As we’ve started down this road to launching an orphan ministry, we have realized the need to focus on three clear objectives. We feel that clear objectives are easier to work towards and accomplish. The three areas that the orphan ministry at Southgate will focus on are as follows:
1. Providing waiting orphans with loving families by financially assisting adoptive couples through adoption grants.
2. Assisting families in the adoption process through support and education, resources and whatever needs might arise. This could include walking alongside families in the adoption journey, providing support, encouragement & practical help, etc. before and after their adoption.
3. Mobilizing individuals, communities and churches to care for orphans and help raise awareness.
Number two and three seem pretty self explanatory, but I’m sure you may have questions about number one! There are a few different types of adoptions, which we will get into in later posts. There is international, local, private and adoption through the foster care system. Depending on which path a family takes, the costs can be extremely high and a significant barrier to the family adopting (costs can be as high as tens of thousands of dollars for an international adoption). Those who are not familiar with the process may easily become frustrated or disheartened with the costs associated with adoption. While many families have room in their hearts and homes for a child, they all too often become discouraged and do not answer the call to adopt due to monetary concerns. We feel strongly that cost should never be a barrier to a child finding their forever family and this is where the financial assistance comes in.
There are a few ways that financial assistance can be structured. Here are some of the options that the Southgate ministry will pursue:
1. Straight Grant- an adopting family applies for and receives a grant valued between $2,500-$3,000. This money is administered to the family at the appropriate stage of adoption, as determined by the pre-set criteria. There is no responsibility to repay this grant.
2. Matching Grant- based on the funds available, the adopting family is offered a matching grant, matching dollar-for-dollar every dollar THEY raise up to a maximum of between $2,500-$3,000. Sources have shown that a matching grant typically raises an additional three times the original matching grant amount. For example, if a $3,000 matching grant is offered, on average, an additional $9,000 will be raised, giving the family $12,000. This also allows the friends and family of the adopting family to get involved and be a part of the process.
3. Adoption Loan- an interest free or low-interest loan is offered to the adopting family to cover the costs of adoption. An affordable re-payment plan can be worked out, using the tax credits the family will receive as a result of the adoption.
Please feel free to ask questions about any of the topics or ideas we present in this blog in the comments section and we will try our best to answer them!