Struggling with the Cost of an International Adoption? Tips for Fundraising Letters

If you've decided that you want to adopt a child from another country, you'll be facing a significant financial commitment to complete the process. You'll have to work with a lot of people throughout the process, including social workers, translators, family lawyers and counselors. All of these specialists can be expensive, not to mention the cost of the adoption itself. Many families have started launching fundraising campaigns to help pay the fees associated with the adoption. If you want to create a fundraising letter, here's a look at what you should include.

Start With an Overview

Few people will be willing to contribute to any fundraiser if they don't know exactly what they're fundraising for. When you start drafting your fundraising letter, you'll want to start by telling the recipients exactly what you're trying to accomplish and why you've decided to adopt internationally. This section should be your emotional focus—address why this is so important to you.

You'll also want to paint a clear picture of your financial situation so that your targeted audience understands why you're asking for support. Explain to the recipients how much the adoption is going to cost in total, and then detail what you've contributed already. You'll want your audience to know how much money you've put into the process, because that will help them understand why you need support. You may be hesitant to reveal this type of personal information, but if you want to make the process work, you'll have to let go of your fears and make it public.

Then, let the recipients know what you've done so far to raise money. This is important, because you want them to understand that you aren't just looking to them to finance your adoption. Let them know you're taking an active role in meeting the demands of the process.

Make it Personal – Or, MORE Personal

Let's face it—it doesn't get much more personal than putting your financial situation out there and asking those close to you for help paying for an adoption. It does get a little more personal, though. You'll want to include pictures of your family, your home and information about how you're going to welcome your new family member. Let everyone see that you are working hard to create a happy, harmonious environment for this child who needs a home.

Sometimes, you can even get the adoption agency to supply you with a picture of the child that you can include with your fundraising letter. Just be careful about what you say about the child – talk with your family law attorney about this, since there's information that you may not be able to reveal at this stage.

With the tips here and your own emotional motivation, you can create a fundraising letter that will help you meet the gap in your fundraising efforts. Talk with a family law attorney (such as Catherine A. Haber) before you send it, though, because you'll need to be sure that the content is legally acceptable for you to send out.