In anticipation of Our Shining STAR Event, we are featuring a weekly blog series on Special Needs Adoption. On Wednesday January 29th, 2014, Adoption STAR will be hosting Our Annual Shining STAR Event to benefit special needs adoption. Adoption STAR has found many wonderful adoptive families for children with special needs. Adoption STAR helps adoptive families afford to make a commitment to adopt a child with special needs by waiving or greatly reducing fees. To learn more on how to donate, participate and/or volunteer to this great fundraising event, please visit our Shining STAR page. Click here to receive your invitation to the Shining STAR Gala Event.
Adoptive Parent Mentor and Coach Sue Reardon offers an informative overview of the Adoption Subsidy that is allotted to adoptive parents of children with special needs.
The US Federal government shares our belief that every child (regardless of health, race, age or abilities) deserves a forever family. In an effort to encourage and support families adopting children classified as “hard to place” or whom have more significant special needs, ongoing financial assistance is made available through Federal and State mandates via the Federal Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Program included in the Adoption Assistance Act of 1980. This program is also commonly referred to as The Adoption Subsidy.
The subsidy consists of monthly payments for the ongoing care and support of the child and continues through the child’s 21st birthday. Unlike Medicaid, who pays vendors directly, the subsidy is paid directly to the adoptive parents for the care of the child. Benefit rates are based on the needs of the child and are not based on family income. The assistance awarded through the Adoption Subsidy is above and beyond benefits received via Medicaid or the Adoption Tax Credit.
Brittany J., one of our own adoptive moms, shared her feelings regarding the subsidy. “Although I would never want money or financial gain to be a motivation for adoption, I would also not want financial limitations to be a barrier in these kids finding great forever families.”
Eligibility for the program is based on a child’s behavioral, emotional and/or physical disability or whether they meet the “hard to place” guidelines for their particular state. Children who meet the criteria for the Adoption Subsidy are also eligible for Medicaid benefits. If the prognosis or needs becomes more significant in the future, additional benefits may be applied for. In order to qualify for the Adoption Subsidy, families must file their application before an adoption is finalized.
Due to strict eligibility requirements, children adopted internationally are not typically eligible for the subsidy. Although it is possible that states may reimburse for nonrecurring adoption expenses.
Many hopeful adoptive parents are not aware of the subsidy and it’s benefits. When considering an adoption referral for a child with special needs, or at risk for such, it may be beneficial to inquire about eligibility for this benefit.
Read More by Adoption STAR’s Annual Shining STAR Event and Special Needs Adoption:
- I Felt Her Calling Me From China
- An Interview: Parenting Children with Special Needs
- Special Needs Adoption Videos from the University of Chicago
- Supporting Special Needs Adoption with Shining STAR
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