We Want To Adopt A Child – How Much Does That Cost?

Starting a family is expensive, but when you add adoption expenses into the mix? Wow. I’m not going to lie – adoption is uber expensive. When my husband and I first started our adoption adventure, we had some rose colored glasses on. We were absolutely clueless as to exactly how expensive it could be. One agency we contacted wanted $15,000 up front, with the possibility of needing to pay more down the line.  Oh, and paying all of that money to the agency would not guarantee we would receive a child. To say we had sticker shock would be a bit of an understatement. As it turned out, we were very fortunate. We had a birth mother approach us and because of that we were able to “a la cart” our adoption, so to speak. That way we could pay for each expense as it came up and we would not have to obtain an agency.

Once a birth mother approached us to adopt her child {EEEK! We were going to be a family!} we had a due date, and along with that came an end date to raise money for adoption expenses. It also meant that there were less than eight months to get everything completed – home inspections, legal paperwork and doctor’s visits.  We needed to start saving (hoarding?) money – FAST!

First thing a friend suggested we do was open a donation page. There are many sites to choose from, gofundme and giveforward is just a couple that I have used personally. They allowed us to crowd fund by placing links on every social media website where we had an account. The donations started almost immediately thanks to all the awesome people in our lives. 🙂

Now that we had our donation page up and running, it was time to get creative. We needed to come up with fundraisers that would appeal to everyone we knew.

Appealing Fundraisers for Everyone You


Here are just a few of the ideas that we and our friends came up with:

  • Direct sales of CHOCOLATE! Very few people hate chocolate, plus it’s consumable so people will come back for more and more. I signed up as a direct sales consultant, first with Lindt (they have since bowed out of the direct sales industry), and then Dove Chocolate Discoveries. In the month leading to Christmas I managed to earn $1000 to put toward our adoption expenses.


  • ANY direct sales company will offer to do a fundraiser for you. Check with friends or the company itself to find a distributor/consultant. You may even get a DOUBLE BONUS and get free stuff from the company along with a donation. The free items can be used at a later event as a prize. We earned a couple hundred dollars to put toward our adoption fund by hosting parties!


  • Tattoo fundraiser – our friend is a licensed tattoo artist and held a “Tattoo Party” for us. He was extremely generous and gave us 50% of what he earned each day – all we had to do was get customers for him! If this is something that you’re in to, talk with your artist to see if he or she would be willing to help. We earned about $500 with minimal effort on our part. 


  • Casino bus trip – if you have friends that like to gamble, this is a GREAT money maker! Our dear friend Scott handled booking the bus, contacting the casino for comps and such and planned fun activities for the ride to and from FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek, MI. We ended up clearing just over $1800 to put toward our adoption expenses!


  • Silent Auction – we elected to have a prize raffle drawing instead of a silent auction, but a silent auction just might work for you!


  • T-shirt sales – we are fortunate enough to have many graphic designers in our life and one volunteered her time and created a t-shirt for us to sell. We’re also fortunate enough to know someone that has a screen printing shop. We made a few hundred dollars (I can’t remember the exact amount) on t-shirt sales during Milford Memories Summer Festival.


  • Bowling fundraiser – the local bowling alleys in our area are really great when it comes to hosting fundraisers. I’ve been to a few and was thrilled when the owner of Holly Lanes in Holly, MI offered the use of his alley to help us out. We earned just shy of $1000 at this fundraiser.


  • Raffles – during our bowling fundraiser we held two different raffles:
    • a 50/50 raffle: Tickets were available in $5 and $10 increments. We drew the winner at the end of our event.
    • Prize raffle: What should we raffle? EVERYTHING! We asked everyone we knew to donate new items or gift certificates, checked with local businesses about donations of goods or services and also added in any free items we had received from direct sales companies. Purchased raffle tickets were dropped into a bucket in front of the prize they wanted to win. At the end of the event, we drew one ticket out of each bucket.

All in all with donations and fundraiser we were able to raise nearly $10,000 to help us pay for our adoption. How blessed are we?!? That left about $2,000 for us to save on our own, and fortunately our tax return covered that. J

I hope that our ideas will help you raise the money you need to get your family started!




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