When my family began our adoption journey more than 10 years ago, we felt called to adopt. It was a great feeling, but we lacked the financial means to reach our goal.
I began to do research on the Internet to find ways to help pay for our adoptions. Much to my delight and encouragement, I found that there were adoption grants available that could maybe help us. However, I was discouraged by the lack of detail on these sources. It was extremely frustrating as I kept on running into the same outdated and inaccurate information. This happened over and over again! Because this drove me crazy (and still does!), I decided to do something about it. My main goal is to save adoptive families the time and frustration by doing the research and keeping data up-to-date.
Over the last 10 years of adoption grant research, I also discovered that all adoption grant organizations have eligibility criteria. Most require that families adopt through a licensed agency. Many require that the agency be a nonprofit. More and more are requiring the applicant family’s adoption agency be Hague Accredited. There are some that allow single applicants, but it is more common for them to prefer Christian, married couples; very few adoption grant organizations will consider private domestic adoptions.
Because all of this information is so hard to keep track of, I began to develop a database of adoption grants and loan options that would work for my family based on the eligibility criteria mentioned above.
Over the years, as I began to work with other adoptive families, I started to expand the database into a chart that clearly outlines each grant, along with each one’s eligibility criteria. Today this listing contains detail and current information for more than 45 adoption grants.
I regularly check to verify the accuracy of every link, email and other contact information. Today I would like to share several of the most common adoption grant sources.
1. National Adoption Foundation – NAF requires a donation to download its application. This grant source has very few application eligibility requirements, but also means a lot more people are applying for it.
2. Gift of Adoption Fund – GAF requires a $40 application fee. If the applicant is denied the first time, they can ask for a review of their information up to three times. This grant does allow single applicants and does not have any religious eligibility criteria.
3. Help Us Adopt.org – This grant source is the only one that specifically states they will accept applications from LGBT applicants. Since they have fewer application eligibility criteria, they will naturally receive more applications than they have funds.
4. Show Hope – Show Hope was originally called Shaohannah’s Hope in honor the founder’s daughter. The founders are Contemporary Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth. This grant organization has quite a few eligibility criteria including that the applicants be married, Christian couples adopting through a nonprofit agency.
5. Lifesong for Orphans – Lifesong for Orphans offers several financial assistance options. They are a Christian-based organization and therefore require applicants be married, Christian couples. They offer matching grants and loans, and teamed up with the Both Hands foundation a few years ago to offer a unique and very successful fundraising model.
6. State-specific Grants – There are several states that have adoption grant funds specifically for residents of their state. Examples include: Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Tennessee, North and South Carolina and New England states.
7. Adoption Agencies – There are several adoption agencies that have adoption grant funds available to qualified families. Examples include: Dillon International, Holt International, WACAP, Adoption ARK and many more. Most of the time, these funds are set up to assist adoptions of special needs or hard to place children.
Here are a few of the adoption grant organizations that DO NOT accept applications from families for adoption grants. Some are simply no longer in existence, but others have switched to a humanitarian focus instead of offering adoption grants. Please save yourself time by not researching or contacting these organizations.
1. The Boatner Family Foundation
2. The Richard Stillman Foundation
3. His Kids Too
4. The Fore Adoption Foundation
5. China Care Foundation
6. iCARE Foundation
Adoption grant information changes constantly, but this will help get you started and save you valuable time. I hope it helps bring another child home!
For complete information on adoption grant and loans and tips on how to apply for adoption grants, please check out resources4adoption.com.
Written by: Cherri Walrod, Founder and Director of Resources4adoption.com
©August 2011 Resources4adoption.com