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The church is an organic collection of individual orphans turned adopted children, brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus promised his disciples that he would not leave them as orphans (John 14:8). The reason Jesus was born, according to Galatians 4:4-8, is so that Jesus could redeem us (v. 4); and the reason he came to redeem us is so that God could adopt us as sons (v. 5). The result is that the Father sends the Spirit of his Son into our hearts so that we can cry “Abba, Father!” (v. 6).

Now that we are adopted sons instead of slaves in bondage, we have an eternal inheritance through God. It’s because of teaching like this that J. I. Packer wrote in Knowing God,

Our understanding of Christianity cannot be better than our grasp of adoption. . . . If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all.

Because God is a Father to the fatherless and a protector of widows (Ps. 68:5), he commands his adopted children—the bride of Christ—“to visit orphans and widows in their affliction” (James 1:27). Adopting,  assisting with adoption, and foster care are some (though not the only) means of fulfilling this biblical vision and command.

Once a couple decides that they are open to adoption, one of the great fears and barriers is often the financial costs associated with it.

There is no magic-bullet solution. There is an adoption tax-credit for out-of-pocket expenses, though it is scheduled to be cut in half next year.

One ministry to be aware of is the ABBA Fund. They work with individuals and with churches to provide support in fund-raising, receipting, interest-free loans, etc. If you are in the adoption process, considering adoption, wanting to help fund adoptions, or would like to see your church develop an adoption fund, the following summary might be helpful:

What Is the ABBA Fund?

ABBA Fund is a non-profit organization that partners with churches and Christian families to administer interest-free loans to those who want to adopt.

Can Individual Families Apply for a Covenant (Interest-free) Loan Directly with ABBA?

Yes, if they are Christians and if they have completed their home study.

What Services Does the ABBA Fund Provide to the Church?

The church sets up an adoption fund. The ABBA Fund then assists the church in

  • reviewing applications,
  • qualifying applicants for the interest-free loan (based on  preferred financial/spiritual criteria),
  • receiving and dispersing funds,
  • administering tax-deductible receipts,
  • following up for loan repayment, etc.

How Much Does It Cost the Church?

There are no administrative costs for ABBA Fund’s services. They can do this on account of their generous supporters.

How Does Money Get Raised for the Local Church’s Adoption Fund?

There are several possibilities:

  • fund-raising efforts,
  • special offerings,
  • donations, or
  • church-budget contributions.

You can find out more about their interest-free loans and their church-adoption funds.


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12 thoughts on “How Can I Afford to Adopt?”

  1. Matthew says:

    My wife and I have been pursuing adoption for about a year and a half now.
    We have been trying to adopt through the foster system in the county…..but to no avail this far.
    It is difficult to be placed with these precious and needy children only to have them leave. We are up to our fourth placement now, and this looks like it will not end in an adoption.
    If there is anybody out there, and within Abba fund or likewise that would be willing to help us it would be the greatest blessing!
    In His grip,

  2. Is this open for Americans only? Or can brothers north of the border apply as well?

    Does anyone know?

  3. Brian Hammonds says:

    There are also ways to adopt through the foster care system that are very low cost or virtually free…if you are willing to adopt a child who is a little bit older and whose parents are no longer in the picture (through death, abandonment, or rights being severed for any number of reasons). These children (ages 6 and up) are the ones most likely to stay in the foster system until adulthood and never be adopted, so there is much need here!

  4. I don’t know about other states, but in South Carolina adoptions are free through DSS. We’ve had a number of friends in our church go that route.

    That being said, I’m a big fan of ANY kind of adoption.

  5. Sarah Costa says:

    as a few people mentioned, foster adoption is not only free, but most of the time, you will receive monthly payments (even after the adoption is finalized) until the child is 18 years old, and receive free medical care (also until the child is 18, even after adoption). furthermore, foster/adoptive parents get the full tax credit, even if they haven’t had any out of pocket expenses.

    not that anyone should do adoption just to get the money, but its good to know that money doesn’t need to be an issue at all.

    also, note that foster adoptions can be babies (not just older children). however, the need is greatest among older children.

    the need is great! there are 500,000 children in the foster care system in the US.

  6. We are in the midst of our second adoption. God has provided in unimaginable ways each time. How was different. The first time was largely thru the help of friends. This time people from church helped and we received a few grants. In retrospect I wonder why I worried. We recognized that He uses means, and we tried lots of different avenues. But by God’s grace we’ve adopted a boy from China, and are about to adopt siblings from the Congo. If God wants you to adopt, the money will not stand in the way.

  7. taco says:

    These are great resources. Thanks!

  8. Jack Hager says:

    Not to try to put God into a box…but if it’s His will, it is His bill. I’ve subsisted on missionary support since 1977; God dropped two lives into our lap through our involvement in youth ministry…my now 17 year old daughter’s birth mom was 13; my 9 year old son’s 17. We had no savings. But we did contact our supporters, my wife sold Pampered Chef…and we paid the over 20 grand for my daughter adn teh 9 for my son.
    It is neat to see the church being the church in some instances and helping with adoption costs…which are horrendous. It is neat to see the ABBA fund etc..but God has proven Himself strong..not to say this is the “only” way…but it was His way in us…

    1. Jack — wouldn’t you say that God may be working to pay “His bill” through the church, ABBA fund, etc. Just as God has used the church (I assume) and other folks to provide your missionary support, He may just as well use the church and other folks to help provide for adoptions.

  9. Pilgrim in Progress says:

    Unless something has changed, the US government will also give up to a $10,000 tax credit for eligible expenses associated with adoption. This could be spread over two years (opportunity to maximize credit depending on income). Also, many employers offer an adoption benefit as well (mine offered up to $10,000 for qualifying expenses). Be sure and ask your HR department at work. Adoption is wonderful, we are thankful every single day. Be a reflection of our heavenly Father, adopt a child into your family (and then lead them into our Father’s family)!

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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