Best Adoption Loans and Grants in 2023

Find adoption loan lenders with the friendliest terms

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LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
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Best adoption loans in 2023

Written by Carol Pope | Edited by Jessica Sain-Baird and Xiomara Martinez-White | Updated September 1, 2023
How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
LenderUser ratingsBest for…APR rangeLoan termsLoan amountsCredit score requiredOrigination fee
LightStream logo
(208)
User Ratings & Reviews rating-reviews-tooltip-icon

Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Long-term adoption loans7.99% - 25.49% (with autopay)24 to 144 months$5,000 - $100,000Not specifiedNone
Prosper logo
(3,634)
User Ratings & Reviews rating-reviews-tooltip-icon

Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Excellent-credit borrowers6.99% - 35.99%24 to 60 months$2,000 - $50,0006401.00% - 5.00%
Upgrade logo
(2,127)
User Ratings & Reviews rating-reviews-tooltip-icon

Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Fair-credit borrowers8.49% - 35.99% (with autopay and other discounts)24 to 84 months$1,000 - $50,0005801.85% - 9.99%
Upstart logo
(15,899)
User Ratings & Reviews rating-reviews-tooltip-icon

Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Bad-credit borrowers5.20% - 35.99%36 and 60 months$1,000 - $50,0003000.00% - 12.00%
Achieve logo
(4,910)
User Ratings & Reviews rating-reviews-tooltip-icon

Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Joint adoption loans7.99% - 29.99% 24 to 60 months$5,000 - $50,0006201.99% - 5.99%
SoFi logo
(96)
User Ratings & Reviews rating-reviews-tooltip-icon

Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Borrower benefits8.99% - 25.81% (with autopay)24 to 84 months$5,000 - $100,000680No origination fee required
Read more about how we chose our picks for the best adoption loan lenders.

 

Adoption loan lenders at a glance

Best for long-term adoption loans

LightStream logo

APR range7.99% - 25.49% with autopay
Loan amounts$5,000 - $100,000
Term (months)24 to 144 months
Origination feeNo origination fee
Minimum credit scoreNot specified
ProsCons

  One of the longest repayment terms on the market

  Large loans available

  No origination or late fees

  Competitive maximum APR

  Only those with good-to-excellent credit are eligible

  No prequalification process

  Borrowers not enrolled in autopay can only repay via mail or their bank’s billpayer service

Best for excellent-credit borrowers

Prosper logo

APR range6.99% - 35.99%
Loan amounts$2,000 - $50,000
Term (months)24 to 60 months
Origination fee1.00% - 5.00%
Minimum credit score640
ProsCons

  Low minimum APR for the most qualified borrowers

  Flexible due dates

  Co-applicants allowed

  Funding timeline can be lengthy

  Charges multiple fees (late payment, check payment, insufficient funds and origination)

  Not available to those with fair credit or lower

Best for fair-credit borrowers

Upgrade logo

APR range8.49% - 35.99% with autopay and other discounts
Loan amounts$1,000 - $50,000
Term (months)24 to 84 months
Origination fee1.85% - 9.99%
Minimum credit score580
ProsCons

  May be available if you have less-than-perfect credit

  Extended repayment terms

  Could have funds the next business day after approved

  Short-term hardship program available

  High maximum APR

  Potential for high origination fee

  $10 late payment fee

Best for bad-credit borrowers

Upstart logo

APR range5.20% - 35.99%
Loan amounts$1,000 - $50,000
Term (months)36 and 60 months
Origination fee0.00% - 12.00%
Minimum credit score300
ProsCons

  May be available to those with bad or no credit

  Low minimum APR for qualified borrowers

  Can prequalify before applying

  Origination fee can reach 12%

  Repayment term not as flexible as some lenders

  No joint loans

Best for joint adoption loans

Achieve logo

APR range7.99% - 29.99%
Loan amounts$5,000 - $50,000
Term (months)24 to 60 months
Origination fee1.99% - 5.99%
Minimum credit score620
ProsCons

  APRs are on the low end

  Multiple APR discounts, including a co-borrower discount

  Same-day approval decisions

  Charges an origination fee

  High minimum loan amount

  Fewer repayment terms than some

Best for borrower benefits

SoFi logo

APR range8.99% - 25.81% with autopay
Loan amounts$5,000 - $100,000
Term (months)24 to 84 months
Origination feeNo origination fee required
Minimum credit score680
ProsCons

  Loans up to $100,000

  Wide variety of repayment terms

  No origination or late payment fees

  Need good credit or better to qualify

  High minimum loan amount

  Relatively high minimum APR

Interest-free adoption loans

Some religious organizations offer interest-free adoption loans, but you’ll likely need to identify as a certain faith to qualify.

  • Lifesong for Orphans: Those that follow the Christian faith can apply for an interest-free adoption loan, adoption grants or set up a fundraising campaign through Lifesong for Orphans.
  • Pathways for Little Feet: Pathways for Little Feet can provide interest-free adoption loans of up to $10,000 to eligible Christian couples. The organization also offers grants for post-adoption therapy for adopters, adoptees and birth mothers.

How do adoption loans work?

Between home studies, lawyer and agency fees, travel expenses and more, adopting a child can cost tens of thousands of dollars. While this expense is worth it for many, it does cause a barrier for entry that some potential adoptive parents have a hard time hurdling. That’s where an adoption loan might help.

An adoption loan is a personal loan used to help fund the adoption process. Potential borrowers fill out an application — if approved, they’ll receive their funds in a lump sum, which can be used for nearly anything. Then, the borrower will begin repaying their loan in monthly installments, usually about 30 days after the loan is disbursed.

How to compare adoption loans

Welcoming a new member to the family is a joyful occasion, but such a big change can also be stressful — the same may be true when borrowing money. Learning how to compare adoption loans could empower you to find the lender that’s best for your unique situation.

When reviewing your loan offers, pay attention to:

Eligibility requirements: Some lenders specifically cater to borrowers with excellent credit, while others are willing to take on people with rockier credit. Get your free credit score to know where you stand and target lenders with attainable eligibility requirements.

APRs: The higher your APR, the more expensive your loan will be. If you have excellent credit, compare minimum APRs across lenders. If you’re shopping for bad credit loans, look at maximum APRs.

  Use our personal loan calculator to understand the true cost of your loan, considering interest.

Term lengths: Choosing a term length is a delicate balance. The longer your term, the lower your monthly payment — but the more interest you’ll pay over the life of your loan. Choose a term that provides affordable payments but also minimizes your total interest.

Fees: Keep your eyes peeled for excessive fees. Origination fees are quite common on personal loans, though not every lender charges them. Some lenders also levy fees for late payments, insufficient funds and paying by check.

Maximum loan amounts: Adoption can be expensive and depending on how much you have saved, you might need a large loan. Make sure the lender you’re applying for can supply the funds you need.

Customer service: The last thing you need after adoption is poor customer service from your personal loan company. Check out LendingTree’s lender reviews before committing.

Alternatives to adoption loans

If you don’t want to take out an adoption loan, you may have other options.

Adoption grants

Frequently issued by nonprofit organizations, an adoption grant is money that you don’t have to pay back. If you can, maximize grants before taking out loans to lower your out-of-pocket expense. Some popular adoption grants include:

  • HelpUsAdopt.org: HelpUsAdopt offers adoption grants from $1,000 to $20,000 to cover lawyer or adoption agency fees. You must demonstrate financial need and priority goes to those who don’t have children. Unlike some organizations, HelpUsAdopt doesn’t charge any fees to apply.
  • The National Adoption Foundation: The National Adoption Foundation provides adoption grants and low-cost adoption loans. Its grants have no income requirement, range from $500 to $2,000 and can be used for any adoption-related expense. However, you’re required to pay a $15 processing fee with your application.
  • A Child Waits Foundation: Grants from the A Child Waits Foundation are between $1,000 and $7,500. With some exceptions, applicants must have an annual income less than $150,000. You’ll also need to pay a $20 application fee.
  • Gift of Adoption Fund: To qualify for a grant from the Gift of Adoption Fund, you must demonstrate financial need; there’s also a $50 fee to apply. If you’re eligible, though, you could be awarded between $1,000 and $7,500 (with an average grant totalling $3,500).

Adoption crowdfunding

With crowdfunding, you could find a little help from your friends (and strangers). AdoptTogether is a nonprofit organization and crowdfunding platform where anyone can donate money toward your adoption journey.

AdoptTogether is free to join — simply create a profile including family pictures, your adoption story, the amount of money you need and the crowdsourcing will begin. Eligible applicants can also request adoption grants.

HELOC

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a type of secured loan that uses your house as collateral. The amount you can borrow (and at what interest rate) depends on several factors, including your home’s appraised value, your equity and your credit score.

For a set number of years (called the draw period), you can borrow as many times as you’d like, up to your HELOC limit. Eventually, you’ll enter the repayment period. This is when you’ll pay back what you borrowed, either in a lump sum or in monthly installments.

Still, HELOCs can be risky: If you don’t hold up your end of the bargain, you’ll lose your home. At the same time, they can be helpful for the disciplined borrower, and provide a significant amount of money to use for adoption expenses.

How we chose the best adoption loans

We reviewed more than 28 lenders to determine the overall best adoption loans. To make our list, lenders must offer joint loans with competitive annual percentage rates (APRs). From there, we prioritize lenders based on the following factors:

  • Accessibility: Lenders are ranked higher if their personal loans are available to more people and require fewer conditions. This may include lower credit requirements, wider geographic availability, faster funding and easier and more transparent prequalification and application processes.
  • Rates and terms: We prioritize lenders with more competitive fixed rates, fewer fees and greater options for repayment terms, loan amounts and APR discounts.
  • Repayment experience: For starters, we consider each lender’s reputation and business practices. We also favor lenders that report to all major credit bureaus, offer reliable customer service and provide any unique perks to customers, like free wealth coaching.

Frequently asked questions

Adoption loans are personal loans, and the best place to get a personal loan largely depends on personal preference. You can find personal loans online or at brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions. You may also be eligible for interest-free adoption loans, depending on your religious alignment.

Adoption grants are better because you don’t have to pay them back, but they usually provide less funding than personal loans. You may need to supplement your grant with a loan or crowdsourcing.

Before you can adopt, you must complete a home study. A home study evaluates your fitness to be a parent, including your living situation, physical and mental condition and finances. While you may not need to meet a certain income level to adopt, you must demonstrate that you are financially capable of caring for a new family member.