Adoption assistance is financial assistance and other benefits provided to adoptive families in an effort to increase the number of potential adoptive families and decrease the number of children in foster care. Adoption assistance is only available if the child meets criteria the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services has developed for a “special needs child”. Additionally, the child must be in the custody, guardianship, or partial guardianship of either DCS or a licensed adoption agency. Click here to learn more about the specific requirements for adoption assistance. It is a complex formula designed to identify children who without such assistance would likely remain in foster care or other temporary placement.
Deferred adoption assistance allows for benefits only in the event the child experiences medical or psychological difficulties related to genetics or life-circumstances prior to adoption. When young children are adopted, it is impossible to anticipate the child’s future needs for medical treatment and psychological counseling. It is imperative that families document diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and recommendations through evaluations to ensure that your child receives the support they need to be successful without placing an immense financial strain on the family. Any monthly payment provided through adoption assistance will be reduced by the amount the child receives in Social Security benefits.
Sometimes families are reluctant to accept financial and health insurance benefits from the government. The Adoption Law Center encourages families to at least keep all of the options open by pursuing adoption assistance, which is reviewed annually. Part of protecting your child’s health and financial well-being means accepting help when necessary.
Adoption Law Center, PLLC
3102 West End Ave.
Nashville, TN 37203