Funding our Adoption

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So, I’ve already explained the costs that go into adopting, but how in the world does anyone afford it? Here’s how we are funding our adoption >>>


Pretty self explanatory, huh? We’ve been able to use some of our current savings and adjust our budget to save a bit more as we anticipate our upcoming adoption. Additionally, we’re looking at what we have around the house that we don’t use or simply don’t need and selling those items.


It takes a community to grow a family through and raise children…especially through adoption! We’ve been participating in craft fairs, selling art on Facebook, advertising photo sessions, selling t-shirts, and simply asking for your financial support. In all of these cases, all proceeds go directly toward our adoption.


There are any number of grants out there, and though the applications are long and tedious, the potential support is fantastic. Our biggest hurdle here is that many of these have specific review dates that will (most likely) be after we’ve already had a child placed with us. Our fast timeline hinders our ability to apply to these, and you have to apply after receiving your completed home study, so it was impossible to apply earlier. Nonetheless, we’ve applied to some shorter review options and will hear back in 6-8 weeks.


There are many non-profits that offer zero interest loans for adoption, and thus all gifts given to their organization only increase the amount of families they are able to help at a time. Since families repay these loans over the course of a few years, the finances only continue to cycle through the organizations and to adoptive families. Sometimes, if your family relationship allows for it, you can also ask family members for a loan.

Adoption Tax Credit

One of the first things you learn about when you begin researching adoption is the adoption tax credit. It has a potential of $13,810 per adopted child. The hang up here? It’s a non-refundable tax credit, meaning it depends on what your family’s tax liability is. That means that we’ll be lucky get a couple thousand each year. We can continue to apply for this tax credit for 5 years after the adoption is complete, though at this point it really becomes a long-term payment option and does not help with our immediate financial burden. Higher-income families (up to $247,580 annual income can qualify) will see a much higher and much faster return. Many are pushing for this to become a refundable tax credit, in which folks would qualify for the full amount (assuming they have spent more than this on their adoption) the year after their adoption is finalized. How much simpler would that be!?

Dependency Exemption

Even before your adoption is finalized, families can list the children placed with them (and in the adoption process) as a dependent. This naturally decreases the amount of taxable income you have.

Employer Benefits

Many employers offer assistance to employees who are adopting. We don’t benefit from this, but it’s certainly worth noting for anyone considering adoption! Check with your employer, and if they don’t have an adoption fund, it’s worth suggesting.

Currently we have $35,400 of the $49,300-$72,350 needed

All things considered, we’re in a great place…for the moment! Our initial expenses have already been paid for, meaning we currently have roughly $29,600 in available funds. Anyone else want to sing “whoa-oh, we’re half way there! Oh, oh, living on a prayer!”?

Half of the agency adoption costs (totaling $40,000-$60,000) are due at time of match, and the other half is typically due at time of placement. If a mom were to give birth and then select us an adoptive family, we would need to have the full payment with a very quick turn around. That’s why we’re doing everything we can to  receive funding ahead of time!

Though we’ve already paid for the initial expenses, we would still need the funds to travel to our sweet baby as well, spending up to 2 weeks in their birth state.

That means we still need a minimum of $14,000, up to $37,000 in the most costly scenario. From our limited exposure to situations we’ve seen, our current goal is to have $46,000 available for agency costs and $5,000 available for the travel and 2 week stay in their birth state.

That puts our current need at $21,400.

It takes a village to raise a child, and in this case it takes the support, strength, and prayer of our entire community to bring one home. Thank you friends!

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We are Haley and James Earley, a family of two established on October 11, 2014 in our hometown of Rochester, MN and now living in St. Paul, MN. We are dog-lovers, coffee addicts, tree-huggers, balance-seekers, community-livers, and new foster parents. We live in a house of three adults, three dogs, and our sweet foster kiddos. We desire to slow down in this fast-paced world in order to pursue intentional community as we seek after the heart of God. We're just one couple trying to figure out this whole living life thing.

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