Raising Money for Adoption: Where to Start?

by | Aug 18, 2021 | Adoptive Families Blog

Excited woman looking at shoes she found at a garage sale for adoptionOnce hopeful adoptive parents find out how much adoption will cost, their next question is usually regarding how to go about raising money for adoption. For many families, the cost that comes with adopting is intimidating. Financing and fundraising for your adoption will take perseverance. However, you don’t have to go it alone.
There are many ways to fundraise for adoption besides checking into your employee adoption benefits, applying for grants, taking advantage of the adoption tax credit, and exploring adoption loans. With a bit of ingenuity and support from your friends and family, you can successfully raise money for your adoption. Read on for tried-and-true methods for raising money for adoption!


Crowdfunding is an effective way to raise funds, by asking many people to donate money, normally in small amounts. Online crowdfunding often works in conjunction with social networking websites, making it easy for your supporters to share about the fundraiser with their followers.
A few of the most popular crowdfunding sites for adoption include GoFundMe, AdoptTogether, Plumfund, and AdoptionBridge. Most of these sites will:

  • Allow you to set up a page to describe, promote, and post updates, especially with video
  • Are easily shareable on social media
  • Accept online donations
  • Charge a percentage of funds raised plus a fee per transaction

Whichever crowdfunding site you choose, make sure to be specific when you share your adoption story. Speak from your heart and let people why you are adopting, the amount of money you need, and how to get involved.
Some crowdfunding sites have an “all-or-nothing” policy, meaning you have to reach your goal to get any of the funds. So, if you use a crowdfunding site to raise money for your adoption, read and understand its guidelines, terms, and conditions before signing up.

Garage Sale

Another great way to raise funds is by holding an in-person (or virtual!) garage sale or yard sale. You can advertise on websites like Facebook, Nextdoor, or Craigslist, notify your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors, and also put a notice in your church bulletin. If you include the reason why you’re holding the sale—to raise money for adoption—you’re likely to draw a large crowd. People want to support your adoption efforts, and a garage sale allows you to give something back in return for their financial support.
Ask your friends and family if they are interested in donating items to the sale as well. The more items you have, the more money you will raise. This also gives those who aren’t able to contribute financially a chance to help.
You can also sell clothing you don’t use or need anymore on an online platform such as Poshmark or ThredUp.

Host a Fundraising Event

There are various fun adoption fundraising events you can hold, including car washes, raffles, auctions, and walkathons. Even an old-fashioned spaghetti feed with a silent auction is a great way to generate cash. Your church will probably be more than happy to donate space for your efforts.
You can sell tickets in advance and at the door—using a price range including adults, children under a certain age, and seniors is best—as well as raise money by auctioning off donated items. Good items for auction are babysitting, yard work, anything “crafty,” and, if you’re fortunate enough to get local businesses involved, free services (think meals, spa treatments, car washes, and the like).

Adoption T-shirts

T-shirt fundraisers for adoption have become very popular, and for good reason: they are really effective. One online t-shirt fundraising site, Bonfire, gives you a risk-free way to create and sell custom t-shirts. They do not charge you any upfront costs or shipping, and you do not have to keep an inventory of shirts at your home. Bonfire prints and delivers the t-shirts to your supporters!
If you have time to keep track of inventory and shipping, you can manage your t-shirt fundraiser yourself using Fund The Nations. This company has a wonderful selection of pre-made adoption designs or they can customize shirts just for you.

Sell Your Talents

By combining both vocational and career talents, couples can offer services outside of standard work hours to raise money. It’s worth freeing up some of your time to make this a priority—not only will it benefit you and your adoption efforts, but it will also benefit those to whom you provide your talents!
Think you don’t have talents people would pay for? Cooking, organizing, gift wrapping, and babysitting are things a busy family may be interested in. Elderly folks are eager for transportation and running errands. Photography and event planning may be hobbies you can turn into cash, as well as handyman and technology talents. Everyone has something!

Raising Money for Adoption

The cost of adoption is understandably a concern for many, but there are many creative ways of raising money for adoption that will make pursuing your dream that much easier.
Throughout the adoption process, you should be willing to make sacrifices to save money such as skipping your daily trip to Starbucks or fancy dinners out. By going the extra mile in your fundraising efforts, your donors will take notice and join in without hesitation.
Raising money for adoption may not be easy, but the moment you bring your baby home, you’ll recognize all that fundraising was totally worth it! So stay focused and don’t give up. You can do this!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on February 17, 2015, and has since been updated. 

Heather Featherston

Written by Heather Featherston

As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.

Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.

As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.

Read more about Heather Featherston

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