6 Best Adoption Loans to Help Complete Your Family

Updated on April 9, 2024

At a Glance

  • The average cost of adoption with agency assistance is around $40,000, creating a significant financial barrier for many families.
  • Handling adoption independently may save around $6,000, but the actual cost remains over $30,000.
  • Adoption loans, available from reputable lenders such as Stilt, America’s Christian Credit Union, Avant, SoFi, LightStream, Upstart, and PersonalLoans.com, can help bridge the financial gap.
  • Choosing the right adoption loan depends on factors like credit score, loan term, and interest rates, and careful consideration of rates and fees is essential.

Adoption is a huge step, one that is always reached after a huge amount of deliberation and difficult decisions. Many future adoptive parents are shocked by the cost of adoption, however, which discourages some from completing the adoption.

An adoption loan can get you the funds that you need, and there are numerous options available for prospective adoptive parents. The following article provides a breakdown of the top adoption lenders and helps you answer critical questions about whether adoption is right for you.

The Cost of Adoption

The biggest roadblock that prevents families from adopting is the cost. Recently, Adoptive Families Magazine surveyed 1,100 that adopted children in 2012 and 2013 to better understand the true cost of adoption.

Check out AFM’s breakdown:

 Adoption AgencyIndependent Adoption
Agency Fees/Program Application$16,922$3,357
Legal Fees$4,141$12,693
Birth Mother Expenses$3,223$5,590
Advertising / Networking$2,340$3,978
Other Costs (counseling/support, other fees)$13,340$8,475
Average Total Cost$39,966$34,093

According to AFM’s findings, the average cost of adoption with agency assistance was $39,966 and $34,093 when adoptions were handled independently when adoptive families were polled in 2012 and 2013 and

And, of course, these numbers are several years old by now. The cost of adoption, as with all things, has surely only increased since 2012-13.

So, while it may be less expensive to handle your adoption proceedings without the assistance of a professional agency (average savings are around $6,000 according to AFM’s findings), the actual cost of adoption is still well over $30,000.

Things to Consider When Looking at Adoption Loans

There are a number of crucial factors that you should keep in mind when choosing a lender for your adoption loan. The foremost concern is the interest rate: this will determine the total interest that you pay over the course of the loan. You can get quotes from multiple lenders for an idea of the interest rates available to you.

You should also look at the fees that a lender charges. Some lenders include exploitative application fees, and even prepayment fees, which penalize you for paying off your debt before the loan term ends. A good lender will have very few fees and will offer you a fair interest rate, as long as your finances are sound.

When to Use an Adoption Loan

Prospective adoptive parents should consider their options carefully before taking out an adoption loan. A loan shouldn’t be the first option, but, considering that the average cost of adopting a child is close to $40,000, it may be the only one.

Adoption loans are best used as a stopgap, or as a way to buy time while you explore other sources of funding. Some people fundraise, apply for grants and government assistance, or use the Federal Adoption Tax Credit to help repay their loans.

Download the Adoption Loans Checklist

Adoption financing made easy. Download our Adoption Loans Checklist for a step-by-step guide to financial success!

Get the Checklist

6 Best Adoption Loans

There are a number of lenders that provide adoption loans. Below, we’ve collected a list of some of the highest rated and most respected adoption lenders in the market.

America’s Christian Credit Union

America’s Christian Credit Union is a lender that aims its services at the Christian community. Applicants must be a member of the credit union, which means opening a checking account. America’s Christian Credit Union also offers relatively large amounts and long-term lengths, as well as relatively low interest rates.

At a glance:

  • Max Loan Term: 7 years
  • Interest Rates: Starting at 5.99%
  • Credit Score: No hard minimum

Christians, in particular, who may relish being part of a Christian credit community, should look to America’s Christian Credit Union. If you don’t mind opening a checking account, America’s Christian Credit Union can give you access to low interest rates. Their longer terms of service also allow for lower monthly payments.

>> Learn more about America’s Christian Credit Union


Avant is a well-established online lender that is known for its high customer satisfaction rate. Available in 46 states, Avant doesn’t have the lowest interest rates but considers applicants with relatively poor credit.

At a glance:

  • Max Loan Term: 5 years
  • Interest Rates: 9.95% to 36%
  • Credit Score: 580 to 700

Borrowers with poor credit have a better chance of getting accepted for a loan with Avant than with most other lenders. Avant also has excellent customer service, with no prepayment fees, fixed rates, and a quick and simple application process.

>> Learn more about Avant


SoFi is one of the most prominent online lenders, has disbursed over $14 billion in loans across 47 states. With a member base of over 200,000, SoFi is a reliable name in online lending but also has relatively high eligibility requirements. Though SoFi offers a range of benefits, many will be unable to qualify.

At a glance:

  • Max Loan Term: 7 years
  • Interest Rates: 6.99% to 14.87%
  • Credit Score: 690 or above

Borrowers with good credit scores would benefit from choosing SoFi because of the perks that they offer. This includes an employment protection program that gives you a grace period from repayment if you lose your job. You can also adjust your monthly payment date and can qualify for a reduced interest rate if you set up autopay.

>> Learn more about SoFi


LightStream is a division of SunTrust Bank that provides adoption loans at fixed-rate terms. LightStream offers competitive rates, favorable terms, and extensive borrowing limits. Also, LightStream is known for its responsive customer service and their expedient application process.

At a glance:

  • Max Loan Term: 7 years
  • Interest Rates: 3.34% to 16.99%
  • Credit Score: No hard minimum

Since LightStream disburses amounts up to $100,000, they are an ideal choice for borrowers who need funding for all of the processes involved in adoption. This funding can also be obtained quickly with LightStream’s same-day funding process. LightStream lacks a hard minimum credit score as well, so individuals who may have difficulty qualifying for other lenders should try LightStream.

>> Learn more about LightStream


Upstart is a lender that takes more than just credit score into account. By considering your education and academic performance, work history, and future employment prospects, Upstart has built more inclusive criteria for eligibility.

At a glance:

  • Max Loan Term: 5 years
  • Interest Rates: 4.93% to 29.99%
  • Credit Score: 620 or above

Upstart offers some of the lowest starting interest rates and relatively high maximum amounts, making them a solid choice for adoptive parents who need to borrow large amounts. Also, Upstart considers borrowers with credit as low as 620, so borrowers who do not have excellent credit can apply to Upstart.

>> Learn more about Upstart


PersonalLoans.com is not a direct lender, but a platform that connects borrowers with private lenders. With PersonalLoans.com, you fill out an application and are matched with a lender who fits your circumstances. You can receive your funds within a single day, and PersonalLoans.com will provide multiple loan offers from multiple lenders for a plenitude of choice.

At a glance:

  • Max Loan Term: 6 years
  • Interest Rates: 5.99% to 35.99%
  • Credit Score: No hard minimum

PersonalLoans.com is available in all 50 states and can provide borrowers with a range of options that direct lenders cannot. This means a wide range of possible loan amounts and term lengths, so PersonalLoans.com is ideal for borrowers seeking flexibility.

>> Learn more about PersonalLoans.com

Is An Adoption Loan the Right Choice for You?

An adoption loan is the right choice if you have exhausted other means of financing your adoption. If the adoption agency does not offer payment plans, and you cannot cover the expense with employment or government benefits, an adoption loan is the next best option.

Make sure that you investigate multiple lenders and get quotes so you can find the lowest interest rate. Calculate the monthly payments you will have to make and see if they can fit into your budget. If they can, then an adoption loan is a suitable choice.

Adoption Loans FAQ

What is an Adoption Loan?

An adoption loan is a personal loan with the specific aim of using the funds to cover adoption funds. Taking out an adoption loan is the same as taking out a personal loan: you must meet certain eligibility requirements, apply for a loan, and qualify for an interest rate and term length.

What Kind of Credit Do I Need for an Adoption Loan?

This depends on the lender that you choose. Some lenders have hard minimum credit scores, below which you cannot qualify for a loan. Other lenders, like Stilt, look at more peripheral factors like education and employment prospects. Investigate the policy of different lenders for an idea of the credit score you will need to qualify.

Can an Adoption Loan Cover Childbirth Expenses?

Yes, an adoption loan can cover all of the expenses involved in the adoption process. You can even use an adoption loan to cover the expenses of raising the child, for at least the first year.

When Should I Apply?

You can apply for an adoption loan at any time during the adoption process. If you need the funds for the upfront costs of adopting a child, then the sooner the better.

Read More


Most people are driven to adopt by a deep passion or desire, and won’t let something like funding get in the way. While the sticker shock of adoption is steep, an adoption loan is a simple way that you can get the funds that you need for adoption. Make sure that you investigate each lender that you consider thoroughly, and that you go with the one that can best meet your financial needs.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 100,000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn more about finance, immigration, and more!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

Get the Checklist