Paying for Your Adoption

“How much does adoption cost?” is one of the questions we hear most frequently from families who come to Carolina Adoption Services. Adoption costs vary, but it is not something you have to shoulder alone. Families have several options when it comes to financing and funding their adoption. In our four-part Paying for Your Adoption series, learn about key sources in helping to cover your adoption costs.


Adoptive Family Benefits and Options

Employer Benefits
Check with your employer to see if they offer adoption benefits. Benefits may include:

  • legal expenses
  • agency fees
  • medical expenses
  • post-adoption counseling
  • paid or unpaid leave time for the adoptive parent
  • financial reimbursement


Learn More:

Adoption-Friendly Workplace from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption


Military Benefits
Full-time military personnel are eligible for a one-time adoption cost subsidy program. Check with your base personnel for current benefit levels, but typically, military families can receive up to $2,000 per child or up to $5,000 per year for adoption-related expenses. A child with disabilities may also be eligible for up to $1,000 a month in assistance under the military’s program for persons with disabilities. Benefits are paid after an adoption is finalized.


Learn More:

Military Adoption Benefits from the National Military Family Association


Carolina Adoption Services has seen many families employ fun and creative strategies to cover adoption costs. Direct fundraising is often very effective. Asking for donations, hosting a fundraising event at your home or church, or selling a product or service to raise funds brings a larger community into your efforts to cover adoption costs. Some families in the past have: hosted events such as vendor fairs with an adoption theme, themed fundraising dinners, bake sales, raffles, and garage sales. Don’t be afraid to simply ask family and friends for help. Families have the option of setting up online donation sites like PayPal or GoFundMe accounts to accept credit card gifts.

Soliciting discounts from businesses in order to cover adoption costs is another way to meet your budget. These discounts can cover anything from children’s furniture to travel. Even companies that don’t regularly offer adoption discounts may want to contribute to your cause.


Remember to talk about your adoption plans with whomever you feel comfortable. You never know where the next creative idea will come from to help finance your adoption!


Additional Resources

  • Mortgage refinancing or home-equity loans
  • Borrowing from a life insurance policy, 401(k), or retirement account. Consult your provider or financial advisor to discuss whether these options are a good fit for your family.
  • Travel Assistance: Contact airlines when booking your travel to inquire about adoption-related reduced rates.