Adoption and Financial Assistance: Tools for Navigating the Bureaucracy

By Rita Laws; Tim O'Hanlon | Go to book overview

2
Foster Care and Adoption
Assistance Rates

Poor fellow, he suffers from files.

-- Aneurin Bevan ( 1897-1960)


PRACTICES IN NEED OF A PHILOSOPHY

What adoption assistance rate should I or can I negotiate for my child or children? This is a common question. Basically, there is a ceiling above which most parents will not be able to negotiate because the state will be unable to access matching funds above that maximum. The key is to discover what the ceiling actually is for a child with a certain type of disability. This is easier said than done.

As will be explained in greater detail in the following chapters, a state may have several different rate structures for children with mild, moderate, and severe disabilities but may only make information available to adoptive parents about the lowest tier of rates. One of the first things prospective adoptive parents of children with special needs should know is often the last thing they learn: There is an important federal and state connection between foster care payment rates and adoption assistance rates. Understand this connection, and what the foster care rate schedules include, and you have begun to answer the question asked at the beginning of this chapter.

Adoptive parents should be aware of the family foster care payment rates for their state and county when negotiating an adoption assistance agreement with an agency, because adoption subsidy rates usually reflect the foster care rates. States are not legally required to pay adoption assistance

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