Tag Archives: Adoption Costs

IAG 038: How to build your adoption team (and why you need to) with Rebecca Gruenspan

Posted on 29. Sep, 2015 by .


“You can be the strongest person on your team by staying positive, leading with an open mind and an open heart, and putting trust in your team and in the process. Without it, you will get in your own way. With it, magic will happen.”
–Rebecca Gruenspan

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision or goal. When it comes to adoption, we know the “common goal” is reach the dream of becoming parents. On your journey to adopt, building your adoption team is an important part of your success. IAG 038 Building your adoption team with Rebecca Gruenspan

You may already know about adoption agencies and attorneys. You probably know that you’ll need to hire someone to complete the required homestudy before a baby can be placed with you.

What you may not know is there are many others you need on your adoption team. Some of them you may not have thought about before. 

So, how do you build your adoption team? Who should be on your team? And why do you need one?

To get the answers to these questions, we talk with Rebecca (aka Becca) Gruenspan, an adoptive mom and the Founder of RG Adoption Consulting. She works with hopeful adoptive parents to educate, guide and be a hand to hold through the domestic adoption process. She also has years of experience as a therapist, fundraiser, event planner, presenter and mentor.

You can learn more about Becca and her consulting services at www.rgadoptionconsulting.com.

My hope is this episode will inspire you to build your adoption team so you can quickly reach your dream of building a family through domestic infant adoption.

What you will learn about in this episode:

  • Who you should have on your adoption team.
  • Why you should have a team in the first place.
  • What is an adoption consultant and what can they do for you.
  • Find out what the #1 answer adoption agencies give when Becca asks them ‘what makes the best adoptive families?’
  • Learn the 4 modules (education, adoption profile, adoption sources, and support) that Becca teaches all of her clients about adoption.
  • Find out how Becca will give you a 10% discount on her services just by mentioning the IAG podcast!

Links we talk about in this episode:

  • RGadoptionconsulting.com – this is Becca’s consulting business where she can help hold your hand throughout the domestic infant adoption journey. She will do a free phone consultation as well.
  • Becca’s Facebook Page – where she shares even more great adoption resources, inspiration, quotes, ideas, thoughts, etc.
  • Becca’s Blog – read her adoption story and get great advice for your journey to adopt.
  • InfantAdoptionGuide.com/iTunes – If you like the show, I would love it if you would leave a review on iTunes. Thanks! 
  • InfantAdoptionGuide.com/welcome – get my 4 FREE adoption ebooks to help you on the adoption journey!

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9 things you need when adopting from another state

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .


When adopting a newborn from another state, it is extremely important to be prepared. You will likely have to stay in that state until the ICPC (Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children) paperwork clears and you are allowed to legally bring your baby home.9 things you need when adopting from another state

Every state has their own adoption laws, but you can expect to stay in the state where the baby is born for at least 7 days. For our two adoptions, we stayed 10 days for the first one and 12 days for the second. 

It is hard being away from home for so long – especially having to take care of a newborn in a hotel room. Based on my experience – and hearing from many adoptive parents – there are plenty of things you can (and should) bring with you. It is sometimes easier to bring less and buy what you need when you get there. 

With that in mind, I’ve gathered 9 things that will help prepare you when traveling to adopt from another state.

1. Swaddle wrap or Moby wrap.
We found these baby wraps work beautifully to keep your baby warm and help them sleep.

2. Summer Infant By Your Side Sleeper.
OK – I admit it. This is more of a want than a need – because we had our little ones sleep in their car seats in the hotel room before we went home. I wish we had this sleeper because it is perfect to keep your baby safe in the bed with you.

It has a sturdy metal frame that folds compactly for travel. It has mesh sides for a clear view of baby and helps air circulate to prevent baby from overheating. It includes a mattress pad and soft, comfortable cotton fitted sheet.

3. Ready made (pre-mixed) formula.
On our first two adoptions, we waited to buy formula until we were ready to bring the baby from the hospital to our hotel room. Hospitals usually feed babies with the small (2 oz) ready-to-feed, pre-mixed bottles – the ones that come with the nipple.

We bought the same formula the hospital used to feed our babies. Using these ready-to-feed formula bottles is more expensive than mixing the formula yourself, so we only used them at night. They are a HUGE time saver – especially during the middle of the night feedings.

4. Baby/diaper bag.

This is easy to take with you if you are flying to your destination. 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. I recommend buying a diaper bag before you travel – because you’ll have more time to look at all the different types of bags and pick the right one for you. 

5. Camera and/or video camera.

This should be a no-brainer. These days, most smart phones have great cameras that also take video. If only want to use your phone, it will save you valuable packing space since you won’t have to bring a camera or video camera. Be careful though – because your phone may not have the amount of storage space to handle the photos and video you are going to take.

You will be capturing some amazing photos of moments you’ll want to remember forever, so I recommend bringing a good camera because those photos and videos will be priceless to you.

6. Bottles and nipples and (of course) formula.
Buying bottles and nipples rather than using pre-mixed formula will save you money. Yes, you will have to wash them, but believe me you’ll have time. We used them during the day while we were more awake, then used the pre-mixed formula bottles at night.

Be sure to get the small bottles (4 oz size) and the slow flow nipples for newborns. We like to use the Playtex brand with the drop-in liners.

7. Organizer/folder to keep paperwork.
Adoptions require paperwork – and LOTS of it. Keep your paperwork organized and secure – you’ll have some very important documents to carry. If travelling by plane, I recommend keeping your paperwork with you in a carry-on bag.

Also, you should scan documents and keep them where you can have online access just in case something happens and you lose your paperwork. Yep, it happened to us. :(

8. Baby care items.
The hospital should give you some of these items. You can bring most of these with you, but you can also wait to buy them when you get there. Here is a list of items we used when adopting our first two newborns in another state:

Laundry bag, laundry detergent (wait to buy this until you’re there), quarters for hotel laundry machines, pacifiers (2 newborn sized), onesies (4 or 5) disposable trash bags for smelly diapers, changing pads, burp cloths, newborn washcloths (softer the better), baby lotion, small blanket or two, small bottle of dish soap (to clean bottles/nipples), baby fingernail clippers, and sensitive skin baby wipes.

9. Infant car seat.
This is also a no-brainer since hospitals won’t let you leave without having a car seat. With both of our adoptions, the babies also slept in the car seat and loved it. You can purchase one ahead of time and check it (if flying) or take it with you if driving. If you don’t want to mess with it, there are likely several places to purchase a car seat where you are going.

Here are some other tips from our experience with two newborn adoptions:

–We never used a stroller. We just carried the baby in the car seat. It was just easier than messing with a stroller.
–Bring plenty of comfy clothes for you and baby.
–Bring your laptop to manage your photos and videos, search for stores in the area, etc.
–Here are my 10 domestic adoption travel tips.
–Here are my 18 Money Saving Tips For Domestic Adoption Travel.

The time in another state goes by fast and is really pretty enjoyable because you have no one to think about but your little family.
I hope this list helps you.
Have you thought of something else? Leave your comment below.  

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IAG 030: Adoption tax credit update with Becky Wilmoth

Posted on 26. Jan, 2015 by .


The adoption tax credit.

It’s a huge financial tool for hopeful adoptive parents to use. Something that can help offset the large cost of domestic infant adoption.

The credit has changed over the years – and may change again in the future. There are a lot of rules that go with it, which makes it hard to understand.

It’s tax time again – so we wanted to bring in an expert to explain the credit.

Becky Wilmoth is our guest on this episode and she will break down the adoption tax credit so you can understand it and take advantage of it. She is an adoptive mom, an Enrolled Agent, and adoption tax specialist at BillsTaxService.com, so this is a very personal issue for her.

Becky has a passion for helping hopeful adoptive families understand and get the adoption tax credit. Many of us feel like we can’t start the adoption process because we aren’t sure how to find the funds we need.

This episode will explain what you need to know about the tax credit of over $13,000 in 2014.


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IAG 029: You CAN Adopt Without Debt – an interview with author Julie Gumm (+ 2 signed books to give away!)

Posted on 29. Dec, 2014 by .


Do you think it is possible to adopt without DEBT?IAG 029 You CAN adopt without debt with Julie Gumm

I know you can – and so does Julie Gumm. She is an adoptive mom, a speaker and author.

She has been on the Dave Ramsey Show – which is a nationally syndicated talk radio show (really cool).

She and her husband have adopted twice – and they did it without going into debt. They are debt free because they’ve paid off over $200,000 – including their home

Julie is our special guest on the show today – and the first to be on the show two times!

She was our guest back on episode 10. Here’s why I wanted to bring her back – because she has a new book called You CAN Adopt Without Debt – Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption.

There are lots of costs and variables that can make it hard to figure out if you can afford to adopt. With domestic infant adoption, there are costs for your adoption agency, your attorney, the home study, possible travel expenses, and so on.

It really hurts to hear from folks that get so discouraged about the cost – even losing hope that they can become parents through adoption – only because of the costs.

This is why I’m so excited about talking with Julie today! She is going to give you HOPE – because that is what her new book is all about. So, have a listen and enjoy this interview with Julie Gumm. 


1. In the comments below (OR on the Domestic Adoption Support Network group on Facebook) tell me how or why Julie’s book will help you adopt.
2. I will pick 2 of the best entries – letting you know the winners in the comments – and on the updated part of this post.
3. You have until January 12th at noon CST to leave your comment.
4. The winners will send me an email with their address so I can send you the signed copy!

UPDATE: Winners of Julie Gumm’s autographed books are: Caitlynn from Oklahoma and Carissa from Iowa! Congratulations!

What you will learn about in this episode:

  • Why Julie wrote her new book – and what is different from her last book.
  • What 3 things YOU can do to adopt without debt.
  • Julie’s favorite adoption fundraising stories and ideas.
  • Get Julies’s TOP TIPS for saving and fundraising for your adoption.
  • Hear what Julie tells people that think they aren’t the type of person who can raise money for their adoption.
  • How you can get a FREE SIGNED COPY of Julie’s new book: You CAN Adopt Without Debt!


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IAG 026 – Adoption Grants with Becky Fawcett of HelpUsAdopt.org

Posted on 19. Sep, 2014 by .


Most of us who are working to save money for our domestic infant adoption could use help with covering the cost. What if you could get FREE money for your adoption journey?

Our guest on the show today is Becky Fawcett, an adoptive mom, blogger, and the Founder/Executive Director of HelpUsAdopt.org, which is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) financial assistance grant program providing qualified couples and individuals with grants of up to $15,000 towards their domestic, international, foster, or special needs adoption expenses.

Adoption grants IAG 026 with Becky Fawcett

Becky shares her story and her passion for helping hopeful adoptive families through HelpUsAdopt.org. Listen to this interview as we talk about you have the chance to receive an adoption grant.

We know that most private or agency/attorney assisted infant adoptions in the U.S. are expensive. Most people struggle with figuring out how to pay for their adoption journey. While there are many ways to fund your adoption, grants are free money that you can use to pay adoption expenses.

HelpUsAdopt.org was founded in 2007 and is the only organization of its kind in the United States that embodies all of the following criteria:

  • awards large life-changing grants up to $15,000 that help families complete their adoptions
  • supports all types of families
  • supports all types of adoptions (domestic, international, foster care)
  • supports all types of religions without requiring a statement of faith
  • does not charge applicants to apply

Becky says that “In a nutshell, we help hardworking families overcome the financial obstacles of adoption so children can join loving and permanent homes to give them all that they deserve.” 


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IAG 024: How to simplify and shorten your path to adoption with Amanda Grant from USAdopt

Posted on 13. Aug, 2014 by .


Want to save time, money and stress on your adoption journey?

Absolutely! We all would like that, right? Amanda Grant is our guest on the show today and she will tell us how to simplify and shorten the path to adoption. She is an adoptive mom and Founder/CEO of USAdopt.com.

Episode 24

Most people (for very valid reasons) can’t wait to start the process so they contract with an agency or attorney, sometimes going with the first referral they get from a friend or family member.

Amanda says that “far too often people realize that they might be partnered with the wrong professional for their adoption journey, after already having become financially and emotionally invested in that relationship. Our unique process makes sure that this doesn’t happen to you.” 

People often report that the adoption process took 2-5 years to complete. Much of that time was spent figuring out what questions to ask and filtering through the overwhelming amount of information to figure out what is relevant and what is trustworthy. This is what USAdopt does for you. 

If you haven’t heard of USAdopt, they are an adoption consulting service, not an agency or facilitator. They specialize in domestic infant adoptions by helping you simplify and shorten the adoption process through personalized help every step of the way. […]

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IAG 022: How to adopt faster and easier with Thea Ramirez – founder of Adoption-Share.com

Posted on 12. Jun, 2014 by .



In this episode of the Infant Adoption Guide Podcast, we talk with Thea Ramirez – the Founder and President of Adoption-Share.com.

IAG 022 an interview with Thea Ramirez of Adoption Share

What would it mean to you if there was a way to connect directly with over 80 adoption agencies and attorneys nationwide that are constantly posting adoption situations just for you?

Where do I sign up, right? 

This is exactly what Adoption-Share.com does every day.

On today’s show, I chat with Thea Ramirez of Adoption-Share.com. She’ll talk about how you can adopt faster and easier by becoming a part of this growing online membership site.

If you are tired of waiting with no match and are losing hope – or even if you’ve just started the adoption process, you need to check out Adoption-Share.com. […]

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Ask an Adoption Question #1: What is the best way to book flights for an upcoming newborn adoption placement?

Posted on 24. Apr, 2014 by .


adoption questionExciting news! We are starting a new blog series called “Ask an Adoption Question”.

It is very simple. You ask a question about infant adoption – I answer it. This Q & A series will help lots of folks who have the same or similar questions.

What is your adoption question? There are two ways to ask:

1. Send me your question via email.

2. Send me your question by leaving a voicemail.

Alright – let’s get started! Here’s the very first Adoption Q & A and the question comes from Gary in Washington:

Hi Tim,

My wife and I live in Washington and are trying to book a round trip flight to Missouri where the expectant mother lives. She’s due on June 16, and we were planning on going from June 12 to July 1, but are confused as to the best approach to booking a flight.

For example, on Delta’s website, they offer refundable tickets but are charging a ridiculous amount for them. We also thought about non refundable tickets which are much cheaper, but are not sure if buying travel insurance makes any sort of sense or not (isn’t that only for completely canceling a trip, not re-booking?).

Then there’s the timing of the return flight. Although she’s due on the 16th, she could be late, causing us to stay later into July. I’m not sure if we should give padding and book a return flight for July 4. Worse case scenario, if we need to come back earlier, we’re not paying as much as we would if we have to re-book for a later flight close to the holiday.

Also, do some airlines offer discounts for adoption-related flights? Delta said they don’t.

As you see, I’m all over the map here and would appreciate some direction/advice.



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IAG 018: How anyone can afford to adopt – interview with Cherri Walrod of Resources4Adoption.com

Posted on 18. Apr, 2014 by .


How anyone can afford to adopt

In this episode, you’ll learn about how anyone can afford to adopt as we chat with Cherri Walrod of Resources4Adoption.com.

Today’s show is all about how anyone can afford to adopt. You’ll learn about how to break down the financial barriers that may be keeping you from adopting.

Domestic infant adoption can be expensive and most of us hopeful adoptive parents struggle with how to afford all of the costs.

I’ve talked to lots of folks who get discouraged about the cost of adoption. Many of them lose hope and don’t believe they can do it because the costs seem out of reach.

Does this sound familiar to you?

If so – you will want to listen to this episode because we are going to give you tips, resources and most importantly…confidence that you can afford to adopt. […]

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FAQ’s about the 2013 Adoption Tax Credit

Posted on 30. Jan, 2014 by .


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.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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. […]

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