EVOLVE connects families with adoption financing help

When Kelly Ellison and her husband adopted from China in 2007, it didn’t just bring the couple a daughter, it presented Ellison with an idea to help adopting families.

“We need to help families with the financing part of it,” she said, describing the idea.
Ellison used her nonprofit experience to start Your Adoption Finance Coach, which helps families navigate adoption financing options like loans, grants and fundraising.

When Kelly Ellison and her husband adopted from China in 2007, it didn’t just bring the couple a daughter, it presented Ellison with an idea to help adopting families.

“We need to help families with the financing part of it,” she said, describing the idea.

Ellison used her nonprofit experience to start Your Adoption Finance Coach, which helps families navigate adoption financing options like loans, grants and fundraising.

“The families need to know that there are resources out there that are available to them,” Ellison said.

That’s why EVOLVE Adoption & Family Services partners with Your Adoption Finance Coach, and includes the service as part of EVOLVE’s adoption process.

‘The finance department’
Ellison offers a simple metaphor to describe Your Adoption Finance Coach: “You don’t go buy a car without visiting the finance department.”

Ellison and her team serve as financial planners for adoptions. American Adoptions reports adoptions in the U.S. cost an average of more than $30,000. Many families don’t know the steps they should take — and in what order — to finance an adoption. Adoption paperwork alone can feel like drinking from a fire-hose, Ellison said.

That’s where Your Adoption Finance Coach steps in to help chart a path. For example, families need a home study completed before applying for adoption loans and applying for grants.

How Your Adoption Finance Coach helps
Your Adoption Finance Coach helps EVOLVE families create and implement a financing plan. They go through each family’s financial picture, because no two adoptions and no two families are alike. They look through income, credit scores, savings, separate adoption savings, and they’ll work through what grants, loans and tax credits are available.

Your Adoption Finance Coach promotes all types of fundraising, but only if a family is open to fundraising; not all families are. If they are, the agency helps with special events for an adoption. Families can be surprised at how communities respond to adoption, Ellison said, adding that people often want to be a part of a friend or neighbor’s adoption story. A community can come together to be a part of such an experience.

“It’s less about asking and more about letting, letting people be a part of that story,” Ellison said.

What resources are available to EVOLVE adopting families?
As an EVOLVE client, families have access to one-on-one coaching from Your Adoption Finance Coach, along with many resources.

That includes access to an online video library, webinars and templates. These include budgeting templates, timeline templates, planning documents, and documents with all grants and loans available to families, along with application deadlines.

At the discretion of EVOLVE, Your Adoption Finance Coach offers a 30-minute pre-consult to help families considering adoption and EOVLVE understand the service and how it can benefit them. EVOLVE clients are connected with a coach upon being accepted in the home study process.

Final advice
Though adoption can be a complicated process, Ellison advise adopting families to take in every moment, stopping to savor as much of the experience as possible.

It may feel like a long process, but she said it feels like the blink of an eye looking back.

“It’s a decision that they will never regret,” she said. “The experience is rich.”