The China special needs program, in which more than 500 children are on the Shared List are awaiting homes, is one of the most straightforward international programs. For those who are diligent in completing their paperwork, China is also one of the fastest programs in which to bring home a child-usually in about 9-12 months from the time that you send in your application. Yes, next year, you could have a child in your home.
Once your paperwork is logged into China, most likely you will receive a referral within a matter of days to a couple of weeks. This is true even for those who are seeking children with minor and correctable special needs. Although we have to always add the caveat that time frames can vary and we cannot always guarantee that you will be assigned a child as quickly as this, these are the time frames that we have been consistently experiencing with our families.
Not only is this special China program, which we call Children in His Image Program, one in which families have been able to adopt children quickly, it is also one of the most affordable programs.
The fees and expenses of the program total about $25,000-$30,000. If you consider the new generous tax credit/refund and adopt a child before December 31, 2011, the net cost to you could be as low as $11,830.
You could further reduce your costs if you could get your employer to count some of your pay-up to $13,170-as an adoption benefit. That income to you would not be federally taxed. If you earn under $182,520, you could receive the full adoption benefits tax free. So let's say that you are not taxed on $13,170 of your income-and save $1,500 in taxes. Then you add in the $13,170 that you could receive as a tax credit/refund, you could be getting back close to $14,670 in tax benefits and refunds. (To receive the $13,170 in credit/refund in addition to $13,170 in full employer-provided benefits, you would have to spend $26,340 on adoption fees and expenses.)
If you are fortunate enough to have an employer who provides outright adoption benefits, and you receive say $5,000, this would mean that you receive the $13,170 plus $5,000 in employer benefits for a total of $18,170. In fact, here in SC, state employees can receive up to $10,000 in adoption benefits when adopting a child with special needs and $5,000 for a non-special needs child. . For a SC state employee, your net cost of an adoption from China could be about $2,000!!
Other ways that you can offset the cost of an adoption is through fundraising and grants. If you were to receive about $5,000 through grants and fundraising efforts and save about $1,500 in taxes by having part of your salary used as tax-free employer-provided adoption benefits, you could further bring down the cost of your adoption by another $6,500. This means that the net cost of your adoption could come to about $5,330.
And now the news gets even better. Here at Nightlight, we are offering a $1,000 scholarship to the first 10 families who apply to the China Children in His Image Program by June 1, 2010. After you send in the free preliminary application (have link to free application), and then receive the green light to complete the full application, you will receive the $1,000 scholarship immediately.
If you want more information about this program, contact Lisa Prather, Assistant Director, at 864 268-0570.