COVID-19 has put a serious dent in most everyone’s wallet. With the high rate of unemployment, many adoptive parents have been affected by this uncertain economic situation. If you’ve fallen into this category, or if you’re worried about your job security in the coming months, you’re probably feeling stuck and unsure of how it will affect your plans for adoption. You’re not alone.
For this blog, we’ll break our advice into two sections: what to do if you haven’t started your adoption journey, and what to expect if you’re just getting started. We’ll also offer some tips for saving money for adoption during COVID-19.
If You Haven’t Started Your Adoption Journey
If you’re waiting to start your adoption or if you’re not quite an active waiting family, you still have some time to prepare if you’re worried about your finances.
Before you begin, take a good look at your finances. Start by evaluating your adoption budget and try to work in a time to speak with a financial advisor. From there, you can get an idea of where you can save and what to cut out.
If you’re unsure about your financial situation, it’s okay to delay your journey. Don’t put pressure on yourself to move forward if you’re not comfortable doing so. There’s nothing wrong with waiting until the time is right.
During this period, it’s a good idea to still prepare for moving forward. You can review your adoption preferences, complete your adoption profile and, depending on timing, even start your home study. But, of course, you should always hold off until you’re financially ready to move forward in the process. There’s no telling when an opportunity will present itself. The last thing you want is to have to turn down your dreams because you weren’t financially ready.
You may decide that it’s time to delay your adoption process, at least until you’re more financially stable. If so, talk to your adoption professional about your options.
During these uncertain times, try to plan ahead financially as much as possible. Openly communicate with your spouse (if applicable) and your adoption professional. If you’re worried or feel like there is something that will impact your adoption plans emotionally, physically or financially, don’t be afraid to speak up.
If You’re in the Thick of Things:
If you’re already in the middle of your family-building journey, then you need to keep your adoption professional up to date about what’s going on. If you’ve experienced a job loss or if you feel like you need to put your plans on hold, they’ll want to know as soon as possible. Some professionals will allow you to take a temporary break and come back when you are ready.
If you’re feeling financially unstable due to COVID-19, we encourage you to pause your adoption until you’re able to get back on your feet. Adopting a child is expensive, and you don’t want to completely drain your savings.
Just reme/adopting/adoption-costs/how-much-does-it-cost-to-adopt-a-childmber that your adoption professional will want to help you as much as possible. If you have any questions or if you’re unsure about your situation, reach out to them for help.
3 Tips for Saving Money During COVID-19
Even if you haven’t experienced a job loss during the COVID-19 pandemic, it never hurts to be prepared. Here are just a few tips to make your money last — and save up for your adoption — during this global health crisis.
1. Stretch Your Dollars
You’re probably already saving as much as you can in this uncertain climate. So, stick with what you’ve been doing over the last few months. Try to make every grocery trip count. Take a look at your pantry. Odds are, you already have some extras in the back that you might have forgotten about. Take stock of what you have before you head out.
We know that it’s hard, but right now, try to stick to your list and only grab the essentials. This doesn’t mean you should eat less by any means, but just try to shop smarter. Take a look at the weekly ads, or shop at low-cost alternatives. Target might have everything you need, but consider the prices on all of their products before you make it your weekly stop.
Make a plan before you head out, and you’ll be less likely to overspend.
2. Cut the Extras
Now that we’re all stuck inside, very few of us are making trips out and about. Of course, that may mean the last thing you want to cut is your streaming service. But if it’s been a few months since you watched the last episode of “Mad Men,” or if you only had HBO Go to watch “Game of Thrones,” maybe it’s time to pull the plug.
The good news is that, even if you don’t have these streaming services, there are plenty of ways to get your movie night on. Libraries across the country actually offer e-rental services that you can use. You can rent digital movies, TV shows, and e-books or audio books. If your library has already started to open up, you might be able to pop in for a quick browsing session (just adhere to CDC safety recommendations). And, if you don’t feel comfortable leaving your car, you can get your holds delivered curbside.
If you don’t have a library card, don’t worry. You can easily make an e-card from the comfort of your home. Before you know it, you’ll be able to stream your favorite show in just a few minutes!
When you cut out extras like streaming platforms, gym memberships and subscription services, more money can go toward your adoption savings.
3. Look at Alternative Financial Options
If you’re out of work because of the pandemic, try to find out what relief programs are available. While many of us have received our stimulus checks, you should also check and see if your auto loan, student loans or credit cards offer relief programs.
Knowing where your money is going is the key to financial fitness. Before you do anything else, make sure that you’ve created a budget for your adoption plans. Some people like to use the 50/30/20 rule, but you can stick to whatever works best for you. If you’re putting your money toward anything non-essential, considering cutting some of it out for the time being so that you can focus on your adoption plans.
If possible, you might also think about starting your own fundraiser to help cover some of your adoption costs.
We’re all a little bit scared right now. The coronavirus has left a huge impact on people’s savings and financial plans for 2020. If you have any fears about how the coronavirus will affect your wallet, you’re not alone.
But adoptions have happened before a pandemic, and they’ll happen long after. No matter what happens, your family-building dreams can still come true. If you have any other questions or concerns about your finances and adoption, reach out to your adoption professional.