Making the decision to adopt a baby is an exciting step. Accruing the money to afford the adoption, however, can be intimidating. If you are thinking about growing your family, you are likely considering the costs that are associated with adoption. At initial glance, the costs of adopting a child can seem overwhelming. However, as any adoptive family could tell you, the love of a child is truly priceless in the end.
Adoption is a wonderful choice for families for a variety of reasons. Whether you face infertility, cannot have children biologically, or have always dreamed of adopting, you may be longing to adopt a child to raise and love. Adoption makes parenthood possible for all types of families. While the adoption process takes time, and there are costs to prepare for, the journey is well-worth it.
If you and your spouse are looking into adoption in Massachusetts, you may have already had some discussions regarding the costs of adoption in MA. These fees cover important services for both the adoptive family and the birth mother. For example, the costs at Adoptions With Love cover your home study, marketing, legal services for all parties, educational courses, counseling for the birth mother, prenatal and postnatal needs, and more.
Unless you have an unlimited budget, you will want to consider your own finances and how they will be impacted. It is important to prepare for this investment ahead of time, so that you can be fully invested in your child’s future once he or she arrives. In this guide, we will share some tips on how to save for adoption.
- Start an Adoption Savings Account
This one may seem obvious, but when it comes to saving, it will help to have some funds aside in a designated bank account. Check with your bank to learn about any options for having funds automatically transferred from your checking account. You can choose an amount to have directly transferred into your dedicated adoption savings account every time you get paid. There are also third-party apps that you can use to help reach your saving goals.
It can be tempting to put your entire life savings towards the adoption, but you will want those funds for your family’s future ahead. If you have a dedicated adoption savings account, you will not be as tempted to divert too much away from your savings, which could put you at risk of not having any rainy-day funds.
Speaking of, you may also consider setting up a Baby Steps Savings Plan. This is offered to Massachusetts families who have children in or after January 2020. Any child born or adopted may enroll in the program and receive a $50 deposit to their college savings account. It may not seem like much, but these “baby steps” are a great way to start saving for your child’s future.
- Cut Out Extra Spending Wherever Possible
As you re-assess your budget, consider cutting down on the “extras” in your life. Do you buy your morning coffee? Brew your own at home. Have you been ordering takeout frequently? Try cooking more meals at home. You could also cut down on bills, such as:
- Cable – Choose one or two streaming services for your entertainment.
- Utilities – Shorten those showers and turn off the lights as you leave a room.
- Travel – Take a year or two off and you can enjoy years of vacation memories with your adopted child
These small adjustments can add up. After a few months you will be amazed at how much money you have stocked away for your adoption.
- Learn About Any Support Offered by Employer
Did you know that many employers today offer adoption assistance? Often, these benefits come in the form of financial assistance as well as parental leave. If your company offers any kind of financial support, you should take advantage of it.
If you are unsure of your company’s adoption benefits, chat with your manager or H.R. department. If your workplace does not offer any financial assistance, you may want to consider starting the conversation. It could help in making some big changes around the office.
- Apply for Grants
There are numerous grants that can help your family offset the cost of adoption in Massachusetts. Look into the following grant programs:
Start applying as soon as you are eligible. Adoptions With Love also offers subsidies to families that qualify.
- Start Fundraising
Here is a method that has been around long before online crowdfunding sites existed – although those can be incredibly helpful, too.
There are many choices when it comes to fundraising. Go Fund Me is a tried-and-true means for raising money, particularly when you can share your story and efforts on social media.
- Consider a New Loan or Defer an Old Loan
Similarly, you may want to consider getting a loan to cover adoption costs. You could also look into deferring any existing loan payments for a bit.
Before you consider taking out a loan, be sure you can make the monthly payments. Remember to shop around to get the best interest rates and terms. It may prove helpful to speak with a financial advisor before taking out a loan.
- Consider Foster Care Adoption
Adoption is a personal decision, and one that must be made with confidence. If you have decided that private, domestic adoption is the best path for you and your family, follow your heart and go with what you feel is best. Of course, if finances are tight, you may want to consider foster care adoption, as it is the least expensive way to adopt a child.
Ultimately, you may decide that you still want to pursue a private, domestic adoption with a full-service adoption agency like Adoptions With Love. All of your adoption services are covered under one cost. Whatever choice you make, we support families in their quest to grow their families and we understand that you need to take the path that works for you.
- Take a Break When You Need It
Many families faced serious financial strain once the global COVID-19 pandemic hit. You may have experienced unemployment, shortened work hours, or your savings may have suffered in the economic fallout.
At Adoptions With Love, we understand that growing your family is a high priority. You do not want to put your plans on hold, and you are dreaming of the day you can hold your baby in your arms. We also understand, however, that this can put a lot of pressure on families to save money, and cause stress and anxiety in the process. If you need to pump the breaks on your adoption plans, that is okay.
Adoptions With Love is not going anywhere and will be here for you when you are ready to pick things up where you left off. It is more important for your family to be financially fit, especially before bringing home a child to raise. Adoptions With Love also has a subsidy program for those families that fit the criteria. Ask us about this.
- Respect Where You Cannot Cut Corners
Even though an adoption can seem like a financially overwhelming, it is important to understand that you cannot cut corners. You may come across adoption professionals who are advertising low-cost or free adoptions, but it is important to do your research.
In Massachusetts, you are required to work with a licensed adoption agency in order to carry out a fully-legal adoption. It is vital that you work with a trustworthy adoption agency, for your own family and for the safety of expectant/birth mothers. Trying to find a child on your own can be risky, and, ultimately, cost more in both finances and emotions. Be sure to find an experienced agency to help you navigate this process.
When you are looking for an adoption agency, do not go with the cheapest option just for the sake of saving on costs. In the end, the right adoption agency will be well worth the investment. Adoption agencies that offer one flat cost for all services can be the best choice for families. Those that boast a lower fee often require you to purchase ad-hoc (but necessary) services that the state also requires.
- Take Advantage of Adoption Tax Credits
When it comes time to adopt, remember that tax benefits are available for adoptive families in Massachusetts. These tax benefits include a tax credit for qualified adoption expenses paid, as well as an exclusion for employer-provided adoption assistance. For 2020, the maximum credit (dollar limit) is $14,300 per child. Costs that qualify for a credit for the adoptive family include:
- Reasonable and necessary adoption fees,
- Court costs and attorney fees,
- Traveling expenses (including amounts spent for meals and lodging while away from home), and
- Other expenses that are directly related to and for the principal purpose of the legal adoption of an eligible child.
Saving for an adoption can feel like a lot, but it is well worth the effort. We hope these tips have helped inspire you as you begin your adoption journey. If you have any other questions regarding fees or the adoption process in Massachusetts, reach out to Adoptions With Love. Call us at 800-722-7731, text us at 617-777-0072, or contact us online.