Tips on Applying for Adoption Grants

There are several tips that may be helpful when applying for adoption grants. Adoption grants are financial awards that can help offset the costs of adopting a child, which can be substantial. These grants are typically provided by nonprofit organizations, charities, and government agencies, and may be available to individuals and families who meet certain eligibility criteria. If you are considering applying for an adoption grant, here are a few tips that may be helpful:

1)  Many Christian grant applications will ask the following questions.  Save your answers and revisit your Choosing Hope pre-app answers for help. 

  • Why Did You Decide to Adopt? (Your Adoption Story)
  • Your Christian Testimony for both you and your spouse
  • Describe your relationship with God? (this also often includes how you are serving Him, how does this look in your family and with your existing children)
  • For many Christian grants they will want to know who both you and your spouse say are God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

2)  When the home study is completed, ask for a full digital copy of your home study, copy of your license to adopt, and copy of Choosing Hope’s 501c3 verification.  Nearly all grants will ask for these documents. 

3)  Have your pastor write a “To Whom it May Concern” reference letter on letterhead.  All Christian grants will ask for a letter from your pastor that confirms your faith, church involvement, and asks for their thoughts about your adoption plan.   This will keep you from having to bug them all the time. ☺

4)  Have at least 3-4 people ready for personal references.  If your references are comfortable with it, you can have them also write a “to whom it may concern” formatted reference to send to multiple agencies.  It should include how they know you, length of time they’ve known you, and their thoughts on your adoption plan.  

5)  Organize common forms used for many grants in a paper and/or digital file:  These will include the home study, 1040 tax return forms from the last 3 years, and the “Adoption Services Overview” of the cost breakdown from Choosing Hope.

6) Nearly every application will also have you fill out a detailed expenses worksheet.  If you don’t have one already, create a budget, or review the Financial Form you submitted in your home study.  Many applications will ask for a list of both liabilities and assets, as well as routine expenses and income. 

7)  Make copies of everything before you mail or email an application and keep records when they were sent.  This is especially important in printed/snail-mailed applications.  

**PLEASE be respectful and gracious in all communication with grant agencies.  We want these agencies to hold Choosing Hope Adoptions in high regard and trust that every family we send their way will be kind and professional.  To this end, please be patient in communication and be gracious even if you aren’t chosen—always thank the agency for their consideration.** 

Other Funding Tips

  1. Ask your employer if your organization offers any adoption support.  If not, ask if they would consider it!  We have seen some families earn up to $15,000 in adoption support from their employer.
  2. Ask your church if they will financially and prayerfully support your adoption.  Consider asking denomination or parachurch organization leaders, if applicable, for your family.
  3. Be wise in your grant applications.  There are countless grants, many with lengthy applications, essays, interviews, and application fees—and you don’t have the time or money to apply for them.  Start with the grants that are most applicable to your family, including local grants specific for infertile or minority families or specific to special needs.  Ask other adoptive families what grants worked best for them. 
    Several Choosing Hope families have received assistance from Lifesong, Show Hope, and One Chance Foundation.
  4. Before you crowdfund, explore organizations that will create crowd-funding pages on your behalf and even match what you’ve earned through crowd-funding.  GoFundMe is wonderful but be aware that they take 2.9% of your earnings and 30 cents from each transaction.
  5. Consider loans.  There are many no- or low-interest loans available to adoptive families.  Some families utilize home equity or personal loans. Or, consider asking a close family member or friend for a loan.  Don’t forget that almost all adoptive families receive a tax credit beginning the year after their finalization, so you will have a guaranteed way to repay your loan. 

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