Tag Archives: Adoption Costs
Posted on 30. Jan, 2014 by Tim.
It’s coming up on tax time again here in the U.S. so it’s time to talk about the Adoption Tax Credit. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the credit for 2013. As always, please consult your tax adviser. I personally use a CPA to do my taxes because I’ve tried doing them on my own and have messed it up because it can get complicated. Here’s how you can find a good CPA.
What is the adoption tax credit?
The adoption tax credit offsets qualified adoption expenses, making adoption possible for some families who could not otherwise afford it.
How much is the adoption tax credit for 2013?
The adoption tax credit for tax year 2013 is $12,970 per adopted child.
Is the adoption tax credit refundable or nonrefundable – and what does that mean?
The credit was made a permanent part of the tax law in 2012 as a nonrefundable tax credit. A refundable tax credit is one you get back regardless of what you owe or paid in taxes for the year. Since the adoption tax credit is nonrefundable, you receive only what you have in federal income tax liability. The credit can be “carried over” for up to 5 additional years until you get back the entire credit amount for that adoption. [...]
Posted on 21. Sep, 2013 by Tim.
Here is something you probably already know about domestic infant adoption: it is expensive.
Obvious, right? OK, now here’s something you may not know: there are lots of ways to fund your adoption – and there are many websites that can make this easy for you.
Money can be (and usually is) a huge roadblock for people like you and me who want to adopt. We get overwhelmed by the cost. I mean, most of us cannot write a big check to adoption professionals so we can start the adoption process.
Something I want you to understand is…you can afford to adopt. You can do this. Others have done it, and you…can…too.
Let’s talk about some great ways that you can set up fundraising for your adoption – especially through donations. I understand that fundraising isn’t the only way gather the money you need to adopt. It is one of the tools you can use to get where you need to be so money doesn’t keep you from adopting.
Here are 4 of the best online fundraising sites that will help you get donations for your adoption journey.
They partner with over 1,000 retailers including Target, Babies ‘R Us, Walmart, Diapers.com, Forever 21, Priceline, Lowe’s and MANY more who can help you fund your adoption. The Pure Charity Rewards Network lets your friends and family shop online at their favorite retailers and a portion of the purchase price is deposited into their Pure Charity account. That is money that can then be donated towards your fundraiser. It costs nothing extra!
Check out their Frequently Asked Questions page, watch their “get started” videos and you’ll be set to start.
This is a super easy to use crowd-funding site that will help you get others to donate to your adoption journey. Here’s how it works: 1. Create your site (tell your story). 2. Share with friends – they give you special tools that make it easy. 3. Collect online donations in real-time. 4. Track visits and donations. Check out their Frequently Asked Questions page and click here to watch the “how it works” video.
One thing different about them – while it’s free to launch your GoFundMe campaign, they have processing fees (about 8%) that are deducted from each payment. Here’s their thoughts on having fees “Other sites may claim to be “100% Free”, but they will charge your donors instead – not cool.” Check out their Success Stories page to see how others have successfully raised money. [...]
IAG010: How to fund your adoption without debt – an interview with author and speaker Julie Gumm [Podcast]
Posted on 04. Sep, 2013 by Tim.
She is the author of the book Adopt Without Debt: Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption. She has been featured on the Dave Ramsey radio show and she regularly speaks about adoption.
Julie is married to her high-school sweetheart and is the mother of 4 children from 2 continents. She and her husband Mark paid of $235,000 in debt, including the house, and have been living God-sized, debt-free dreams ever since. She blogs about adoptive family life, affording adoption and financial freedom at JulieGumm.com.
Listen to Julie tell her story of how she and her husband Mark paid off their debt and adopted two children without going into more debt.
Julie shares in her book “the cost of adoption should never stand in the way of giving a child a family.” I agree 100%. You’ll hear talk about her 3 tier approach to funding your adoption:
1.How to find extra money in your household budget.
2.How to fundraise easily and effectively.
3.How to apply for adoption grants.
Highlights from this episode:
- How to start funding your adoption
- What to do if you aren’t the type of person that is comfortable fundraising
- Julie’s #1 tip to make your adoption more affordable
- The biggest obstacle Julie and her husband faced when saving for their adoption
- Lots of creative ways to fund your adoption without debt [...]
IAG 007: Adoption advertising and networking: An interview with Hal Kaufman of MyAdoptionAdvisor.com [Podcast]
Posted on 14. Jun, 2013 by Tim.
In this episode of the Infant Adoption Guide Podcast, we talk with Hal Kaufman about domestic adoption advertising, networking and use of the internet in your adoption journey.
Hal is an adoptive dad (two domestic infant adoptions) and the founder of MyAdoptionAdvisor.com. Since 2008, he has worked with hundreds of adopting parents who are pursuing domestic infant adoption, helping them connect with expectant parents.
After years of infertility and tragic losses, Hal and his wife were matched with each of their children’s birth families in just 4 months from the time they were approved to adopt. Through MyAdoptionAdvisor.com Hal brings his unique experiences and specially designed training to help you better understand the domestic adoption process, anticipate bumps in the road, and adopt more quickly.
Hal will help create your adoption website and profile. He can even run an online advertising campaign to drive relevant traffic to your website.
In this episode you’ll learn about:
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
Posted on 04. May, 2013 by Tim.
The costs for domestic infant adoption in the U.S. can be overwhelming – especially if you have to travel to another state.
Once you are matched and know where you are traveling to, you can save money with some research and preparation.
My wife and I have adopted twice – both times from other states. We made some mistakes and learned from our travel experiences. Here are the 18 Tips that will save you money on domestic adoption travel:
Adoption baby bag tips.
- Carry it on with you. Most airlines will allow you to carry on a diaper bag in addition to your normal carry on items – even if you don’t have the baby yet. This will allow you to save money on extra checked baggage.
- Buy most of what you need when you get there. If your baby bag is full after you finish packing – ask yourself, ‘Do we really need to travel with all this stuff or can we pick up what we need when we get there.’ This may not save you money, but bringing less with you will save your arms from lugging it around the airport. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
Posted on 24. Mar, 2013 by Tim.
In this episode I talk with Matt Lee, Founder of CoupAide.com - a unique fundraising platform for adoptive families who want to raise extra money for their adoption.Matt and I discuss how CoupAide.com helps adoptive families. Here is what it does:
CoupAide provides your supporters (family, friends, anyone you want) with a useful and valuable incentive in return for their contribution to your adoption fundraising campaign. Each time a supporter donates $20, they instantly receive a $50 Restaurant.com e-gift certificate good to over 18,000 restaurants nationwide. Then, you the adoptive family collects $10 for each e-gift certificate sold!
In this episode, you’ll find out about:
Exactly how CoupAide.com works for you
How you can get started today!
How you can get supporters to buy e-gift certificates or physical gift cards
How much money you can expect to raise for your adoption
Check out CoupAide.com’s Adoption Fundraising Guide
- And MUCH MORE!
CLICK HERE to listen and download the podcast.
CLICK HERE to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
If you have a topic that you would like me to talk about on an upcoming episode, send me an e-mail.
For more information about adoption fundraising, please check out my post How to fundraise for your adoption without spending your own money.
Question: What other questions do you have about adoption fundraising? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Thanks for listening!
Posted on 28. Jan, 2013 by Tim.
The adoption tax credit has helped families offset the high cost of adoption since it was first put into law in 1997. Many folks see the credit as vital to providing loving homes to as many children as possible. As great as the credit has been for children and for adoptive parents, it has never been a permanent part of our tax laws…until now.
In January 2013 Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which made the adoption tax credit permanent.
For 2013 the maximum adoption tax credit is $12,970.
Before I go any further, let me say that I am not a tax professional. Due to the complexity of the adoption tax credit, I personally use and recommend having a tax professional complete your return. OK, now let’s look at what the adoption tax credit means for 2012 and 2013.
- How much is the credit? The Adoption Tax Credit for 2012 is $12,650 per adopted child.
- The credit is nonrefundable, meaning the credit an adoptive parent will receive depends on their federal income tax liability. The credit can be “carried over” for up to 5 additional years (see examples of this below for more information.)
- What are the income limits for the credit? Families with an income below $189,710 can claim full credit. Those that make between $189,710 and $229,710 can claim partial credit, and those that make over $229,710 cannot claim the credit.
- What are the expenses that can be claimed? Families get the credit based on their qualified adoption expenses. These are the “reasonable and necessary expenses” that you have paid to complete the adoption, such as: Adoption fees (paid to an agency or attorney), court costs, and travel expenses. Check out this IRS page for more about expenses. If your expenses are less than $12,650, you can only claim the amount of the expenses. If they are more than $12,650, you can only claim the maximum of $12,650.
- When can you claim it? Families who adopt internationally cannot claim the credit until the year of finalization. If you are adopting from the U.S. you can claim the credit the year of finalization OR the year after you had adoption expenses. This is a very important point, so I have an example for you: A family starts the domestic adoption process in 2010 and has $5,000 in expenses in 2010, $5,000 in 2011, and $2,000 in 2012. They are able to finalize the adoption in 2012. They can claim the $5,000 spent in 2010 on their 2011 taxes. They will have to wait to claim the $5,000 and $2,000 on their 2012 taxes.
- How much is the credit? The Adoption Tax Credit for 2013 is $12,970 per adopted child.
- The credit remains nonrefundable, meaning the credit an adoptive parent will receive depends on their federal income tax liability. The credit can be “carried over” for up to 5 additional years.
- What are the income limits for the credit? Families with an income below $194,580 can claim the full credit. Those that make between $194,580 and $234,580 can claim partial credit, and those that make over $234,580 cannot claim the credit.
- What are the expenses that can be claimed? The qualified adoption expenses have the same rules that applied in 2012.
- When can you claim it? The rules for 2013 are the same as in 2012 – no changes. Families who adopt internationally cannot claim the credit until the year of finalization. If you are adopting from the U.S. you can claim the credit the year of finalization or the year after you had adoption expenses.
What does “nonrefundable” mean?
A nonrefundable credit means the adoptive family will get the adoption tax credit based on what their federal income tax liability is for 2012 (and the next five years). Families can use as much of the credit as they have federal income tax liability, which is the amount of federal tax you owe as shown on line 46 of the Form 1040. Even if you normally get a refund, you may still have tax liability and can get a larger refund with the adoption tax credit. You have a total of 6 years to claim the credit (starting with the year you first claimed the credit plus five additional years.)
Want to read more about the Adoption Tax Credit? Here are some resources:
Questions: What does the Adoption Tax Credit mean for you? What is your question about the credit?
Posted on 05. Jun, 2012 by Tim.
Looking for a reputable adoption agency to help you build your family is tough. Finding one that has fees that fit into your budget can be worse. But there is some good news. There are adoption agencies that provide sliding scale fee structures.
What is a sliding scale? It is when an agency sets a fee for its services based on your income or ability to pay.
Sound good? Would that make your adoption journey more affordable? You bet.
Here are 4 adoption agencies that offer sliding scale fees:
One of the nation’s oldest adoption agencies has locations in most states. You can request a free information packet from them or find out if a free informational meeting is taking place near you. There is also a FAQ page to help answer some of your initial questions about domestic adoption with Bethany. They have a sliding scale fee program available in most states, so you will have to contact your local Bethany office to find out more (just click on the locations link above.)
The following links provide some more information and reviews:
They are based in Nevada, but work with couples from all over the country. They primarily place newborns. There is a $450 application fee and they spell out their fee structure on the website. The site states specifically that the sliding scale depends on the potential adoptive couples income level, not the ethnicity of the child. The upfront fee of $5,000 is due at the signing of their “Statement of Understanding”. The fee is to retain their services and to get the process started as soon as possible.
The following links provide some more information and reviews:
State of Nevada (this is not a review, but shows they are a part of the state’s agency listings)
Posted on 01. Apr, 2012 by Tim.
Here we are, already in April of 2012. Tax time. You have probably already filed your 2011 taxes. So what does the adoption tax credit look like in 2012?
Let’s take a quick look at the history of the adoption tax credit since this may show us what will happen to it in the future.
The adoption tax credit began in 1996 with the Small Business Job Protection Act. The credit was only $6,000 for special needs adoptions, and $5,000 for all others. Since then, the credit has been extended and increased several times but it has never been made a permanent part of the US tax code.
From 1996 to 2009, the credit was non-refundable. This meant you could only claim the credit for the amount of tax owed for that year.
For example, in 2009 the adoption tax credit was $12,150. If you paid $6,000 in taxes to the government, you could only get that amount of the credit. You’d have to wait another year before claiming the rest of it – provided you had enough qualified adoption expenses.
In 2010 and 2011, the laws changed and made the credit refundable. This meant you would get the entire tax credit amount regardless of the tax you owed to the government that year – assuming of course that you had enough qualified adoption expenses.
Check out my post about the 2010 and 2011 adoption tax credit – you want to be sure to get any of the refundable credit coming to you. Here is a good article explaining the adoption credit written by Mark McDermott, former President of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.
History tells us that both parties within Congress favor the adoption tax credit, which is why they keep on extending it year after year. That is good news for adoptive parents, because it means there is a good possibility that the credit could be extended again – maybe even made permanent.
Posted on 15. Mar, 2012 by Tim.
One of the biggest decisions when starting the domestic infant adoption process is selecting an adoption professional to help you. There are hundreds to choose from and it can take hours to get the information you need to make a good decision for your family.
Finances are a huge factor when selecting an adoption agency to help you. I have no personal experience with the following three adoption agencies, but I have found that they have little or no upfront fees so I invite you to check them out for yourself. As with any adoption agency, make sure you ask lots of questions and you feel good about working with them.
This not-for-profit adoption agency was founded in 1998 and is based in Utah. They specialize in domestic infant adoption. Even though they are licensed in Utah, Florida, and New York, they work with families from all over the United States.
There is minimal application fee of $100, they encourage you to work with multiple agencies, and there is no fee until you are matched. You will be given an itemization of adoption fees before you are presented with a birthmother situation.
Half of the agency fees are due when a match occurs, then the other half is due upon placement. Check out their frequently asked questions to find out more.
They accept home studies from other qualified agencies, so you don’t have to get your home study completed through them. They also have a blog where you can follow them. You can find a summary of their adoption process here. Here are some reviews to read about Heart to Heart.
This agency is licensed in Arizona, Florida and Utah. They have a low $100 application fee and no other upfront fees. You pay their agency fee only when you are successfully matched with a birthmother. They offer a Full Service program and a Special Beginnings program.
The Full Service Program runs an extensive national advertising initiative to help identify pregnant women seeking to make an adoption plan for their unborn child. In this program, they assist with the location and coordination of your adoption plan.
The Full Service program fee includes, but is not limited to the following services:
- Review of home study
- Counseling (limited), support and education to our families
- Obtaining and reviewing proof of pregnancy, social/medical background information and medical records
- Notification to hospital regarding adoption plan and inquiry on hospital policies
- Identification of an attorney or agency local to birth family for execution of legal documents
- Coordination of legal plan ( see addendum to schedule of fees for details on these services)
Please note an entire fee package that covers the agency fee, as well as the anticipated legal and other cost, will be presented at time of match.
The Special Beginnings program is designed to help obtain families for harder to place children. This program gives you all the services from the Full Service program but families are granted 50% off the agency fee to offset cost.
You can read a review by clicking here.
This is a licensed referral adoption agency based out of Ohio, which means they generally refer you to other agencies and adoption attorneys across the United States. This can help you find a match with a birthmother faster.
Betty Smith is the founder and an adoptive mom. Little Bit Of Heaven has received many positive reviews from adoptive couples that have worked with her.
The application fee is $100. As stated on their FAQ page, the costs can vary widely. For their normal referral program, their fee is $800 – which is due at the time of a match with a birthmother.
If they work directly with a birthmother, the fee due at match is $1,000 and then $4,000 due at the time of placement.
As with any agency you may potentially work with, please carefully review their contract to understand how they work before you sign on with them. You should also look them up on the Better Business Bureau, or adoptionagencyreviews.com or adoptionagencyratings.com as well as checking their state licensing since every state’s adoption laws are different.
New Blog Post: Domestic Adoption Agency Reviews: 3 agencies with little or no upfront costs » Infant Adoption Guide bit.ly/ynCuXr
— Tim Elder (@tim4adoption) March 16, 2012