Did you know that if you adopt out of foster care you may qualify to continue receiving state subsidy? This was put into place by the Commissioner  to incentivize families to adopt children and allow them to find forever families even faster.

Who is Eligible for Adoption Assistance or Subsidy?

1. How does Alabama define special needs to determine eligibility?

A child with special needs is defined as a child who has at least one of the following needs or circumstances that may be a barrier to adoption without financial assistance:

  • A child who has certain documented physical, mental, or emotional issues
  • A child at risk of physical, mental or emotional difficulties in the future, due to high risk factors document in the background information
  • Children five years of age or older (prior to April 28, 2015 it was children eight years of age or older)
  • Sibling group of two or more children being placed for adoption in the same home at the same time (prior to April 28, 2015 it was a sibling group of three or more placed for adoption in the same home at the same time).

To be eligible for adoption assistance, a child must first be in the care and custody of the Department of Human Resources or an Alabama licensed child-placing agency or be eligible to receive SSI at the time of placement.

** SO THIS MEANS THAT IF YOU ADOPT ANY SIBLING GROUP OUT OF FOSTER CARE YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE SUBSIDY AND IF YOU’RE ADOPTING ANY CHILD FIVE OR OVER  THEN YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE SUBSIDY!!!!! 

2. Does the state-only funded adoption assistance program differ in any way from the Title IV-E program?

To be eligible for state-funded adoption assistance, a child must have special needs child as defined above and be in the permanent custody of the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

3. Are children adopted from private agencies in Alabama eligible for adoption assistance?

Only if the children are eligible for federal (title IV-E) adoption assistance.

What Supports and Services Are Available?

Monthly Payments

4. What is the maximum basic monthly adoption assistance maintenance payment in Alabama?

Age Rate base on date of finalization

Before 1/1/16

Beginning 1/1/16

0-2

$432.50

$462.78

3-5

$445.50

$476.69

6-12

$456.50

$488.46

13+

$468.50

$501.30

5. Does Alabama provide specialized rates (based on the extraordinary needs of the child or the additional parenting skill needed to raise the child)?

Therapeutic rate (negotiated):

Age

Rate

0-2

not to exceed $1,055

3-5

not to exceed $1,068

6-12

not to exceed $1,079

13-18

not to exceed $1,091

Difficulty of care rates may be provided to:

  • children who have exceptional physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral needs
  • children with extreme illness or disabilities requiring nursing care (excluding children in residential treatment facilities)
  • emotionally disturbed children requiring more restrictive therapeutic care
  • medically fragile children

6. When do adoption assistance payments begin?

Adoption assistance benefits may begin at adoption placement.

7. When a child turns 18, which benefits, if any, continue?

State-funded adoption assistance typically terminates when a child reaches age 19, but may continue until 21, provided the child is in high school or in a specialized training program for the intellectually impaired, which is designed to aid in becoming self-supporting.

Federally funded (IV-E) adoption assistance can be extended to the age of 21 if the child has a documented disability that warrants continuation of assistance.

8. Does Alabama offer deferred adoption assistance agreements (agreements where initial monthly maintenance amount is $0 for children at risk of developing special needs later)?

Yes. Evidence of disability is not necessary at the time of placement, but professional documentation of a high risk of developing a physical, emotional or psychological disability is necessary. The high-risk background is based on the documented emotional or psychological history of the child’s biological family

YOU CAN FIND OUT EVEN MORE BY CLICKING HERE AND GOING TO THE NACAC WEBSITE.

Posted by AFAPA Foster Mom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s