mom adoptive son and dad holding hands and laughing

Holt believes finances should never stop a child from having a loving family, and many resources are available to help prospective families offset the cost of adoption.

In our Q&A with Kelly Ellison, the creator of Your Adoption Finance Coach, she recommends thinking of financing an adoption as “a third, a third, and a third.” One-third of your adoption expenses will likely come from savings or personal income, one-third a loan or possibly a family gift, and the last third will come from grants and fundraising. On our website, we provide an outline of financial assistance and a list of resources organized by type to help you consider all of your options. Here is some useful information to help you get started:


Before applying for grants, it is necessary to check for grant eligibility criteria and application deadlines. Most grant organizations require an approved homestudy before they will accept your application. And if you are awarded a grant, most will administer funds directly to your service provider.  Learn more about different grant organizations on our website here.

DIY Fundraising

Countless resources exist to help families offset the cost of adoption through creative and community-based projects. Whether you choose to partner with a fundraising organization or come up with something unique to you, here are some dos and don’ts to consider.

Tax Credits

Families may be eligible for up to $14,300 in nonrefundable federal tax credit per child for qualified adoption expenses. These include reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs and attorney fees, traveling expenses (including amounts spent for meals and lodging while away from home), and other costs directly related to and for the principal purpose of the legal adoption of an eligible child.

Some states have tax benefits that are in addition to the federal tax credit. Consult a licensed tax preparer in your state for more information.

Employer Assistance

Some employers offer adoption benefits like financial reimbursement and paid leave. Ask your human resources department or visit for a list of adoption-friendly employers.

Military Families

Under the Department of Defense Adoption Reimbursement Policy, military service members who adopt a child may be eligible to claim up to $2,000 per child and $5,000 per calendar year in reimbursement for qualifying adoption expenses. Also, the military offers active service members 21 days of non-chargeable adoption leave for one caregiver.

Low-Interest Loans

While not always ideal, adoptive families may find that taking out a low-interest adoption loan is necessary to cover a portion of their expenses when financing an adoption. Some organizations even provide interest-free adoption loans for eligible families. Before moving forward with a loan, be sure to research multiple options and lenders and get quotes to make an informed decision about the right fit for your family.

Families Not Finances

At Holt, we believe money should never stand between a child and a loving family. That’s why we launched the Families Not Finances campaign — to help cover the cost of adoption for families who have the desire and capacity to care for a waiting child but may lack the financial means to cover all the fees and expenses required to adopt. Funded through the generosity of Holt donors, adoption grants as high as $10,000 will go to help find families for children on Holt’s waiting child photolisting who have waited the longest or need the most help finding the right loving family capable of meeting their unique needs.

couple sitting at home viewing virtual adoption financing webinar on their laptop

Need help funding your adoption?

Families adopting through Holt receive free, professional guidance and support from a one-on-one finance coach throughout their adoption process. Even if you’re just considering adoption, email us to set up your first consultation today!

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