Florida’s Adoption Assistance Program for Children Adopted from the Child Welfare System

 

The State of  Florida offers adoption assistance to prospective adoptive parents to enable them to adopt a child in the state’s foster care system.

 

The Adoption Assistance Program is designed for     children that were removed from their caregiver due to abuse or neglect and the permanent custody of the child has been awarded to the Department of Children and Families or a licensed child placing agency.

 

In addition, the child must meet one of the following criteria:

 

1. Eight years of age or older

2. Developmentally disabled

3. Physically or emotionally handicapped

4. Siblings being placed together

5. Black or Bi-Racial

 

Except for foster parent and relative adoptions of children from foster care, a reasonable but unsuccessful effort will have been made to place the child without a maintenance    subsidy. Foster Parents and relatives must be asked if they are willing to adopt the child without subsidy.

 

Maintenance Subsidy: Effective July 1, 2007 the amount of the maintenance subsidy is $5,000 per year paid monthly ($417). If the amount is different, the     Department of Children and Families and the adoptive family must be in agreement. The subsidy amount may be adjusted based on the needs of the child and                 circumstances of the family. The amount may not exceed the amount compensated for the child in Family Foster Care.

 

NOTE: Adoption Assistance is subject to Legislative appropriation.

 

Medical Subsidy: The medical subsidy is designed to help cover the costs of treating physical, mental, or    emotional conditions  that existed prior to the adoption. It is expected that if the adoptive families health insurance will cover these conditions, that it should be used first. Many of the children are Medicaid eligible and will continue their eligibility even after the adoption.  Medicaid should be used before    attempting to secure payment from a medical subsidy. The need for medical subsidy must be established before finalization  of the adoption, although the service may not be needed until a later date. Prior approval by Community Based Care or Department of Children and Families Post Adoption Services is required before    treatment is sought using a medical subsidy.

 Children receiving care through Children’s Medical Services are eligible to continue those services after the adoption.

 

 

 


 


Reimbursement for Expenses: The           department is authorized to reimburse,          retroactive to January 1, 1987, up to $1,000 in nonrecurring expenses related to the adoption of a child which have been incurred by the adoptive parents. For purposes of this subsection, “nonrecurring expenses” means one-time expenses, such as attorney’s fees, court costs, birth certificate fees, travel  expenses, agency fees, and physical examination fees.

 

Federal Tax Credit: Families that adoptchildren from  foster care are eligible for a tax credit on their federal     income tax credit. A tax credit is a reduction in the amount of taxes you pay the government

 

 

College Assistance for Children Adopted from Foster Care

 

College Tuition Exemption: Children that are adopted through the Department of Children and Families after May 5, 1997, may be eligible to receive up to four years of    college tuition waiver at Florida public universities,       colleges and vocational training schools.

 

Road to Independence Scholarship: Children that are adopted at age 16 or 17 are eligible for Florida’s Road to Independence Program which provides some living        expenses for college and Medicaid until 21 years of  age.

 

FASFA (Federal Application for Student Financial Aid) Children adopted from foster care at the age of thirteen or older, are given special consideration when applying for student financial loans or grants. (fafsa.ed.gov)

 

 

 

 For More Information Contact:

Florida's Adoption Information Center
4203 Southpoint Blvd.
Jacksonville, Florida 32216
 
In Florida:1-800-96-ADOPT
Out of Florida: 904-353-0679
adoptflorida@danielkids.org

Florida's Adoption Information Center was created by the Florida Legislature to serve as a clearinghouse in every area of adoption. The Center has served more than 175,000 people since opening in 1994. As a free service, the Adoption Information Center provides adoption information and referral services to adoptive parents, adult adoptees, birth relatives, pregnant women and professionals.

Note: Children adopted internationally are not eligible for 

Florida’s Adoption Assistance Program.

 

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