What is ABBA Fund?
ABBA Fund is a Christian ministry registered with the IRS as 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity. ABBA Fund’s mission is to provide adoption assistance to Christian families. The heart of our ministry is to see orphans adopted into loving, nurturing Christian family environments where the child will not only experience the love of Jesus Christ, but meet the person of Jesus Christ – and prayerfully one day trust in Christ and be adopted through salvation into ABBA Father’s family … thus, our name. (Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:4-6; Ephesians 1:4-6)
What type of assistance does ABBA Fund provide?
ABBA Fund is a community of adoptive Christian families and those with a heart for adoption … so pre-adoptive families can find resources and relationships from experienced adoptive families who have successfully – and sometimes not so successfully – navigated the adoption journey both domestically and internationally, through agencies and without agencies, and in just about every scenario you can encounter. For post-adoptive families you’ll find other families facing the same blessings and challenges you are, and who are living out their adoption missionally to glorify God and advance His Kingdom.
But ABBA Fund is best known for the financial assistance we provide Christian families to help complete their adoption through interest-free loans. These loans funds have been generously donated since 2004 by adoptive families, churches and individuals who have a heart to care for orphans through adoption.
Why loans and not grants?
Because of the ongoing financial needs associated with adoption, and the enormity of the orphan crisis worldwide, ABBA Fund’s Board felt called to build up a perpetual fund that would continually replenish itself to help future generations of adoptive families. That purpose has been accomplished through the use of loans – interest-free loans – which allows adoptive families through their faithful stewardship to bless other families with that same gift of a child they received.
The use of loans also allows an adoptive family to take full advantage of the Adoption Tax Credit that continues to be available in various forms each tax year. (It should be noted that grant dollars received have to be deducted from your overall adoption expenses that qualify you for the tax credit – loan dollars received do not.)
ABBA Fund believes the long-term sustainable nature of the loans to help adoptive families for generations to come is the best stewardship of the resources with which God has entrusted our ministry … and we work alongside those other ministries that have been called to provide grants (links to which you will find in our resource area). [link to Resource page] But even for families fortunate enough to receive grant awards from several different sources, in most circumstances there is still a financial gap that is needed to complete an adoption – and that’s where ABBA Fund is best positioned to help.
What is the application and approval procedure?
Please visit our Loan Application page for complete details. From submission to notice you should plan for 6-8 weeks processing time. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis.
Why does your application process have so many questions?
The heart of our ministry is to see orphans adopted into loving, nurturing Christian family environments where the child will not only experience the love of Jesus Christ, but meet the person of Jesus Christ – and prayerfully one day trust in Christ and be adopted through salvation into ABBA Father’s family. Our application process is designed to help us assess the applicant’s heart for adoption, the spiritual wellness of the adoptive family, the family’s educational and parenting values, its biblical stewardship and the overall environment the child will be placed in, and the specific finances are of secondary importance in our evaluation.
What criteria do you consider in deciding which families will receive financial assistance?
Everything in our application assessment goes back to the heart of our ministry shared above. Our application is purposefully structured to explore the applicant family’s heart for adoption, spiritual wellness, educational and parenting values, biblical stewardship. In allocating loans from funds that we administer for churches, businesses, adoption agencies and other organizations, we work with the organization to establish any additional criteria they may desire.
ABBA Fund prayerfully assesses every application we receive working with a team of experienced adoptive families as part of the review. The ministry does not share its reasons for denying assistance to any particular family.
Do we have to use a licensed, child placement agency for our adoption?
In special circumstances, ABBA Fund is willing to provide assistance to families working through an independent adoption. A higher level of documentation and scrutiny should be expected as part of the assessment process.
Does The ABBA Fund have any special income requirements? Is there a credit check?
We are committed stewards of all the resources God has entrusted to us through our donors. Good stewardship requires us to consider finances as well as the other factors listed above – but our assessment is more focused on evidence of solid biblical stewardship and not income levels, whether low or high. Above all, we ask God to provide us with His wisdom so that we might glorify Him in our decisions.
In addition to the financial components of our application which we require to be filled out completely, we also compare that information to finances and disclosures in the family’s home study as well.
While we do not require a credit check, we do ask the family to either submit a copy of a credit report from the last 6 months or to provide a simple “Credit Report Card” from www.creditkarma.com (or a similar report that includes the applicant’s credit score and debt information from a comparable free credit service).
What is the maximum amount of money that an adopting family may request from The ABBA Fund?
We don’t have a limit on requests, but applicants should consider the following guidelines. ABBA Fund’s typical loans are in the $6,000-$8,000 range, and rarely exceed more than 1/3 of overall adoption costs. Loans for families with special circumstances and/or adopting special needs orphans and sibling groups are typically more than the typical range.
We expect the adopting parents to try to obtain financial assistance from other sources first (for example, your church, your employer, organizations providing grants, etc.) and use The ABBA Fund to make up any shortfall. That way, we are able to help more families.
The amounts of awards are often dependent upon the timely repayments from other families, so that range fluctuates often.
What interest rate does The ABBA Fund charge on its adoption loans?
The ABBA Fund does not charge any interest on the loans it provides. We honor God by adhering to His scriptural guidelines on money lending (Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:35-37; Deuteronomy 23:19; Deuteronomy 23:20)
We are simply a community of adoptive families called to help other adoptive families, and depend on the generous contributions of those with a heart for adoption to help us cover the operations of the overall ministry to continue providing interest-free loans.
Why do you use the words “covenant loan” to describe the financial assistance you provide?
The use of the word “covenant” is very important to our team. If awarded an interest-free loan, your agreement is a covenant with God to repay His resources for which the ABBA Fund has been entrusted to steward. We do not ask the applicant to enter into a traditional legally binding “promissory note” with The ABBA Fund secured by guaranties or a mortgage on their home.
Accordingly, the family bears a financial stewardship responsibility to God to reimburse The ABBA Fund for the financial assistance that He graciously provided.
What is the collateral for the loan?
We do not ask for collateral based on biblical principles God has outlined for lending, which is also why we provide interest-free loans. Involving collateral for the loan would lead to a legal path involving the court system, and ABBA Fund prefers to adhere to 1 Corinthians 6. Instead, we emphasize in our Covenant Loan Agreement that we sign with the family that it is a covenant between them and us and God.
As part of the application process, we ask that applicants identify an accountability partner from their local church that ABBA Fund has your permission to turn to in the event or failure to pay in the terms outlined in your Covenant Loan Agreement.If a family were to simply refuse to honor their covenant to repay despite our requests, then we would follow the church discipline procedure set out in Scripture (Matthew 18).
What will our monthly repayment amount be?
We ask that each family use a guideline of repaying their loan within a three-year period to calculate what an acceptable monthly repayment amount would be. The sooner you repay your covenant loan, the sooner those funds will be available to help another family. If this amount puts strain on the family’s budget – or if unforeseen financial hardship arise after the adoption – ABBA Fund is always willing to work with the family on their covenant repayment.
Do we have to use the money we receive from our Federal Adoption Tax Credit to reimburse The ABBA Fund?
We ask that every family applicant prayerfully pledge to strategically use the Federal Adoption Tax Credit to at least make a balloon payment, if not totally paying off their loan – but is not a requirement. Doing so allows ABBA Fund to more quickly help other adoptive families with assistance. Regardless of intent to use the tax credit, all families are required to begin repaying their covenant loan once their child is home.
What if we experience financial hardship during our repayment period?
Although you must honor your covenant to repay the assistance you received, The ABBA Fund will work with you through your financial hardship.
If we have been denied by ABBA Fund before, can we resubmit an application?
Because of the limited resources we have to assist families, we ask that applicants who have been turned down for assistance not reapply or ask for a reassessment for the same adoption. Families are welcomed to reapply to ABBA Fund for future adoptions and as long as a year has passed from the date of application. There are numerous reasons why applications are turned down. Before reapplying, we would encourage you to prayerfully read all updated information in our application and on our website.
Can a family receive a commitment for financial assistance from The ABBA Fund before beginning the adoption process?
Because of the weekly nature in which ABBA Fund provides assistance to adoptive families and the varying nature of repayments from families with loans, we do not make commitments for financial assistance up front. Applicants have to at least have their home study completed in order to fully complete our application process. Loan commitments typically are not made until the family has a referral for a child and a target court date to complete the adoption.
Are funds paid directly to the family or directly to the adoption agency?
ABBA Fund’s preference is to pay funds directly to a third-party service provider (agency, legal professional, travel agent, etc.) – and is some cases, to preserve the charitable integrity of gifts received, we are required to pay only third-parties.
In special circumstances, ABBA Fund will provide funds directly to a family with the proper documentation, back-up receipts, etc.
Does The ABBA Fund provide adoption loans to singles?
ABBA Fund’s priority is to steward its limited resources toward God’s biblical model for a family, which includes both a father and mother. Accordingly, The ABBA Fund makes its adoption assistance resources in the general loan fund available only to married Christian couples. However, in some partner funds that we administer for churches, businesses, adoption agencies and other organizations, we may be able to assist single parents.
We have received placement of our child, but still have financial need related to the adoption. Can you help us?
ABBA Fund’s loan program is set up to assist families who do not have the child in their home yet.
Are contributions to The ABBA Fund tax deductible?
Yes, The ABBA Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization, and donations are tax deductible as allowed by law. Gifts of stocks, property and other non-liquid assets can also be accepted.
May I designate my contribution for the benefit of a specific family?
According to the IRS guidelines, in order for the donation to be tax deductible, the charity must have full control over the use of donated funds; however, the donor may state a preference on the use of his or her funds. The charitable organization is permitted to consider the request, while the ultimate authority regarding the disposition of the funds is at the discretion of the organization.
This question often deals with the ability to give a charitable gift through ABBA Fund directly to an adopting family. In the case of charitable contributions for loans, these issues do not apply because the gift is to ABBA Fund pool of loan funds. There are specific restrictions which prevent a “pass through” gift directly to a family, because the family is not the charitable entity. ABBA Fund is continually exploring innovative ways to help individuals give generously and charitably to support adoption, please don’t hesitate to contact ABBA Fund to explore individual giving objectives and options.
Do you have a flier or brochure that I can use to share information about The ABBA Fund at my church or adoption event?
We always appreciate those willing to help share our information with prospective adoptive families. While we can’t afford to send representatives and/or materials to every event and opportunity, please contact us to inquire. If we can’t share printed materials for you event or presentation, we can at least share digital versions with you. Our website is also kept up to date with all information related to our printed materials … and more.