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Adoption Subsidy Negotiations

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
So, we are in the horrible, horrible phase of negotiating an adoption subsidy for our 2yo foster son who has been with us since he was 7wo.

What do I need to take into consideration when writing up our response to the county's initial offer of $0?
post #2 of 29
I was under the impression children under three generally dont get subsidy in Ohio...am i wrong about that? I know on the photolisting they used to have they said that they would consider families who didnt need subsidy over those that did. I inquired on a few babies and knew they would not come w/ subsidy. Its similar here in MI, under three, no subsidy.

Does your son have special needs?
post #3 of 29
Of course every state is different. Here the only thing they consider in offering adoption subsidies is anything extremely over and above the normal cost of raising a child. Does your 2yo need special therapies? Have medical needs not covered by medical insurance? Both of those things would be considered in computing an adoption subsidy. (Although in our state I had a worker tell me they only paid $800/mo. for a child that was paralyzed from the waist down, required open heart surgeries and had some sort of seizure disorder. ) So they are really talking above and beyond.

What does your state rules say?
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
He does have special needs. I guess I'm worried I am gonna miss something and we'll be left in the lurch in another couple of years. I mean, he's 2--we can't possibly know what he truly is dealing with as far as his special needs go. We probably see only the tip of the iceberg now.

I've been told to include everything specific to him--special diet, special hygiene product needs, transportation to his numerous appointments, babysitting for the others during those appts. I don't know if I am missing anything else.
post #5 of 29
I'd encourage getting as many professionals working with him as you can to write supportive documentation.
post #6 of 29
According to this website, http://www.nacac.org/adoptionsubsidy...iles/ohio.html, medical needs are a qualifier. I'd probably contact the NACAC Subsidy Representative and get his advice. His contact information is on the page I linked.
post #7 of 29
This book http://www.amazon.com/Adoption-Finan...3163306&sr=1-1 Adoption and Financial Assistance, By Rita Laws, is very complete and detailed, although it is 10 years old. Worth looking at if your library has it.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mellymommy View Post
He does have special needs. I guess I'm worried I am gonna miss something and we'll be left in the lurch in another couple of years. I mean, he's 2--we can't possibly know what he truly is dealing with as far as his special needs go. We probably see only the tip of the iceberg now.

I've been told to include everything specific to him--special diet, special hygiene product needs, transportation to his numerous appointments, babysitting for the others during those appts. I don't know if I am missing anything else.
How are things going in the area of attachment? Attachment difficulties can also be an area that requires specialized treatment.
post #9 of 29
I have a question.

Is it typical to have to do this? When we adopted dd, they slide a paper over to us to sign and told us it was for adoption subsidy. And that she had checked both states, and ours was a little higher so she used our guide, and she moved her up a "tier" because she was sure she would have some issues in the future.

We had never heard of adoption subsidy and had no idea we were getting it until that moment. So I have always just assumed thats how it works for everyone.
post #10 of 29
Different states do things differently. In NC, adoption subsidy is the same as the regular foster care stipend unless the child is HIV+ or has severe current needs. We also have $2,000 a year vendor payments that my son didn't qualify for at the time, but I'm going apply for them in the near future.
post #11 of 29
It depends on the state. In MI its usually whatever the foster stipend was. In other states, such as Oregon you have to go through this whole negotiation. In MI, i believe that once you sign off on the subsidy, thats it you cant get more, but in some states i believe i have heard of being able to renegotiate but i'm not sure about that. I also believe that in most if not all states, the max adoption subsidy is the highest amount the child ever received in foster care.
post #12 of 29
... and in SC, you get diddly-squat. They even pressure you to put your child on your insurance stop using Medicaid at placement, at least six months (and possibly much, MUCH longer) before the adoption is finalized.
post #13 of 29
I know people who've adopted their foster children in South Carolina. They get post-adoption subsidy. And have children on Medicaid.
post #14 of 29
Good to know. I have read that it is legally possible to get subsidy, but the training was very much designed to minimize/obscure/flat-out lie about this fact. When I pushed for more info on the Medicaid issue, the facilitator did admit that a child who has been in DSS custody is entitled to Medicaid no matter what until they are 21, but then quickly segued into how it's important to treat your adopted children just like birth children by not using their Medicaid.

I expect that we'll get an initial offer of $0/month for subsidy, and how hard we fight will depend on whether the special needs are purely legalistic (age/race) or whether we think there will be actual therapeutic interventions required during childhood (OT, psychologist, etc.)
post #15 of 29
My mother asked for and received daycare support plus medicaid (Washington State). The state has paid the daycare minimums. Eventually this will be zero. My mother wasn't always able to find a placement for the minimum paid by the state, so she'd kick in the rest. It was highest when the kids were tiny - around $1800 a month for two kids at the beginning and now less than $800 now that they are almost teens. Both my siblings have developmental disabilities, but are in regular grade classes with IEP. My sis has done so much better than predicted at 5 months, tho.
post #16 of 29
It is my perception that it is getting much harder to get adoption subsidy regardless of state, because it is tied in part to federal money. Not sure if I have that completely correct.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post
It is my perception that it is getting much harder to get adoption subsidy regardless of state, because it is tied in part to federal money. Not sure if I have that completely correct.
In my state they are saying it is because the state is so bad off right now - I think it is only part federal money.
post #18 of 29
Don't forget the (potential) cost of future daycare, even if there is a SAHP now. Also, will the care likely need to be specialized? Include that additional cost as well. One of the things that qualified our bio ds for SSI many years ago (we had to appeal numerous times and he was finally approved when we went in front of a judge) was that we could not get specialized day care for his medical needs at the time, requiring a SAHP, plus the time spent doing the at home portions of his therapy and appts. My loss of wages (and potential future loss of wages) was considered a factor. Umm, special foods, equipment, therapies, longer than average diaper use, mental/behavioral health counseling, travel expenses for therapies/dr. appts, specialists, housing/vehicle modification (like a wheelchair ramp, or a wheelchair van), special carseats for older/larger children who need additional support, legal costs (such as for longterm care, trusts, etc), savings account for care after turning 18. That's all I can come up with right now.
post #19 of 29

For our first daughter born in 06 we were able to get a $0 amount that can be worth $2000 if there is a major medical need. I found it confusing, but I fill out the paperwork every year just in case we need it. She didn't pass her hearing screening when she was born, but her hearing is fine. We also did not have any BF info so maybe they took that into consideration. She has been a very healthy child so far. With our second daughter ('08), we did not even have the option to apply. They said in order to apply for one that year that we would have to place our daughter back out "on the market" for another couple to adopt who might be willing to adopt without subsudies. Unfortunately, she was the one with alot of little medical issues. We now know that all the little things were not major but at the time, we didn't know how serious it was. She could have had a genetic disorder that causes a lot of problems. We are thankful that this was not the case. Especially without a subsudy.

 

The laws change every year on this stuff. I wish you all the best.

post #20 of 29
The recent article in Adoptive Families magazine said that nearly 90% of kids adopted from fostercare receive adoption subsidies. It is very common.
http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/articles.php?aid=2129
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