Many readers know that we are very excited about being an adoptive family. We adopted our girls in 2005 and 2008, both under unusual circumstances and with substantial fees that left our family happy and fulfilled, but in debt to our eyelids.
That was before we drank the debt-free Kool-Aid. In fact, right after arriving home from Ethiopia with our second daughter, who was very ill, I received my layoff notice. That’s what sparked our debt-free crusade. We asked ourselves, how could we care for these children properly, when we were so financially vulnerable?
Our adoptions were both unusual circumstances, requiring more than the usual fees. Between legal fees, agency fees, home study, fingerprints, notarization and notary verification, dossier, medical checks and vaccines for travel abroad and ever so many plane tickets, the costs were staggering.
There’s no doubt about it, our kids our priceless. Truth be told, I would have done anything in my power to make sure my kids had a family that worked for them—even if it wasn’t our family.
With all of that said, I wish I knew then, what I know now about ways to be resourceful and adopt without debt.
Sure, we did some clever things—friends donated air miles to help us get to Florida over a holiday weekend for our oldest’s adoption (we had only four days’ notice and prices to Orlando were absolutely atrocious). With our youngest, a re-adoption proceeding was required here in the states to finalize her adoption. We completed that all pro se (by ourselves) by completing and submitting the forms to the court without the aid of an attorney—saving us $500-$3,000 depending on the attorney’s estimate. But we missed a lot of opportunities where we could have saved a bundle.
When we felt the call to adopt, it didn’t come with explicit instructions. Ok, so there was, Deuteronomy 28:12 “The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow” but we just hadn’t connected the dots yet. We did the best that we knew how. We saved, liquidated savings, reduced spending and leveraged the adoption tax credit with an interest-free adoption loan.
Ideas for adopting debt-free.
If you like this article, please sign up for free weekly email updates.
I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
In accordance with FTC guidelines, I state that I have a financial relationship with companies mentioned in this website. This may include receiving access to free products and services for product and service reviews and giveaways.
Any references to third party products, rates, or websites are subject to change without notice. I do my best to maintain current information, but due to the rapidly changing environment, some information may have changed since it was published. Please do the appropriate research before participating in any third party offers.