The reality is that if you live in the US and pay taxes, you can adopt internationally for less then $10,000 (including a 2 week all inclusive trip to China!). And while $10k is no small chunk of change it is doable for many families. Before I get to that though...let me back up....
Ever since Alexis joined our family I have been torn on if I want to work outside the home or not. I enjoy my job a ton (good ppl, interesting work, great flexibility, good money)...but I enjoy my kids as well. For now, working part time from home is the perfect balance.
For Emma's adoption, we used my part time income as our 'adoption fund'. We had plenty of time to save due to the time required for the process. This time around, given the unexpected speed of Lingao's adoption, we are less prepared. I have been on unpaid leave for 3+ months and spent most of our disposable income prior to that on our new home that we built. ;-(
In our defense....we honestly were not thinking we would accept a referral until the fall...after I had been back to work for a while and saved some more towards our adoption fund. Then we saw Lingao's file and that plan went out the window.
What does International Adoption cost in China? Here is my quick rundown:
Now...back to my original point. There is a tax credit (better than a deduction this is a refund!) in the United States for $13,000 of adoption related costs. In the past it has been refundable but not sure on that aspect. In any case, this means that..
You can adopt internationally for ~ $10,000. Including a 2 week trip to China!!
The day we accepted Lingao's referral, I went into Dave Ramsey 'gazelle' mode looking for these funds. And then God showed up in a big way.
Here is the net:
- We sold our second car. Note: We sold it for roughly the same amount we paid for it 18 mos ago. Very little if any money was invested in it over the time we owned it (thank you handy hubby!). We do still need to buy a replacement second car but plan to spend $2,250 less than what our old car brought in. NET - $2250.
- Returned some furniture I had recently purchased (instead we are using my Craigs list find table that I already had). NET = $885
- Cancelled our gym/pool membership for the remainder of the year (at least) - $200/mo. NET = $800
- Our builder agreed to give us $500 back for under cabinet lighting I had previously paid for that has yet to be installed. NET = $500
- Matt went to a friends house to play poker 2 days after we said yes and won $65. note - Matt had never played poker before and had to receive a lesson before they started!!. NET = $65
- Here is the big one...our agency contacted us and told us we received a grant for $3000 from a wealthy family that donated the $$ to them. Note - we did not apply for this nor did I know this was available. We found out we got the grant the day after we sold the car! NET = $3,000
Doing the math on our sub-totals..
- Our employer contribution towards adoption costs - $8,000
- US tax credit - $13,000.
- Previously mentioned $$ raised in 6 days. $7500
Are you interested in International Adoption but think you can't afford it? Contact me and let me help you creatively think of a way to fund that last $10,000 and cash flow the US Governments $13k. I bet you will be amazed at how quickly you can do it!! Gym memberships, car payments, vacations, selling extra things (bikes, playsets, blackberries, iphones, laptops, etc), renting out your house (this is a great one in Ann Arbor!). There are also tons of grants out there!!I have seen online fundraisers, garage sales, and other 'gazelle' activities raise this kind of $$ in weeks!! ;-)
*** One note - We are not fundraising for this adoption and this post is in no way requesting funds (Trying to avoid the awkward conversations by being up front here!). Yes, we could have 'borrowed' the $$ from ourselves (from our savings / emergency fund) but there is something to be said for sacrifice and depending on God. Just another reassurance that He has our back!
2015 update -- here is a link to my recent post on picking an agency!! Do your homework and save yourself a lot of $$!!