Below is a guest post from Cherri Walrod, Founder and Director of Resources4Adoption. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and experience, Cherri!
In the last ten years and through completion of three international adoptions, I learned a great deal about adoption financial planning and resources. I would like to share some of what I learned with you.
Here are the three things that you must know before looking for adoption grants:
1. Application Eligibility Criteria
Nearly all adoption grant organizations have some sort of application criteria. What are eligibility criteria anyway? Eligibility criterion says who is eligible to apply and who is NOT eligible to apply. If you are single and applying to an organization that only offers grants to married couples, then you would be wasting your time. If you are not a Christian and you are applying to an organization that only offers grant to Christians, once again you would be wasting your time.
Some organizations have more than one set of application criteria. For example some sources may only accept applications from Christian married couples and making less than $60,000 annually. Another example might be a grant for families adopting special needs or a particular special need and the family lives in a particular state or area of the country. Others may only offer a matching grant format.
It is very important to know ahead of time what the application criteria are so that you make the best use of your time and resources.
2. Home study
Almost every granting organization requires that adoptive families have a completed home study. There are only one or two sources that I am aware of, where families can apply at any stage in the process. The vast majority require this critical piece of documentation. In most cases you will be asked to send a copy of your home study along with your adoption grant application.
Most adoption grant organizations require list of documents or documentation to accompany a family’s application. You will need to be prepared to present a working family budget or monthly cash flow, summary of your net worth, listing of adoption expenses (including what has been paid and what still needs to be paid), other financial documents such as pay stubs or letters from employers verifying your income, tax returns for the last few years, and motivation to adopt.
If you plan to apply to any Christian based organizations, you will need to supply some additional information about your beliefs, theology and faith. Christian organizations sometimes require letters of reference from your pastor, small group leader and others from your community who can vouch for your Christian character.
There may be more documents but you get the general idea…Plan to prepare and send a lot of paperwork!
My goal is to help save you time and frustration so you can focus on building your family. When you need help, please check out Resources4adoption.com or follow these links for additional resources:
1. CHARTS - Most families are interested in are the Adoption Grants charts or the Grants AND Loans Charts. These are available on the website for a nominal fee. There are a total of 67 grants or grant names listed. This chart also has a quick reference guide to help you locate potential sources even faster. You can view a FREE SAMPLE CHART HERE.
2. eBook – How to Find Funding-The Complete Guide to Adoption Grants and Loans. This step-by-step guide will lead you through the process of applying for grants and gives you tons of information and pointers on exactly how and what to do with these applications.
3. Combine and Save – Get the grants and loans charts, plus the eBook at discounted rate that will save 20% when you get them together. You can find that info here.
I hope this information has been helpful. For more information about adoption grants and other adoption financing options, please visit my website at www.resources4adoption.com.
Founder and Director of Resources4adoption.com
©November 2011 Resources4adoption.com