Are you trying to adopt or have already adopted a child/children from foster care? If yes, then you would be happy to know that you are not alone and you can get the government’s support throughout the whole adoption process.
What is Adoption Assistance?
Adoption Assistance, also called adoption subsidy, basically refers to the financial support offered by the government to the families who want to adopt provided that they meet the unique and basic needs of foster children. Many kids living in foster homes are at a greater risk of severe or moderate health problems, developmental delays, mental health issues, physical impairment, and learning disabilities. These challenges make it difficult for adoptive families to cover all expenses.
The adoption assistance provided to the adoptive families makes it easier for them to access therapy or counseling, medical care, tutoring programs, special equipment, and other facilities. The whole purpose of an adoption assistance program is to make sure that every child adopted from a foster home must be provided with the opportunity to find a perfect adoptive family.
Usually, the adoption assistance program provides medical assistance, maintenance payments, and other expenses every month, until the adopted child turns 18. In case a child is qualified to receive adoptive assistance, the adoptive parents must sign a contract with the state.
How Does Assistance Encourage Adoption?
Children’s Rights conducted a survey and it was discovered that adoption assistance programs helped 81% of families make a decision to adopt. Around 58% of the participants also said that it would not have been possible for them to adopt without adoption assistance. They feared that they would be unsuccessful in meeting the special needs of the adopted children with their limited incomes.
Eligibility for the Adoption Assistance
There is a different adoption assistance program in each state. Generally, the benefits and rules of an adoption program depend on where the adoptive family lives or where the foster child is being adopted from.
The primary caregiver or the adoptive family of a foster child would only be considered eligible if the concerned child has special needs. Usually, these special needs include disability, children belonging from a minority group, siblings who can’t be separated, or some other medical condition.
Federal and State Adoption Assistance Programs
It is the special needs and background of a child that decides if he/she will be supported through state funds or federal funds. A child can qualify either for Title IV-E federal adoption assistance or non-IV-E state adoption assistance at a time.
Though there are many rules to qualify for the IV-E federal adoption assistance, but the most significant rule is that the child must have special needs. In case an adopted child qualifies for IV-E adoption assistance program, the state is reimbursed 50% of the total subsidy cost by the government. However, the conditions might change for each state.
Children who are not eligible to receive federal adoption assistance are often qualified to be supported by state funds. In that case, the state also decides if a child should receive Medicaid services or other medical expenses.
How Adoption Assistance is Economical?
The state-data analysis shows that around 50,000 children are adopted from foster homes every year. This saves the government up to $1 – 6 billion. Moreover, the adoption costs are approximately half of the total money that the government spends for supporting foster children.
Another study discovered that approximately $3 are saved in private and public costs if only $1 is spent on adopting from foster care. The study also demonstrated that around $190,000- $235,000 public costs are saved from a single adoption, while the private costs are saved to a greater extent.
What Families should keep in mind?
If a family wants to adopt a child from foster care from a different state or wishes to move to a different state after adoption, then they must be aware of the respective principles regarding adoption assistance of that state. The adoptive parents must check if Medicaid and other mental and medical services are available in the state where they plan to live with their adoptive child.