Deciding to adopt a child can be exhilarating, but the process for adoption is not an easy one. The stress and expenses can become overwhelming. The children waiting to be adopted often spend several years in the care of adoption agencies or foster homes. Older children, siblings, and those with special needs are sometimes dubbed “un-adoptable.” In order to encourage parents to choose children who have special needs, North Carolina offers adoption financial assistance in certain cases.
North Carolina was one of the first states to provide adoption incentives to parents who needed financial assistance in order to complete the adoption process. The State and the federal government, through the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act, now offer a subsidy program to people hoping to adopt.
Children who can receive funding from state or federal adoption assistance programs have to meet certain criteria that define them as “special needs.” Children with special needs may require care with varied expenses, such as visits to medical or mental health professionals. Those who are looking to adopt a group of siblings also face the costs of feeding, housing, and clothing three or more children at a time also qualify. In order to receive financial help, adoptive parents of qualifying special needs children can receive monthly stipends from state or federal programs.
A child who qualifies as “special needs,” according to the state, may meet any of the following criteria:
Additionally, special needs children must be legally adoptable and be in in the care of an authorized adoption agency or in the home of a person who is pursuing adoption of the child. Monetary amounts depend on factors such as the age of the child and any applicable extraordinary needs of the child. Benefits end when the child turns 18.
There are other requirements for receiving federal benefits for special needs children. Children considered to have special needs under federal law are:
Additionally, children who are funded by either the state or federal programs are eligible for Medicaid benefits.
Adopting a special needs child can be difficult but incredibly rewarding for parents. Because the adoption process is not easy, you may want to enlist the help of a compassionate attorney for adoption to see you through it. Throughout his experience, attorney Jonathan Breeden has helped many North Carolina parents experience the joy of adoption. Call (919) 661-4970 today to let Breeden Law Offices serve you, too.