Before Applying- Adoption Grant Sneak Peek

Thinking of applying for grants to fund your adoption? Here are a couple tips that you will need to think about before you get started.
Before I get started, I wanted to state that rather you are for or against adoption grants, know that this is merely tips to help you decide rather to go down that road. Funds related to adoption is super controversial, but at the end of the day, they do exist. Before jumping in with both feet, check out what they require and YOU decide rather it's the right road for you.

Lay out your household finances.
If you have yet to figure how much money you and your partner bring home and how much it costs to run a household, now is the time to do it. Almost every grant wants a peek into your personal finances. One grant wanted to know how much we spent on food, gas, rent and car notes. It gets personal folks so be prepared.

Make Copies Early
Most grants want a copy of your tax return for the past 2 years. They also want a picture of you, your family and/or the child being adopted. Make these copies early so that they are easily attached to each grant application.

Know your Savings
This portion of adoption grants still confuses me. They ask about the amount of money in savings. Hubby and I have a small emergency fund that pays for rent and food if one of us is laid off. We also have funds saved for retirement. These amounts are not to be used for adoption as an adoption is not an emergency! Grants want to know what is in savings to determine if you can pay for your own expenses. It doesn’t sound morally right to ask for people to spend their emergency savings to build a family because if something were to happen, calamity is afoot. I’ve seen it! A couple I know paid $4000 for lawyer expenses out of their savings. After having the child for 2 months, the only working parent was laid off!!! I can’t tell you rather to include your emergency savings or not, because you must be honest on the paperwork. But you need to know the reason behind that question. Know what you have and know what you are willing to spend without regrets later.

Keep up with Totals
Fees are everywhere!!! Use a spreadsheet, notebook paper or create a chart with all the fees that are needed to complete the adoption. This not only gives you a visual, but allows for you to answer the adoption questions related to what is due and what was paid. Another idea is to keep up with where the money comes from for each amount paid. We received a donation which paid for half of our family book fee. We have “Our Funds & Donation” next to that amount.

Decisions! Decisions!
Some grants are religious based, some are state based, some are based off the type of adoption. Some require 2 recommendations and come require 5. Some grants you cant apply for until you are matched. Some must be applied for after the homestudy is complete. Some are free and others you have to pay a fee to apply. You have to decide how many you want to apply for and when you want to apply for them. Lots of decisions should be made early because timing is key.

References
Almost every grant needs 3 non-related references. Depending on the grant, these individuals must include a religious leader that can speak on your faith, participation and relationship. Make a list of 5 or more references. If you decided on the number of grants that you wanted to apply for, you can total the number of references that will be needed. You don’t want to bug people too many times. We included a few people that were willing to write a base reference letter and make adjustments for each grant.

I hope these categories open some discussions about adoption grants. When my husband and I learned about adoption grants, we made a 3 page chart comparing every element of grants. All these details pertaining to adoption grants can be overwhelming. Take your time and keep in mind that they are not a requirement. 

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