Happy adoptive couple at home with their baby after following tips to afford adoptionTrying to afford adoption is a common worry among hopeful parents. There’s the home study fee, adoption professional’s fees, travel costs, and legal fees. And sometimes birth mother expenses. So what can you do?
Here are six creative tips that you can start following today to afford adoption!

1. Start Cutting Back

Of course, this is at the top of the list because taking a look at your personal spending is a great place to start! Starting here helps you focus on your goals and make mindful spending choices.
Before you ask other people to donate towards your adoption, start cutting back on the extras. Your “extras” might be daily trips to Starbucks, dining out, or a gym membership that you never use. Take some time to decide what’s actually essential. Then, you can use the money you were spending on those things to save up for your adoption.
If you’re buying new designer clothing and luxury vehicles, you could make a big dent in your adoption fees simply by adjusting your personal spending habits.
Could you cook at home instead of eating out a couple of times a week? Do you really need Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime AND Disney+? Get creative and make it a challenge!

2. Sell Adoption T-Shirts

Bonfire.com can be an amazing addition to any other fundraising effort. If you have design skills (or access to someone who does), you can create a beautiful (or funny) shirt that people will be excited to buy…helping your family is just a bonus. Plus, Bonfire is super simple to set up and promote.
Young couple saving up so they can afford adoption

3. Have a Fundraiser

When you thought of funding an adoption, was your first instinct to hit up Pinterest for creative ideas and inspiration? If you’ve been down that road, you know that there are a LOT of great fundraising ideas. But before you spend too much time racing down the fundraising rabbit hole, ask yourself these questions:

  • How much time will I spend organizing this event vs. how much can I make?
  • How many fundraisers can I invite my close circle of friends and family to participate in without totally burning them out?

There are so many adoption fundraiser ideas out there, such as a silent auction, trivia night, bake sale, garage sale, etc. None of these ideas are “bad,” just make sure you take the time to do the math first.
If it takes you three weeks of planning and countless hours and all your extra energy to plan a silent auction that makes $1,000, is that worth it? Just don’t say “yes” to every opportunity you come across. Choose wisely! So while fundraisers can be fun and exciting and bring in more significant amounts of money, they can also be a ton of work compared to the amount earned.

4. Apply for Adoption Grants

Adoption grants are worth mentioning because they are a payback-free option…amazing, right? There are many grants available for helping hopeful adoptive families, ranging from small amounts up to $20,000 or even matching grants that will match other amounts raised.
Grant writing is a unique skill, not to mention the research required to find the right fit! Lots of families have had success with this route. However, applying for grants requires patience, dedication, and solid writing skills.

5. Crowdfunding

This is an option that has increased in popularity recently. Maybe you’ve heard of Kickstarter or GoFundMe? These are two of the most well-known names in crowdfunding, but there are also adoption-specific sites.
AdoptTogether is a non-profit crowdfunding platform that seeks to bridge the gap between couples who want to adopt and children who need loving homes. Crowdfunding is a great way to share your story and invite your community to participate. It can be uncomfortable to ask, but if you’re willing to put it out there, I’m betting you’ll be amazed by who wants to support your family in this way!

6. Start a Creative Side Hustle

Consider starting your own “side hustle” to raise funds needed to afford adoption. Please don’t roll your eyes or throw this idea away. YOU CAN create your own mini-brand. You might not think you have time for a side business, the right skills or knowledge, or anything “sellable.”
But take a moment to think about your hobbies. Maybe you’re experienced at baking: start up a small cookie business for your adoption funding. Or maybe you’ve always enjoyed playing piano: advertise your skills and start teaching piano lessons. Several hopeful adoptive parents with fun hobbies and full-time jobs have successfully turned their fun hobby into a profit-making business. We’ve heard of adoptive couples doing everything from cleaning houses to tutoring to afford their adoption fees.
The best part of this strategy is that it gives you a platform for combining multiple fundraising options. For example, say you are obsessed with dogs, so you sign up on Rover.com and start dog walking until the whole neighborhood knows you as the go-to pet sitter. Then, you create an Instagram with cute pictures of you and your furry friends and start selling fun “dog lady” shirts. Now you have a platform for mentioning any other fundraisers you might start, and you’ve already busted out of your “immediate circle.” With this tip, you have the unlimited earning potential to afford adoption, and it gives you a shareable platform for combining multiple ideas!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on August 13, 2018, and has since been updated. 

Heather Featherston

Written by Heather Featherston

As the Vice President (VP) of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.

Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.

As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.