Adoption and Financial Assistance: Tools for Navigating the Bureaucracy

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

3
Special Service Subsidies:
Important Extras

God gives every bird his worm, but He does not throw it into the nest.

-- P. D. James (b. 1920)


SERVICE SUBSIDIES

Adoption assistance is much more than a monthly check. It also includes service subsidies, financial assistance to pay for the cost of the adoption process, income tax breaks, and medical assistance. The last three types of assistance are discussed in Chapter 7. This chapter is devoted to service subsidies, an important resource for keeping families formed through adoption intact and functioning well.

Service subsidies include services such as respite care, day care, residential treatment, dental braces, counseling, medical mileage, extraordinary medical expenses, tutoring, speech and occupational therapy, clothing allowances, personal computers, and even items such as vitamins and software.

State subsidy profiles compiled by the NACAC indicate that forty-four states and the District of Columbia operate some form of state-funded service subsidy program. Instead of regular monthly payments, service subsidy programs generally pay for mental health, medical, and other services that are not covered by Medicaid or a family's private health insurance. Service subsidies can be combined with Title IV-E adoption assistance or a statefunded monthly payment subsidy to provide a more comprehensive plan of support.

In principle, service subsidies can be customized to fit the particular circumstances of the adoptive family. While service subsidies can be very helpful, adoptive parents should be aware of possible limitations.

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