CLEVELAND — The cost to start or expand a family through adoption can be staggering.
This week, in conjunction with National Adoption Month, the State of Ohio is rolling out a new program to help ease that burden for prospective parents.
When it's all said and done, adopting a child can cost anywhere from $25,000-$50,000.
"I think sometimes people take a step back and are intimidated by that number," said Amy Holbrook.
News 5 first met Holbrook and her family in 2019, as the Ohio Treasurer of State lobbied to have his Family Forward legislation passed.
"The one thing that shouldn't prohibit you from being an adoptive parent is finances, and how do you come up with the funds when you need them," said Holbrook.
It's a challenge Holbrook and her husband Jim are all too familiar with.
“We were matched with a family and we became a family in about seven days," said Holbrook.
The financial uncertainty was in the back of their minds leading up to their daughter Ridley coming home.
"She’s energetic, creative, and she dances and sings, she loves puzzles and now she goes to preschool," said Holbrook.
To help adoptive families focus more of those joyous moments, the state treasurer's office is opening up access to low-interest loans of up to $50,000.
"They can save up to 3% on their loan. This is our way of making it less stressful, chipping away at the cost," said Robert Sprague, Ohio Treasurer of State.
Prospective parents will first have to work with a lending institution to get approved through the family forward program.
"And then everything takes place behind the scenes for us to lower that interest rate for them," said Sprague.
Sprague said that he expects adoption agencies will play a crucial role in the rollout of this new initiative.
"It’s open to all families in the State of Ohio, and it's our hope that we'll have many more Ohio families welcome an adoptive child into their forever home," said Sprague.
Adoptive families like the Holbrooks are happy to see those coming up behind them have access to these low-interest loans.
"It reduces the stress going into creating this new family, a new family life," said Holbrook.
Holbrook said she is hopeful Family Forward will make adoption more accessible.
"Whatever we can do to ease that stress to build their family I think is a beautiful thing," said Holbrook.