Today’s blog post was written by guest writer, Laura Coleman, AFC® with Family Money Coaching. Laura is an adoption money coach from Tennessee. She and her husband adopted 3 children. You can follow her blog and podcast at www.familymoneycoaching.org.
You’re considering or have decided on adoption as a way to grow your family. Now it’s important to create a financial plan to achieve your dream of being parents. When you live with intention, you are able to make your dreams a reality. We want to share with you a few resources to help you prepare financially for adoption.
Step 1: Make a Budget For The Entire Adoption Process
It’s so important to know how much to save up before you begin saving, so plan a budget or spending plan. Here are a few things you need to budget for during the adoption process.
Copies of Birth certificates, marriage certificate, background checks, fingerprints
Setting up the nursery (including car seats, cribs, clothes, diapers)
Travel insurance (just in case your trip needs to be canceled or rescheduled)
Health insurance (If you leave the country, your health insurance isn’t valid, but you can purchase temporary health insurance to cover you while you are out of the country.)
Vacation money (bonding together as a family before and after placement)
Courses and classes you need to take
The Adoption Financial Planner on Etsy can assist you with planning your budget for your adoption. It’ll help you track your adoption budget, travel planning, personal financial statement, and income sources.
Step 2: Create a Budget for Travel Planning
This is a part of the adoption process that can be missed when planning financially for adoption. Whether your adoption is local or from another state; be sure to budget for travel and a possible ICPC stay.
It’s important to have a separate savings account specifically for travel planning. Remember to include the following:
Hotel or lodging
Travel insurance or trip protection insurance (to protect you if you have to cancel a trip last minute)
Health insurance (when going internationally your health insurance doesn’t cover you outside of the US. Obtain travel health insurance. It’s just an additional policy your insurance agent can write for you.)
Step 3: Develop Your Personal Financial Statement
When you build a picture of your finances, it’s easy to see where you are at financially. Painting the picture gives you a visual of your current situation and helps you clearly see where you need to go to reach your financial goal.
Why do you need a Personal Financial Statement for adoption? Your Personal Financial Statement shows your income, assets, and liabilities in one location; which allows your home study to see your financial picture at a glance. They want to know that you can afford to take care of another person after you adopt.
It’s important that the income stated on your Personal Financial Statement and what is deposited into your bank statement match. You don’t want red flags raised.
Inside of The Adoption Financial Planner is a section to help you build that financial picture. You’ll also need this for your Home Study and any grant applications.
Step 4: Build Income Sources
The only way you will raise the money in 12 months or less is to create MULTIPLE sources of income. These are just a few of the sources to consider:
Step 5: Track for Taxes
Make things easy for your accountant by tracking your adoption expenses. The IRS has specific rules for claiming adoption expenses, exclusions, and tax credits. We won’t go into major detail in this article, but here’s a discussion from The Adoption and Fertility Finance Show about 20 Questions to Ask Your CPA about Adoption.
In the Preparing Financially for Adoption self paced course, you’ll learn more details about what to track and some tricks to utilize the Adoption Tax Credit to it’s fullest.
We want to provide you the resources you need to help you successfully raise the money in 12 months or less. We hope these 5 steps will help you paint the picture, so you can be prepared financially for your adoption.
We created a new community on Facebook called Paying for Adoption to help share ideas, give hope, and provide resources to others on their adoption journey. Click here to come join us!
Also, be sure to check out the Adoption Financial Planner Video!