LGBT adoptions, grants, and what LGBT couples need to know

Same-sex male couple and family
Funding options in New Jersey to help with adoption costs

In some states, including New Jersey, LGBT adoptions have been an option for families for longer than same-sex marriage. New Jersey LGBT couples have had the ability to pursue legal adoption of children to expand their families ever since a landmark state court case argued by the American Civil Liberties Union in 1997. Ever since then, there has been legal precedent ensuring LGBT adoption rights in the state of New Jersey.

That isn’t to say that LGBT couples in New Jersey have an easy time adopting children. There is still a difficult application and background check process to undergo. Each step of the process is quite expensive. Many couples may find the costs related to adoption prohibitive at first. However, there are options out there that can make adoption more affordable for LGBT families in New Jersey. Carefully considering your financial options for covering the cost of adoption can help you understand how feasible an adoption may be for your family.

Consider applying for LGBT adoption grants

There are multiple grant programs that help couples who wish to potentially adopt children into their families. Familiarizing yourself with major grant programs is the best way to fund an adoption without incurring substantial costs to your household. One of the most common and well-known grants for adoption comes from The National Adoption Foundation.

Their grants provide critical financial assistance that helps families cover the costs associated with adoption. These grants may cover the costs associated with private and public adoptions, as well as International adoptions, adoptions involving special needs children, and adoptions facilitated by your private attorney.

The Board of Directors for the Foundation will evaluate each application they receive during the last week of each quarter throughout the year. They will consider both the needs of applicants, as well as the current amount of funds available to the Foundation. They will not consider race, age, sexual orientation, or income when considering applications. Instead, they will review the needs of each applicant family seeking to adopt non-related children. That means that they do facilitate and fund LGBT adoptions.

To qualify for a grant, applicant families must be willing to complete a home study. The Foundation will notify only successful applicants by email or phone within 15 days of the end of the quarter. Those who do not hear back should assume their application was not approved at this time.

An adoption loan may be an option 

If your family cannot qualify for a grant or if the long waiting periods sometimes associated with securing grant money seem interminable, there are other options. Adoption loans can help you fund the costs of expanding your family without needing to seek a grant.

Of course, a loan is substantially different than a grant. You will have to repay the loan, along with the agreed-upon interest rate for the amount of the adoption loan. However, a loan application process may be faster than the grant application process. There are also only so many grants to go around, which means that many deserving families may not be able to access grants to help them adopt.

For these families, adoption loans may be the fastest and simplest option. Regardless of whether you hope to secure a grant or apply for a loan, it’s important to plan for the financial realities of adoption. Expanding your family may take a lot of work, but it is a very rewarding venture. If you are curious about your options for financing a New Jersey LGBT adoption, it may be time to look into grant programs and whether or not you could qualify for an adoption loan.