify for a cash-out refinance. This means after your cash-out refinance, you still have at least 20% equity in your home.
- Personal line of credit — A personal line of credit is similar to a credit card — it’s revolving credit that you can continually draw from up to your borrowing limit. As you pay down your balance, your available credit is replenished. Interest rates on personal lines of credit can be lower than credit card interest rates, but are generally higher than home equity borrowing options, because personal lines of credit are typically unsecured.
- Home equity loan — A home equity loan is also known as a second mortgage. You keep your existing mortgage but borrow against your home’s equity in a one-time event. Home equity loans usually have fixed interest rates, so if interest rates rise, your monthly payment won’t be affected.
- Borrow money from friends or family — Friends and family may be willing and able to help you finance the cost of adoption. If you go this route, be sure to have a written loan agreement in place and pay what the IRS considers an "adequate" interest rate. Otherwise, both you and your friend or family member could face income tax consequences. As long as your family member charges at least the applicable federal rate in place at the time the loan agreement is signed, you don’t have to worry about tricky tax rules.
- Crowdfunding — Crowdfunding allows you to raise funds for your adoption journey from friends, family members, and even strangers. You simply create a profile on a crowdfunding platform, share your story and a link to contribute via email and social media, and people can donate to help cover your adoption costs. Some popular crowdfunding sites include GoFundMe and AdoptTogether.org.
SOURCE:FOXNEWS IMAGE SOURCE: PIXABAY