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The truth about how much of adoption is luck

When it comes to adoption, there is a misconception that being selected by a birth mother and bringing home a baby is all about chance and luck. As an adoption consultant, I find that is anything but true. While there is some modicum of fate involved, success in the adoption process is more about knowledge and planning than anything else. I wanted to break down how much of adoption is luck and how much is focused around planning.

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Financing adoption

A frequent misconception I deal with regarding adoption is the cost. Many people will not even put adoption on their list because they think it is too expensive and that it would take a major stroke of luck to come up with the money to afford it. While adoption is by no means inexpensive, it does not take a stroke of luck to finance it. There are so many options available to finance adoption without having to happen upon a pot of gold. Some of the best ways to pay for adoption include:

  • The adoption tax credit: The laws are a little complicated so you definitely want to consult your tax professional, but the adoption tax credit is an excellent way to offset the costs of adoption. The rules are frequently changing, so planning is necessary to see how much reimbursement you can receive, but many people receive reimbursement of the full $13,460.
  • Employer adoption reimbursement: Your employer may help reimburse you for your adoption. If they don’t already have a plan in place and you want to discuss one with them, consult the free resources offered by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
  • Loans and Grants: There are many foundations that offer grants to qualified families and you can always see an updated list on Resources for Adoption. Likewise, you can go to your bank and take out a regular loan for your adoption.
  • Fundraisers: Many of my clients have seen awesome success holding a fundraiser to get funds for their adoption. To learn more about fundraisers and more details on how to plan to finance adoption, you can read 5 Tips to make adoption more affordable.

Selecting adoption professionals

Once you have planned out how you want to finance your adoption, you don’t have to rely on luck to get through the process. Selecting your incredible team of adoption professionals takes a great deal of research and planning, but working with them will make you feel extraordinarily lucky during the process since their expertise contributes greatly to the success of your adoption. You should not only select your adoption dream team based on their experience and proven results, but also on their persona. Working with caring professionals will make your adoption much less stressful!

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Creating a profile

One of the biggest steps in the path to being selected by a birth mother is creating your adoption profile. An adoption profile highlights who you are and what the baby’s life would be like with you. Building an adoption profile takes careful planning and knowledge to create one that will have an impact on a birth mother. The more you edit and perfect your adoption profile, the better “luck” you will have being selected. This stage in the process might feel like luck when a birth mother selects your family, but it is really fate!


The waiting period to be selected by a birth mother and/or to have your baby placed with you is equal parts luck and planning. All of your planning and preparation up until these big adoption milestones will have an effect on how short your waiting period is. Luck — or rather fate — comes into play when your profile lands in the hands of the right birth mother at the right time.

Bringing home your baby

When your adoption process is finally complete and you are bringing your beautiful new baby home, it is lucky. Not because all of your efforts up to this point where based on luck, but because you are so incredibly lucky to have your perfect family at last. This is the most joyous part of the process where all of the hard work and planning prove to have been completely worth the bundle of joy in your arms.

More: How to talk thoughtfully about adoption

Nicole Witt is the owner of The Adoption Consultancy, an unbiased resource serving pre-adoptive families by providing them with the education, information and guidance they need to safely adopt a newborn, usually within three to 12 months. She is also the creator of Beyond Infertility, a community support site and online magazine geared towards families who have gone through infertility.

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