What is an adoption assistance agreement with DCS?
- Adoption Assistance is available on behalf of a child if DCS enters into an Adoption Assistance agreement with the prospective adoptive parent(s) at least one (1) dayprior to the finalization of the adoption. Only in extenuating circumstances should an adoption assistance agreement be signed on the same date that the adoption is made final.
How do I renegotiate adoption subsidy?
To begin the process to modify or renegotiate a child’s adoption subsidy agreement, parents need to arrange a meeting with the worker or the adoption agency that completed the child’s adoption. The worker or agency will explain the process and the steps needed to have the case reviewed.
Can you negotiate adoption fees?
Generally, parents cannot negotiate an adoption subsidy monthly rate that is greater than the child’s foster care rate. Some states offer a simple flat rate to all children who qualify, and others offer varying rates based on the severity of the child’s needs.
How does adoption subsidy work?
The adoption subsidy in California is known as the Adoption Assistance Program (AAP). The amount of aid a family receives for a foster care adoption will depend upon the adoptee’s personal needs and age; it includes a cash grant, MediCal coverage to age 18, and reimbursements for certain expenses.
How do you offset adoption costs?
There are several ways to offset the cost of adopting a child. Check them out!
- Choose an Adoption Agency with Sliding Scale Fees.
- Adoption Assistance Programs Through Your Employer.
- Adoption Loans.
- The Adoption Tax Credit.
How much money do adoptive parents receive?
Parents may be reimbursed for up to $400 per child for eligible adoption expenses such as reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, and other expenses directly related to the legal adoption of the child. Families must apply for this reimbursement before adoption finalization.
How long does adoption subsidy last?
The recurring assistance, in the form of monthly adoption subsidy payments can, under recently enacted federal law, continue until the child reaches age 21. The monthly payments also follow the child from one state to another, if the childs family moves.
Is an adoption subsidy taxable income?
Because adoption assistance is not considered taxable income by the IRS *, families may think that it will not count as income for other government programs. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) — Foster care or adoption assistance payments are not considered income.
Can you get SSI and adoption subsidy?
A child, if eligible, may receive benefits from both programs simultaneously. The adoptive parents of the child eligible to receive title IV-E adoption assistance payments and SSI benefits may make application for both programs and the child, if eligible, may receive benefits from both programs.
Do you get financial support for adopting?
Adoption Allowance Regular financial support can be paid on a weekly or monthly basis to eligible adoptive parents before and after the adoption order is granted, under the Adoption Support Services (Local Authorities) Regulations 2005.
How much money do you get back on taxes for adopting a child?
For adoptions finalized in 2021, there is a federal adoption tax credit of up to $14,440 per child. The 2021 adoption tax credit is NOT refundable, which means taxpayers can only use the credit if they have federal income tax liability (see below).
Do adoptive parents get paid monthly?
Adoption and guardianship assistance programs are designed to help parents and relatives afford the costs associated with raising eligible children and youth in foster care. Benefits vary by State but commonly include monthly cash payments, medical assistance, and nonrecurring adoption expenses, among others.
How can I adopt a baby for free?
The most common way to adopt for free is through foster care adoption. Most states don’t demand an upfront cost for this type of adoption, though some may require advanced filing fees that are later reimbursed. This option is perfect for those who would like to adopt an older child or who don’t mind a longer wait.
What is the least expensive way to adopt a child?
Foster care adoption is the least expensive adoption process, with the average being just $2,744. You work with your state’s foster care system, and if you foster a child that may eventually be up for adoption, you’ll be first on the list.
Does insurance cover adoption costs?
State adoption assistance includes health insurance coverage under the Medicaid program or other medical assistance to cover some or all of the child’s medical needs— including special education, therapy, and rehabilitation— and supplemental forms of assistance, depending on the State.
How to effectively negotiate adoption subsidies in Indiana
Adoption subsidies in Indiana are normally provided to children who are above the age of two years old, or to children who are part of a sibling group that is being adopted together, with at least one of the siblings being over the age of two. Adoption subsidies are often comprised of three distinct types of subsidies: (1) Medicaid; (2) non-recurring adoption expenditures; and (3) a recurring subsidy. Medicaid is the most common type of adoption subsidy. The amount of the recurrent subsidy is discussed.
Attorneys from the Indiana Department of Child Services negotiate adoption subsidies on behalf of adoptive families (DCS).
The Department of Child Services should give a greater subsidy if the adoptive parent(s) can demonstrate that they spent all of the money they earned or more than they earned by incurring consumer debt.
As long as the adoptive parents do not present paperwork demonstrating that they spend all of the money they earn, the adoptive parents will be believed to have a surplus (extra money), which will result in DCS granting a reduced subsidy to their children.
Adoptive parents who have a decrease in income and an increase in costs are eligible to request a subsidy modification from DCS at least once every 12 months after the child is placed with them.
Negotiating Adoption Assistance/Adoption Subsidy Agreements
Since most children taken from foster care have specific needs that make them difficult to put for adoption, adoption help is provided for the majority of them (such as disabilities, behaviors, age, etc.). Before they may get the support, however, their adoptive parents must first establish an adoption assistance agreement, which details the benefits (monthly payments, services, and other perks) that the child will receive and for how long they will be eligible to receive the aid. The agreement must be completed before the adoption can be finalized, and it is a legally binding contract that must be signed by the adoptive parents as well as a representative of the state or county that placed the child for adoption before the adoption can be finalized.
The needs of the kid encompass both his or her basic necessities (such as food, clothes, and housing) as well as his or her particular medical, mental health, and physical requirements.
Other factors taken into consideration include the family’s ability to provide at-home care, as well as factors such as parental occupations, parental health needs, and the needs of other family members.
Each case is unique in the negotiating process since each child’s and family’s needs and circumstances are distinct from the others.
Preparing for Negotiation
In order to verify the child’s special needs and the necessity for adoption support, parents must collect proof confirming the child’s special needs, such as information from the child’s worker, foster parent, and service providers. Documentation of special needs should contain letters from the child’s physicians, speech, occupational, or physical therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, teachers, and other specialists confirming diagnoses or concerns, as well as related service requirements.
It will also likely contain doctor’s diagnosis if the child has any of these needs.
- Transportation to and from planned appointments
- Co-pays for medical and mental health visits that are not covered by Medicaid or private insurance
- Additional therapy or medical expenditures that are not covered by Medicaid or private insurance vacation time to deal with school concerns and unusual behaviors
- Specialized tutoring or other school assistance to satisfy scholastic needs
- Socializing and behavioral activities to meet the child’s specific needs
- And other services.
To assess the costs connected with raising the child, parents should prepare a family budget, which will cover common expenses such as housing, food and transportation. They should also include utility and other charges. (See the Family Budget Worksheet for more information.) This information will aid in the development of a case for negotiating with agency staff in the future. The fact that adoption assistance is not often geared to address all of a child’s requirements should be understood by both parents.
Determining Adoption Subsidy Rates
When a child is placed in foster care, parents should be aware of the help rate the kid gets. Many states negotiate assistance rates that are equivalent to family foster care rates, less any special payments (such as child care or clothing allowances) that are exclusively offered in foster care. In most cases, parents will not be able to negotiate an adoption subsidy monthly rate that is higher than the child’s foster care rate because of state law. Adoption aid payments in certain states are much lower than the rates of foster care placement.
Other parents may find it beneficial to obtain information about what other children with similar characteristics have received in adoption help.
Each state has its own rate system, definition of special needs, and eligibility requirements for benefits, all of which are unique to that jurisdiction.
The checklist provided below will assist parents in ensuring that all pertinent information is included in the agreement.
|Adoption Assistance Agreement Checklist|
|Adoptive parents should review the adoption assistance agreement and make sure that it:|
- Includes the charges that have been agreed as well as the specific services that will be offered
- Each benefit or service is assigned a start and end date, which is specified in the contract. It specifies that the terms will stay in place until the kid reaches the age of 18 (or older if permitted by the state). It specifies what happens to the subsidy if the adoptive family resides or relocates outside of the state of residence. Is there any promise that the kid will continue to receive the same level of benefits and services under the terms of the agreement? The adoption agency must identify all of the adoptive parents’ duties (financial reporting requirements, recertification requirements, and so forth) and ensure that these expectations are acceptable. This document must be signed by both the parents and a representative of the state or county agency with binding power.
Some jurisdictions require parents to re-certify their children’s adoption aid agreements on a yearly or semi-annual basis, depending on the state.
For further information about renegotiating an existing adoption aid agreement, please visit this page.
Adoption Assistance FAQ
- In what way does the Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) funding benefit the adoptive family? 2The subsidy is intended to aid in the promotion of permanency for a child with special needs by helping to cover the costs of the child’s unmet needs when an adoptive parent3could not otherwise meet those needs with his or her own financial resources
- However, the subsidy is not intended to be used for this purpose. What is the purpose of requesting financial information and supporting verification of income and expenses? The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) must assess the financial conditions of the adoptive parent in comparison to the needs of the child or children who are being adopted in order to determine an acceptable AAP subsidy level. For this, we require particular financial information on the people involved, as well as information about their financial histories. In order to complete the application, we require the following documents: the most recent individual federal and state income tax returns
- The last three paystubs from each salary earner in the household
- Statements of any government benefits received
- Bills/monthly statements/invoices/other documentation of regular and recurring household expenses
- Proof of any claimed child care costs
- And the adoptive parent(s)’ three most recent months’ bank statements. Why does the amount of the subsidy offered for adoption frequently differ from the amount of the subsidy offered for the kid while he or she was in foster care? DCS pays the foster parent(s) a per-diem to care for the child(ren) on its behalf while the kid is in foster care. This is referred to as the foster care maintenance payment (FCMP) (FCMP). The FCMP is a one-time payment that is not influenced by the unique financial requirements and costs of the child(ren) or adoptive parent who is receiving it. The AAP subsidy is tailored to the requirements of the adoptive family, with the amount agreed to assist pay the unmet needs and costs of the child(ren) while also incorporating the child(ren) into the adoptive family as a permanent member of the family. According to federal and state law, the subsidy cannot be greater than the amount of FCMP that would be payable if the child(ren) were in foster care, and the subsidy granted must be tailored to the specific needs of the individual child and his or her adopted family. As a result, it is possible that the amount of subsidy considered to be acceptable will be smaller than the FCMP. Do you use USDA averages of the amounts needed to rear a child instead of my personal spending when calculating the amounts needed? No. Data from a diverse variety of income levels, kid ages, and geographic areas across the United States was used to calculate these USDA averages. The subsidy offer is tailored to each individual family and is based on the exact income and expenditure numbers of that household. What will be the difference between my subsidy and the subsidies of other families? Because each subsidy is established on an individual basis, it is not possible to compare one family’s subsidy to another’s. For example, does a kid with more difficulties or a higher CANS score inevitably receive a larger subsidy than another? The amount of the subsidy granted is determined by the specific expenses of the child(ren) and adoptive family, as well as the family’s ability to pay for such expenses as they are identified by the family. The CANS score is used to assess the maximum level of assistance that may be provided. As of July 1, 2021, for adoptions finalized on or after that date, for a child with special needs at the therapeutic or therapeutic plus level, the subsidy under AAP will not and cannot be less than 50 percent of the amount that would have been payable for the child’s care if the child had been placed in foster care. What exactly is a PRI? When it is established that a kid is qualified for a subsidy, the Payment Request Information (PRI) form is prepared for that child. When subsidy discussions are ready to begin, the adoptive parent must complete, sign, and date the Preliminary Information Request (PRI). To complete the PRI, the adoptive parent should list all sources of income or other resources, along with the amounts received
- All regular household/family expenses, along with the amounts paid
- And the cost of meeting specific needs of the child(ren) being adopted, along with the amount of financial assistance the adoptive parent is requesting. What kind of income/resources are taken into consideration for the family and/or the child? Examples of income/resources taken into consideration include, but are not limited to, net wages, net salary, government benefits (e.g., Social Security benefits, food stamps, TANF, Section 8 housing), income tax refunds, subsidies for previously adopted children, foster care per diems, business income, and farming income. Will you consider foster care and/or per diem subsidies for additional children who live in the household in your calculations? This resource includes any child(ren) previously adopted into the family, as well as any subsidies received for those children(ren). if the family indicates that they intend to adopt another foster child or if the foster kid has been in the family for a substantial period of time, and if the family records the foster child’s costs as part of its household expenses, the FCMP may be included as income. How do you choose which expenditures to include when evaluating whether or not to grant a subsidy to a business? A family’s costs are taken into consideration in the calculation
- However, the subsidy does not have to cover all of the family’s discretionary spending. As previously indicated, the subsidy is intended to assist in meeting the requirements of the child or children who are being adopted who cannot be supplied financially by the adoptive parents. If you have any concerns concerning the expenditures and income that DCS is taking into consideration, the DCS negotiator would be happy to share that information with you in order to assist you understand how your subsidy offer was established. When determining a subsidy offer, do you take into consideration the child’s or family’s future expenses? The future needs of the child(ren) and family are taken into consideration if they are reasonably expected. This is assessed against the availability of Medicaid or other resources to cover the expenses of services for the child(ren), as well as the option of the adoptive parent(s) to request a revision of the subsidy agreement in order to meet increasing future expenditures or lower income in the future. Future requirements of the child(ren) that may arise more than 12 months after adoption are not taken into consideration at the time of negotiation, but may be taken into consideration for renegotiation at a later date. What is the impact of the SSI subsidy on the amount of money received? Payments of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are reduced by the same amount as any subsidies received, according to the Social Security Administration.
References:42 United States Code 673, 45 Code of Federal Regulations 1356, Indiana Code 31-19-26.5 and 29-3-2, and 465 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child In addition to Indiana Administrative Code Section 4, the Indiana Department of Child Services Child Welfare Policy Manual Chapters 10 and 14 and the Indiana Adoption Program Desk Guide, the Children’s Bureau Child Welfare Policy Manual are also available.
Footnotes: Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) consists of the Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Program (AAP), the State Adoption Subsidy Program (SAS), the Title IV-E Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP), and the State Guardianship Assistance Program (SGAP) (SGAP).
Adoptive parents include individuals who are adopting foster children and those who are taking on the role of legal guardian(s) for a foster kid, according to the definition in 3.