For some, building a family through adoption can lead to financial ruin, particularly for those who’ve spent the bulk of their savings on infertility treatments. “The average adoption costs a minimum of $25,000,” says Becky Fawcett, who with husband Kipp founded HelpUsAdopt.org, an organization dedicated to helping couples attain their dream of parenthood.
“One cycle of in-vitro fertilization cost us $16,500—five, $82,000,” says Fawcett, who moved from Rosemont to New York City in 2007. “When our lawyer told us how much we’d need to adopt and the options—sell our home, cash out our 401K, take a loan out on our life insurance, sell my engagement ring, take out a second mortgage or remain childless—we were overwhelmed with gratitude for not having to make those choices.”
But as they eagerly awaited the arrival of their son, Jake (now 5), the Fawcetts remained troubled by the lack of financial assistance for other would-be adoptive parents. “You can get a low-interest loan, but you have to pay it back,” says Fawcett. “People need grants, not loans.”
Through HelpUsAdopt.org, qualifying couples/individuals will receive annual grants of $500-$15,000; a fundraising push began in November 2007. Applications can be downloaded from the website; the first grants were awarded in June 2008. Any type of adoption qualifies—including foster care. A diversified grant selection committee determines eligibility, with priority given to couples/individuals without children.
For more information or to make a contribution, call (917) 684-5484.
Editor’s Note: Article updated May 23, 2011.