Saving Money on Adoption with Amanda Koval – EP 344

Listen on Your Favorite Podcast Player

Adoption is a beautiful door leading for families to grow and change lives, but the road to one sometimes comes with complex and daunting challenges. A newly covered topic for this episode, we will get to know Amanda Koval, an adoptive mom of two children who has helped over a thousand families with their adoption journey. In this interview, we explore ways to plan finances when deciding to pursue adoption.

Break it down and make it digestible. You don’t have to pay for everything at the same time.


  • The perfect-sized watering can. If you have plants, you know what I mean. It’s not too small that you can’t hardly water anything and it’s not so big that you can’t lift it when it’s full of water. It’s juuust right and usually only requires 2 refills to get the job done. And if you’re looking for more efficient ways to get the job done when it comes to taking advantage of freebies and savings tips, then you need the Friendletter! It’s free, it’s written by Jen and me, and it comes to your inbox 3 times a week with everything you need to cut costs, save, and spend better. The Friendletter, like the best watering can you own, providing you 3 refills per week. 

Amanda is an adoptive mom of 2 on a mission to help reduce overwhelm and unnecessary expense in the adoption process in the United States. She does this by teaching the step-by-step process of adopting a baby and creating adoption profiles that make an emotional connection so you can match your adoption faster. Amanda is proud to have helped form over 1,000 families over the past 8 years!

The Long Road to Adopting

Amanda shares the extensive journey of adopting her children. It was several years of struggling with infertility, which in itself costs a lot too. Deciding to adopt was a huge decision she made, and it overwhelmed her with how much there was to learn and do as there’s a whole new language in itself. She has adopted two children after an 11-year journey to get them into their family. She then realized the entire process was neither easy nor cheap. Every step of the adoption process felt like a big check to be written. It was daunting.

The Different Types of Adoption

Many people may not be aware of the different types of adoption, which is a great factor in the expenses to be made when deciding to pursue adopting a child. Amanda lists four different types of adoption, specifically private infant adoption in the US, and the estimated range of its expenses: embryo adoption ($5,000–$10,000, assuming you have medical insurance), self-matching adoption ($10,000–$30,000), adoption consultants ($40,000–$60,000), and adoption agencies ($60,000–$80,000). The fundamentals of the adoption process are the same, no matter what type of adoption you’re pursuing. The difference comes down to how much legwork and marketing/advertising dollars are being put behind it.

Adoption Agency or Self-matching?

When you’re working with an agency, they are leveraging the social worker to do vetting for both expective and adoptive families, which adds to the costs. In a self-matching process, you’re doing it yourself. but Amanda would recommend having a counselor guide you or going through her replicable system of adoption matching formula for people to follow. Remember when self-matching to seek all things legal (e.g., a social worker approving you to adopt in your state, an attorney), create a high-quality adoption profile, and support services for the expectant families.

Making Adoption Easier and Affordable for Everybody

Amanda’s goal is to make adoption easier and more affordable because she believes it doesn’t have to be hard. She wishes she could not have gone through the long journey of her adoption, but she wouldn’t be able to help a thousand families today if it weren’t for her goal to make this easier for everybody. She helps her clients forecast the expenses they may face, attack the number, and break it down to make it more digestible and not overwhelming. Something to keep in mind is that there is a federal adoption tax grant available for you to help in your adoption process, and that’s only one out of tons of other financial grants.

If you could be adopted into any fictional tv family who would it be?

  • Amanda: ‘This Is Us’ because it hosts an adoption-literate family and she can relate to each of the characters in their own special way. 
  • Jen: It is bad and probably the worst family depicted in a TV series, according to Jen, but she chose the Roy Family from ‘Succession’, because it was the first family that came to her mind. 
  • Jill: Jill thinks the ones who never intended to have kids and feel themselves as ill-fit parents are often the best parents, which is why she chose April and Andy from ‘Parks and Rec,’ as watching them stumble through parenthood has been enjoyable for her. 

Bill of The Week

Thank you Amanda for sharing your bill about your activity bill for your kids! Paying for cheer and baseball!

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening. If you don’t know it yet, we have a 30-Day No-Spend Challenge workbook to help you plan, accomplish, and reflect on your next no-spend challenge. We wanted to give a shoutout to this friend who gave the workbook a review:

So much information that I know will help me on my journey.

I am up early to get started on my 3 month budget audit. I started the 3day makeover last night. [...] Looking forward to learning a new mindset around finances. I heard your podcast and was hooked!! Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Congrats! If you want to check out our monthly challenge community head to to see what challenge we have coming up next.

And keep leaving us reviews on iTunes or Stitcher, and sending the screenshot to And don’t forget to share your favorite quote from the episode by using the hashtag #FrugalFriendsNote. 😉

More To Explore