Monday, September 24, 2012

America age 12 in Utah enjoys singing, drawing and swimming and would love to have be adopted by a family who could help her maintain some contact with her biological family.  You can inquire about America here.
As I talk with people about adopting waiting children many ask about the costs in raising a child who may have some special circumstances that require treatment or help.   I have even heard some foster parents state that they couldn't afford to adopt the child in their care.  Sometimes this may be true, but many times people don't have the information regarding all of the financial help that can be available to families.   The following information is taken from The Adoption Exchange website.  You can go here to view it or you can download The Adoption Exchange "Adoption Information Booklet" that includes this information and much more.

Adoption Assistance/Subsidy
  • Adoption assistance (formerly called a subsidy) is a payment or resource to adoptive parents to help them meet the financial demands of caring for an adopted child's special needs.
  • There are government sponsored subsidies to help cover the costs of an adopted child's physical, medical, therapeutic and educational needs.
  • Most assistance is based on the needs of the adopted child regardless of the family's financial resources, though those resources will be considered when determining the amount of the subsidy.
  • Many children waiting in foster care (children with special needs) are eligible for adoption assistance.
  • Assistance may be short-term or may last until the adopted child reaches maturity (age 18 or 21) depending on the state's requirements.
  • Assistance can come from local, state or federal funds.
  • Subsidies may be available to waiting children who do not qualify for Title IV-E benefits.
  • An adopting family must apply for the assistance through their county or private agency social worker. It will be processed through the State Department of Human Services. All adoption assistance agreements should be signed before the adoption is finalized.
  • Obtaining adoption assistance after finalization is very difficult, though it is possible to request assistance retroactively and you can appeal a negative decision.
Some other sources of financial assistance for adoptive families are listed below:
Reimbursement of non-recurring adoption expenses
Reasonable and necessary adoption-related expenses, as defined by the state, may be reimbursed to the adopting family of a child who meets the state's criteria for eligibility on a one-time basis per child. For an adoptive family to be eligible for reimbursement the state must have determined that:

1.  The child should not or cannot be returned to the home of the birth parents.
2.  There exists a specific factor or condition such as age, membership in a
      sibling group, presence of physical, mental or emotional challenges which
      make it reasonable to conclude that the child cannot be placed with adoptive
      parents without providing adoption assistance. The family must receive prior
      approval for the expenses from their state agency.
3.  The request for reimbursement must be made prior to the finalization of adoption.
Qualifying expenses may include:
  • The family assessment (homestudy, health and psychological examinations)
  • Court costs and attorney fees
  • Reasonable costs for transportation, food and lodging for the child and/or the adoptive parents when necessary to complete placement
  • Home modifications to accommodate a disability.

Reimbursement information by state:

Colorado maximum of $800 per child
Missouri maximum of $2,000 per child
Nevada maximum of $250 per child
New Mexico maximum of $2,000 per child
Oklahoma maximum of $1,200 per child (up to $2,000 on a case-by-case basis)
South Dakota maximum of $1,500 per child
Utah maximum of $2,000 per child
Wyomings maximum of $2,000 per child

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