Keep it growing throughout your journey
Some families raise funds to begin the process, then jump into adoption whole-heartedly, trusting that the money they’ve raised is enough or that there will be time later to raise more, save more, or find more.
My best advice to families is to keep growing your adoption fund throughout your journey. Whether you are saving, applying for grants, fundraising, or just selling items you have, it is a great idea to keep building your adoption fund for a number of reasons:
1. Your child’s birth mother may need more help with approved pregnancy related expenses than you initially budgeted for. Even though it may be more than you planned, many time families find that once they meet and build a relationship with her, they want to help her more. What may be a small amount in the grand scheme of things, like $500, may mean the world of difference to her in helping her move forward with adoption for her child, and hope for her own future.
2. You may end up waiting out of state for ICPC clearance longer than expected. It helps to have a cushion for extra lodging of being out of town.
3. It may be beneficial to travel twice, once to meet birth mother and again when the baby is born. I always recommend this but often budget is what keeps it from happening. When families do this, I find they have stronger, more successful outcomes.
4. If the birth mother goes into early labor and you need to travel immediately, it can simply cost more.
5. You may identify new marketing methods that cost more than you planned, but you want to give them a try.
6. Once you are matched, you may find that due to specific circumstances, legal fees will be higher.
7. Some families forget to budget for the post-placement visits after they are home with their child. (Estimate is $300-500 each for two visits.)
There are many reasons why having an extra financial cushion is beneficial in your adoption, mainly because no matter the path to your child, you need to always expect the unexpected. (By the way, that’s a good lesson for parenting too!)
If you are fortunate enough to build your budget and not need it, then you will have savings prepared for other expenses you may have with a newborn, traveling later to visit friends and family, or starting a college fund!