Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What exactly does a Sparrow Services grant include?
A: Good question. From 2011-2017, our grants simply covered the full cost of a family’s medical review of their adoption referral. In 2018, we revised our program to be more consistent with our vision to care for caregivers. Our Sparrow Services grant still helps a family pay for their medical review but includes a lot more than that based on each family’s individual needs. Some of what we offer families includes a Prepare Enrich preadoption marital assessment and session, training and resource recommendations, and attachment coaching.
Q: I notice you use the word family when referring to grant applicants. Do applicants have to be married couples?
A: Family just sounds so much more relational than applicant or potential adoptive parent. You don’t have to be married to apply.
Q: I’m interested. When and how do I apply?
A: Awesome. Don’t wait. If you know you are interested, go ahead and click here to download our Sparrow Service Grant application and send it to us complete. We accept applications seasonally, from January through March and again from July through September. We will review all applications received during those months and contact all applicants in April and again in September.
Q: What criteria do you consider in deciding which families receive a Sparrow Services grant?
A: Our application review committee considers financial need as well as the compatibility of what the family’s perceived needs are and our ability to meet those needs.
Q: How do you determine financial need for a Sparrow Services grant? Is there a maximum salary?
A: There is no simple formula or calculation to determine financial need and no maximum salary number. There are too many factors and variables at play, all of which we do our best to consider based on what is included in the application.
Q: If I am approved for a Sparrow Services grant, how are the funds paid?
A: Let your provider know ahead of time that you are receiving a grant to help you cover the cost of their service. When the time comes for your selected provider to review your referral, let us know and we will work with the provider to pay them directly. Don’t jump the gun and pay for it all yourself; we can only pay service providers directly and cannot reimburse you.
Q: For the medical review part, can I use any medical review provider?
A: We know that every family will have individual preferences about what provider they want to use. In fact, we really want you to make a decision about which provider best suits your family. Our only requirement is that the provider is located in the United States and offers full-service support, meaning prereferral support, referral reviews, in-country support, and postplacement support.
Q: Based on your experience, do you recommend a particular medical review provider?
A: We do have a lot of experience with providers and can offer our opinions if you think it would be helpful. If you aren’t sure where to even get started, you can peruse a list of potential providers here.
Q: Can I email you my application instead of mailing it?
A: Please don’t. Your application includes a whole bunch of sensitive information, and email is just not secure enough.
Q: If I receive a Sparrow Services grant from The Sparrow Fund, do I need to repay it?
A: A Sparrow Services grant is simply that–a grant. There is no obligation to repay anything. But, we do want you to know that our team raises their own salaries in addition to raising money to keep our programs going. We are only able to do what we do because people have made and continue to make sacrificial donations. Our hope is that we bless you and your family in a way that makes you want to be one of those donors so that we can continue to bless other families.
Q: I have a referral right now and need a doctor to review it right away. Can you help me?
A: In the adoption world, we know these types of situations do happen! We are glad to help you find a provider who can help you, but we aren’t able to provide emergency funding for their services. Our grants are designed to provide ongoing support to families as well as help with the cost of their medical review. In order to do that well, we need every family to go through our set application process, a process that takes a bit of time.
Q: Is there a limit to how many times we can apply for a Sparrow Services grant?
A: There is no limit to how many times you can apply. If you applied but did not receive a grant and want to apply again, you can submit another completed application for review. If you received a grant already and want to apply again for a grant for another adoption, we’re glad to consider your application again.
Q: I saw on the Who We Are page that you talk about the Bible and Jesus. Does that mean we need to believe the same thing to qualify for services from The Sparrow Fund? Does that mean you will preach at us?
A: No and no. You do not need to believe the same things as the leadership team. Our desire is to serve all families so they can be best prepared for their adoption. We won’t preach or put pressure on you. But, we’ll always be glad to share if you want to know about who we believe Jesus is and why we are motivated to raise our own salaries and do all this work.
Q: Are donations to The Sparrow Fund tax deductible?
A: Yup. The Sparrow Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization which is a fancy way of saying that we’re a legitimate nonprofit and that all donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.