Updated November 03, 2017
You probably can’t put a price on the value of your child, but for couples who wish to adopt, the entire process can be quite costly. According to AdoptionHelp.org, it can cost anywhere from $0 to $1000 to adopt a child from a county foster program and anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 to adopt a newborn through a non-profit agency.
Also, adoption attorneys for newborns general run anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000. The adoption process may vary from state-to-state but if you go through a private agency, costs usually include agency fees, legal expenses, hospital documentation and retrieval of medical records, and disruption rates just to name a few.
If you feel that you are ready to start or grow your family through adoption but don’t have the funds to cover all the fees and expenses, you may consider an adoption loan.
What is an Adoption Loan?
An adoption loan is basically a personal loan that you can take out to use for adoption-related costs. There are many personal loans on the market so you shouldn’t limit your options as long as the loans you are considering are low-interest, have no or low fees, and flexible repayment terms.
If you search online for the term ‘adoption loans’ you may find a few offers, but it’s best to search for personal loans to broaden your search at first and help you locate the best loan option for you. We will feature some of the best personal loans to use for adoption below to help you get started.
What to Watch Out For
Before you choose a loan for adoption costs, there are a few things you need to watch out for. Consider a realistic amount of how much you need. You may be able to cover some of the costs on your own but some lenders who offer personal loans for adoption might encourage you to take out more than you need.
When taking out a loan, only you know how much you truly need so it’s important to research the process thoroughly and formulate a realistic amount of expenses you can’t cover from your savings.
Another thing to watch out for is how some lenders may prey on couples’ vulnerability and eagerness to adopt with this loan. Companies who send out messages like “your child’s life is worth any costs” should be examined with caution.
Heartfelt promotional messages, catchphrases, and unrealistic promises should not be an effective way to market a loan to a consumer. When you take out a personal loan, you should always look at how affordable it will be. Is the interest rate low? Is there an origination fee or any hidden fees? How short or long are the terms? Is there a prepayment penalty?
Ask yourself all of these questions and make sure you are positive about the answers and comfortable with them before you take out a loan. Like with any loan, you’ll ideally want something low interest, with no fees and no prepayment penalties.
Be wary of lenders promising affordable loans for people with bad credit as this is almost never possible. In order to secure a low interest rate for your loan, you need to have good credit.
Affordable Adoption Loan Requirements
Lightstream allows you to borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 with fixed APRs that range from 5.99% (with autopay) to 16.19%. Terms range from 24-84 months and the shorter your term is, the lower your rate may be. However, the lowest rates are reserved for borrowers with excellent credit. There is no origination fee and the minimum credit score you need to apply is 680. There will be a hard pull of your credit report upon applying.
America’s Christian Credit Union specializes in adoption loans and lend up to $50,000 which should be more than enough to cover adoption expenses. APR rates start at 5.99% but can range from 8.90% to 10.90% for most borrowers. Borrowers have up to 84 months to pay back their loan and the loan is good for domestic and international adoptions. This lender also offers home equity loans with no closing costs or annual fees to use for adoption costs which includes a quarterly adjustable HELOC with a current starting APR of 3.5% and an annual adjustable HELOC with a current starting APR of 4%.
SoFi is a popular lender offering a variety of personal loans at competitive rate and terms. Borrowers can receive anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 with fixed APRs ranging from 5.49% to 14.24% and variable APRs ranging from 5.29% to 11.44% as long as borrowers sign up with auto pay. Terms go all the way up to 7 years and there are no fees or minimum credit score required as long as your accounts are all in good standing.
Upstart offers quick and easy approvals for loans up to $50,000 with APR rates ranging from 9.56% – 29.99%. Borrowers need at least a minimum credit score of 640 to qualify. Loan terms are 3 and 5 years and there is no early repayment fee. There is however, an origination fee of 3.655%-8% to keep in mind.
Other option for adoption: Grants
Before you look into loan options, you should to see if you qualify for any grants to help fund the costs of adoption. An adoption grant can help provide you with partial funding throughout the adoption process to ease the financial burden.
There are quite a few adoption grants available, but most have specific criteria. For example, in order to qualify for a specific grant, you may need to adopt through a licensed agency or adopt within the country.
National Adoption Foundation – This organization has very few strict requirements and even considers single adults who wish to adopt. The program has no exclusions as to race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation and income and awards grants ranging from $500 to $2000 depending on the needs of the family and the circumstances surrounding the adoption.
HelpUsAdopt.org– This organization has awarded $920,000 in adopting grants since 2007. They award grants to needing couples, singles, and LGBT applicants who are U.S. citizens and wish to adopt. Recipients can use the funds for private, agency, or domestic adoption and award amounts range from $500 to $15,000. The organization awards grants in February, June, and October each year.
A Child Waits Foundation – If you are adopting internationally and your annual household income falls below $120,000, you may qualify for an adoption grant from this agency as long as you are a U.S. or Canadian citizen. Applicants can apply for a grant no sooner than 3-4 months prior to when their family makes their final adoption trip. There is a $20 application fee and grant amounts equal up to $5,000.
If you need funding to help you adopt a child, its best to consider all your options and try to obtain a grant along with a low interest loan to help cover the rest of your financial needs. You can compare more personal loan options for adoption all in one chart with our comparison tool.