Are you thinking about adopting from foster care? Or did you already adopt from foster care? In many cases, support is available to you!

Why Does Adoption Assistance Matter?

Many foster children waiting for adoption—and the children already adopted from foster care—have physical, mental health, and developmental needs. Studies show that these children are at heightened risk of moderate to severe health problems, learning disabilities, developmental delays, physical impairments, and mental health difficulties.

In many cases, their adoptive families need support to help meet their needs. Adoption assistance (also known as adoption subsidy) provides support that helps adoptive families access medical care, counseling or therapy, special equipment, tutoring programs, and other supports that help them raise their children who have special needs.

Who Is Eligible for Adoption Assistance

Adoption assistance is available to children that the state or county has determined cannot be adopted without adoption assistance. These children are called “special needs” for the purposes of adoption assistance eligibility. In the US, about 90 percent of children adopted from foster care are eligible for adoption assistance. Programs and benefits vary from state to state so you can view your state’s adoption assistance profile to learn more about its definition of special needs.

What Does Adoption Assistance Include?

Adoption assistance/adoption subsidy typically includes three types of benefits:

  • Monthly payments, which vary based on the child’s age, needs, and the state
  • Medicaid coverage
  • Reimbursement for certain one-time adoption costs (called nonrecurring adoption expenses)

In some states, benefits may also include childcare, respite care, or other support services. Benefits vary from state to state and differ for each child. View your state’s adoption assistance profile to learn more about benefits in your community.

How Do I Access Adoption Assistance?

Adoption assistance is available for most children adopted from foster care, although practices vary by state. If you’re in the adoption process, you can talk with your worker about the support available for a particular child or sibling group you are interested in. If you have already adopted from foster care and want adoption assistance or to request an increase in assistance, you can check for procedures based on the state you adopted from.

Learn More

Families Rising, through our Adoption Subsidy Resource Center, is here to help adoptive and prospective adoptive parents learn about the benefits available to children and youth adopted from foster care. You can:

The Adoption Subsidy Resource Center is funded in large part by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. We are grateful for the foundation’s support.