What Are Adoption Assistance Benefits?

Many hopeful adoptive parents may have heard about financial assistance available through the state or federal government. These adoption assistance programs help fund certain needs for a foster child and are an important part of caring for the child after placement. So, what are the adoption assistance benefits you can receive in Florida?

Difference Between Federal and State Funding

There are two main types of adoption assistance, also known as adoption subsidy, that parents should be aware of. Federal adoption assistance, known as Title IV-E, is funded by the federal government. The state adoption assistance program, known as non-IV-E, is offered by the individual state. Children can be eligible for one program, but not both.

Who Is Eligible for Adoption Assistance Benefits

In the state of Florida, adoption assistance is available to those children who are defined as having special needs. These children must be permanently committed to the foster care system within Florida.

In addition, they have to meet one of the following requirements: has significant emotional ties to the foster parent, age 8 or older, African American or racially mixed parentage, member of a sibling group placed for adoption, developmentally/physically/emotionally disabled.

There also must have been a good faith effort in finding a placement for these children without adoption assistance. Children who are adopted from private agencies are eligible for the adoption assistance program as long as they meet the requirements.

What Is Included in the Adoption Assistance Benefits?

Special needs adopted children can receive a few different services from the program.

Monthly Payments

Adoptive parents of special needs children in Florida usually receive about $5,000 every year for the care of the child. These payments are spread out monthly and should only be used to help pay for the needs of the adoptive child. It is possible to adjust the monthly payment based on individual needs and circumstances.

Medical Services

A child with special needs often requires medical services. Children in the adoption assistance program are eligible under Medicaid for care. Mental health services are also available through the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Reimbursement Expenses

Parents of a child in the Florida adoption assistance program can receive up to $1,000 each year in reimbursed expenses for the child that are nonrecurring. These could include court costs, attorney fees, birth certificate fees, etc.

There are many rules and guidelines to follow when applying for the adoption assistance program. The adoption assistance program is meant to help pay for a child’s needs but most likely won’t cover everything. It is essential to only use the received payments to assist in the caring of the child.

Be sure to contact your case manager for more details about this program and how it can help your future adopted child if eligible.