November is National Adoption Month, but for those hoping to grow their family through adoption, the cost to adopt can make that dream seem out of reach. So, is it possible to adopt without acquiring debt? Naomi Quick is here to help you do just that!
Adopting without Acquiring Debt
Adoption is providing a loving, safe family for a child in need of one! While the goal of adoption is always the same, there are numerous types of adoption. The most common are infant domestic, international, and foster care adoption.
Biblically, we are to count the cost of something before beginning, to ensure we can finish the work. (Luke 14:28&29) This Biblical truth, coupled with society’s focus on finances, often compels people to allow the cost of adoption to influence their role in caring for orphans. While counting the cost is a good starting place, it should not be used as a sole determining factor!
The cost of some adoptions can be shocking to families who desire to open their hearts and home to a child in need of a family. For many people, seeing a number, followed by multiple zeros, feels disheartening, and out of reach. But the truth is this, if God has asked you to adopt, He will provide a way! Having financial security is important, but it can also be fleeting. As children of God, we must remember to place our trust in Him as our Provider, and not in the things He has provided!
If you know God has asked you to open your heart and home to a child in need of one, finances may be a challenge, but they should not stop you! There are several ways to adopt without acquiring debt.
Adopt from the Foster Care System
There are two ways to adopt from the foster care system. The first, is to begin as a foster parent. In most counties and states, becoming a foster parent is free. There are trainings, certifications, background checks, and home visits – but there is no cost.
In foster care, the goal is reunification. Your role in that capacity is to provide a safe, loving home for a child whose biological family is struggling. The purpose is not for your family to gain a child, but rather for the child to have secure, and loving resource parent who meets their needs, encourages them, and supports the child’s goal of reunification to their birth family, until such time that the court decides that is no longer in the child’s best interest. There are times when the goal changes from reunification to adoption. Once this goal is changed, a foster parent can pursue the adoption of a child who has been in their care. At that point, an adoption home study will be completed, but again, typically there is no fee for this.
The other adoption option for foster care is to pursue the adoption of a child who is already legally free. This means the child’s birth parents’ rights have already been terminated. In these situations, the hopeful adoptive family would pursue adoption training and a home study from their state or a private agency. The fees for this depend upon the state or private agency used, but typically do not exceed $3500.
Make the Most of What You Have
One of the best ways to offset finances is to take inventory of what you already have! Switching gears from focusing on what is needed, to what we have can empower us to move forward with joy!
Do you, like most Americans, have a surplus of stuff? Hold a yard sale!
Can you downsize your car payment or even sell a vehicle you no longer use?
Use your gifts! Whatever they may be – creating, writing, baking, building – put them to use to raise some money.
Make Necessary Cuts
Sometimes, we have to sacrifice in the short term to reach our end goal. I’m not suggesting becoming a hermit, but forgoing some unnecessary pleasures for a season can really add up! Cuts to consider: eating out, cable, extravagant entertainment, specialty coffee drinks, salon visits, new tech or toys that are just for fun.
Work Towards Your Financial Goal
Putting in extra hours at work, picking up side jobs, or beginning a work from home business can be avenues of additional income. You absolutely want to spend time focusing on training, your loved ones, and the transition of adding a child to your family during this season. But with the proper priorities and intentional scheduling, extra moments can be turned into extra income!
Ask for Help
This is one of many controversial adoption topics. The idea of fundraising to bring a child home can be hurtful to adoptees, confusing for hopeful adoptive parents, and frustrating to those who do not understand. You may have heard someone express the sentiment that if you cannot afford to adopt, you shouldn’t. I do not agree.
I believe it is our God-given responsibility to seek Him for wisdom, do all we can, and then to express our need to our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is a blessing to be a part of helping a family who is in the process of adopting! It is an investment in the life of a child. Not everyone can adopt, but everyone can do something, and this is one way others can care for orphans!
There are many ways to ask for help. Puzzle fundraisers, benefit dinners, and community yard sales are popular options. There are also several organizations (such as AdoptTogether and Pure Charity) who work with adoptive families to raise funds.
In addition to asking those you know for help; adoption grants are also available. Show Hope has grants, as well as a list of additional resources for hopeful adoptive families!
Above all, remember to seek the One who has asked you to do this. Continue to pray His will be done, while you walk in obedience to His word! He who has begun a work will bring it to completion – and He will never leave nor forsake you!
Has the financial aspect of adoption kept you from pursuing opening your heart and home to a child in need? Have you already adopted without acquiring debt? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Naomi loves Jesus. She is married to her best friend, John. They have six amazing, beautiful kids, two of whom have been adopted from the foster care system. Naomi homeschools their tribe of world changers. She is a type-A, list-making, change-fearing girl living an adventure that demands flexibility, spontaneity, and constant change! Through her words, she prays you’ll find something that points your heart to the Dream Giver and the Author of each of our stories – Jesus.
Naomi is the author of Don’t Waste Your Wait: Embracing the Journey of Bringing Your Child Home. She writes over at her site, Living Out 127, and has done a number of speaking engagements and trainings for prospective and current adoptive and foster families.
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