Young adoptive couple at home preparing clothing for adoption fundraiserAdoption is an adventure for your entire family. Part of the adventure of adoption is getting creative with raising funds for your adoption. The average cost of an adoption can range anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000. There’s the home study fee, adoption professional’s fees, travel costs, and legal fees. And sometimes birth mother expenses.
 
This may seem overwhelming at first, but many hopeful parents have come up with creative adoption fundraiser ideas to raise the money they need for their adoptions. Here are 8 practical adoption fundraiser ideas you can try.
 

1. Garage sale

One of the best adoption fundraiser ideas is a garage sale. Send out flyers around your neighborhood with information about when, where, and what times you will hold the adoption fund garage sale. Post on local Facebook pages and Nextdoor about your garage sale.
 
Ask your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors to donate things for the sale, with the proceeds going toward money for your adoption. One of our adoptive parents advertised on social media, and many well-wishers stopped to buy things and make donations. They raised over $750 in one morning!
 

2. eBay

If you have unwanted items in your home and garage that are still in good shape, try selling them on eBay to get money for your adoption. Items you could sell include:

  • Clothing
  • Accessories
  • Jewelry
  • Books
  • Toys
  • Boating or camping equipment
  • Antiques
  • Collectibles

3. Bake sale

If you enjoy baking or creating different food items, you can try selling them for money for your adoption fund. Make labels explaining the proceeds of your sales go towards your adoption, which will motivate people to want to help with your fundraising efforts.
 
You can sell your food items at farmer’s markets, garage sales, church bake sales, or using social media. There are many homemade food items you can sell, including:

  • Salsa
  • Jellies or jams
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Candies
  • Cookies
  • Bread

4. Consign or Sell Clothing

Selling gently-used or new clothing is another simple adoption fundraiser idea you can do during your adoption process. Many people buy used clothing at thrift stores and then sell them for a decent profit. Check out Poshmark, which makes selling used clothing, jewelry, shoes, hats, and purses easy.
 

5. Book Sale

Creative adoption fundraiser ideas abound. How about selling old books to raise money for your adoption? Buy old used books at thrift stores, used bookstores, or your local library.
 
One adoptive mom started buying old books and resold them online. She learned to spot rare items, including antique books she purchased for a few dollars and sold at $50. After three months, she had made $4,500.
 

6. Hold a T-shirt Fundraiser

Fundraising ideas can be simple, like selling t-shirts with a cute slogan about your desire to adopt. You can sell to family, co-workers, friends, and neighbors who want to help you raise money for your adoption. Come up with a general slogan such as “We ❤️ Adoption.”
 
Bonfire, an online t-shirt fundraising site, does not charge you any upfront costs or shipping. They will also print and deliver the t-shirts to your supporters!
 

5. Etsy

Do you like to knit or crochet? Maybe you paint cards or make jewelry for fun. You can turn these hobbies into money for your adoption. Etsy makes it easy to sell your homemade items.
 

6. Create a Fundraising Site

Another popular adoption fundraiser idea is to set up an adoption website. Then, link your site to your social media pages so your friends, family, co-workers, and other interested parties can find out how your adoption is going.
 
Keep the information general but informative. You can send email newsletters to your followers to give them updates. Most websites allow you to include plugins that help people donate easily.
 

7. Plan a Run or Walk

Another fun way to get people participating in your adoption fundraiser is to set up a local 5K run, walk-a-thon, or bowling fundraiser, with proceeds going toward your adoption. Tell your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors about the event and ask if they’d like to take part or donate to the cause.
 
Photo of a suitcase with a cover, used for an adoption fundraiser

8. Suitcase Fundraiser

One of our adoptive families devised this clever way of raising money for their adoption: they sold spaces on their suitcase. To start, they purchased a large suitcase, which they planned to take with them when they traveled to meet their future baby. Then, they put a simple suitcase cover over it.
 
This adoptive couple sold spaces on the suitcase cover for people to write a verse, their name, a word or message, or draw a picture. It’s a lovely way to take your friends and family along on your adoption journey while helping defray some of your adoption costs. Plus, the signed suitcase cover will become a keepsake for you once you adopt!

Linda Rotz
Written by Linda Rotz

Linda Rotz, CWCM-S, CWCM-Trainer, ACC, is the Director of Adoption Services at Lifetime. Linda has worked in the field of adoption for 20 years within the child welfare/foster care system in Florida. She has degrees in Mass Communications and Human Development, and completed graduate studies in social work.

Due to her extensive expertise, Linda was called upon to write adoption procedures and training materials in Florida. She is certified as an Adoption Specialist, Child Welfare Case Manager Supervisor and Child Welfare Trainer in the state of Florida.