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Financing a Florida Adoption

Tens of thousands of children are adopted every year in the United States.  Expenses can widely vary, depending on whether the adoption is by a relative or nonrelative, domestic or foreign, contested or uncontested and whether an agency is used to facilitate the adoption.  Depending on those and other factors, costs can range from $3,000 to nearly $40,000.  However, financial options exist to minimize the expense of the adoption.

Tax Credit.  Adoptive parents can claim approximately $13,000 per child for qualified expenses, including attorney fees, court costs and travel expenses.  The credit phases out for those with gross incomes between $200,000 and $240,000.  The adoption tax credit cannot exceed your total tax liability, but you can carry excess credits into the following year.  Consult a tax professional for specific information and to verify your eligibility for the adoption tax credit.

Adoption Grants and Employer Assistance. Numerous organizations, such as the Gift of Adoption Fund and others, support adoptive parents as they finance adoption fees and expenses.  Some grants are designed to facilitate only certain kinds of adoption or adoptions from certain areas of the world.  Income levels are often a factor with grants, but a growing number of employers now offer financial assistance for adoptions.  Charter Communications, for example, has assisted one of my own clients to adopt a child who was in need of a stable home.  The child was not related to my clients and verification of the expenses was as simple as a letter from my office.

Loans.  A loan can be utilized, often in conjunction with the above-referenced tax credit, to finance a Florida adoption.  A home equity loan may also be an option to offer lower than average interest rates and tax deductibility for interest payments.

Gifts.  As with any deeply personal matter, family and friends are often willing to assist loved ones to pay adoption fees and expenses.

Payment Plans.  Attorneys and adoption agencies often offer payment plans to spread the cost of an adoption out over a period of time, and thereby help clients to ease the cost of a Florida adoption.  I often agree for clients to pay legal fees, in contested adoptions, on a monthly basis as the fees accrue.  Most attorneys including myself will provide a number of pro bono representation for indigent clients as well.

Andrew D. Wheeler, Attorney at Matthews & Jones, (850) 502-3030

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