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Adoption Subsidies for Foster Care Adoptions: What is Reasonable and How to Negotiate

Highlights from November 30, 2011 Creating a Family radio show

adoptionsubsidies You may be eligible for a monthly cash subsidy, health care coverage, and college tuition for your children when adopting from foster care, but how do you know what you are eligible for and how to get it. Our guests are Josh Kroll,Project Coordinator with the Adoption Subsidy Resource Center at the North American Council on Adoptable Children and Seth A. Grob, adoption and reproductive law attorney and one of the top legal experts on adoption subsides in the US.  He has published extensively about adoption and the rights of children and foster parents. Foster care adoption, special needs adoption, adopting a child with special needs

  • What is an adoption subsidy?

  • What type of benefits are available as part of a subsidy?  Monthly cash payment, psychological counseling, medical, orthodontia, college education

  • How do you reconcile the child’s current needs and expenses with unknown future needs and expenses of the child.  How willing are states to consider future costs that may or may not be needed when developing an amount for the subsidy?

  •  If a cash supplement, is provided, do the parents have to justify or send in documentation of how the money is spent?

  • What qualifies as a special need eligible for a subsidy?

  • What age child is considered old enough to make them hard to place and thus eligible for a subsidy absent other identified SNs?

  • States are required to try to find a family for a child without offering a subsidy.  So, if you find a child or are fostering a child that you want to adopt, are you lessening your chances of being the family chosen for this child if you request a subsidy?

  • What percentage of children adopted from foster care receive a subsidy?

  • Can you still get the adoption subsidy if you move to another state?

  • Do subsidies vary by state in terms of amount and other things that might be included?

  • Can you get an adoption subsidy if you adopt a child independently?

  • Can you get an adoption subsidy if you adopt a child with special needs from an adoption agency rather than foster care.

  • If a relative adopts a child with special needs can they receive an adoption subsidy?

  • Are subsidies available for special needs international adoptions?

  • Are subsidies available if you adopt from a private agency that has a contract to place kids in foster care for adoption?

  • Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 was a federal law that encouraged states to provide incentives.

  • Can you get a subsidy even if you make an adequate income?

  • If the child is already receiving a SSI benefit, is it usual to get an adoption subsidy on top of SSI?

  • How to best negotiate for a subsidy.  So often, it may not be apparent what the child’s special needs really are.  Or the proper testing has not been done.

  • When should you negotiate for an adoption subsidy?

  • What if after the adoption, the child’s needs increase.  Can you renegotiate the amount of the subsidy or what is included?

  • Does the subsidy follow the child if the parents die?  Let’s say a single mom adopts a child and receives a monthly subsidy. The mom dies and has selected her sister as guardian for the child. Would the subsidy go with the child?

  • Most subsides continue until a child reaches 18. can the family renegotiate to continue the subsidy until the child is 21? 

  • Will subsidies cover the cost of residential care if it is ever necessary.

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I listen to your radio shows daily on my iPod while cleaning, exercising, driving etc. I've learned so much from it, that today in the foster- adopt support group I felt like an all knowing expert, despite the fact, that I have zero experience in the field. Thank you for a wonderful resource! I am spreading the word. ~G. Longley

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Although you don't know us from Adam, I wanted to drop a line and thank you for the amazing info, sound advice, and encouragement you offer to adoptive and prospective adoptive parents.  We just received our pre-approval for our daughter, W, from China!  You (in book, website, blog, and podcast form) have been there every step of the way in this journey.  ~ J. & C. Morningstar

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My husband and I are parents through adoption to THE three most incredible children in the world. All via newborn domestic transracial.  I wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed and benefitted from your web site.  I often refer potential adoptive parents who ask me for advice to your site. I especially enjoy your radio shows and today’s show on "Knowing When to Move from Infertility to Adoption" particularly resonated with me. ~N. Ferrari

I have loved, loved this radio show. It has been hands down the most helpful resource on this often painful and confusing journey. ~ R. Butler

I have been listening to lots of your radio shows of late. Great guests and very enlightening always. Thanks so much for keeping us up with the latest.  ~ W. & M. Welch

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