Adoption Subsidy Negotiations - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-09-2010, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

Melody...Mommy to ds1, dd1, ds2, ds3, ds4, and dd2

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Old 01-09-2010, 12:57 AM
 
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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?

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Old 01-09-2010, 12:59 AM
 
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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?
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Melody...Mommy to ds1, dd1, ds2, ds3, ds4, and dd2

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Old 01-09-2010, 02:50 AM
 
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I'd encourage getting as many professionals working with him as you can to write supportive documentation.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:48 PM
 
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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.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:42 PM
 
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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.

Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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Old 01-11-2010, 12:52 AM
 
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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.

 
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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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.

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Old 01-11-2010, 02:20 PM
 
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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.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:28 PM
 
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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.

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Old 01-11-2010, 10:26 PM
 
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... 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.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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I know people who've adopted their foster children in South Carolina. They get post-adoption subsidy. And have children on Medicaid.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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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.)
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:14 PM
 
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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.

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Old 01-11-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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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.

 
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:22 AM
 
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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.

Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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Old 01-12-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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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.
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:30 AM
 
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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.

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Old 12-16-2010, 06:58 PM
 
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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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Old 12-19-2010, 05:47 AM
 
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That may have been the case before, but with tightening budgets it's much harder for kids to qualify.  When I adopted my son in 2008, all foster-adopted children in my state received subsidy.  I adopted my DD last month and the social worker had to use a form with a fairly complex points system.  DD almost didn't qualify but her being a minority (she's half-Hispanic) pushed over the line.  In many states, children are now having to be "older" than before and/or have more advanced special needs.

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Old 12-19-2010, 05:57 AM
 
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Yeah, you should qualify for the $2000 non-recurring expenses subsidy, since in Ohio, they are fairly leniant about that (in Ohio, you can get one for an international special needs infant/toddler adoption, which is rare for a state to allow).  You can also apply for PASSS funding from your local J&FS office.  We have PASSS funding for our daughter to pay for her RAD therapies, but they will also cover all types of special needs things, and it's available for any special needs adoption--there are no other requirements other than having a special needs adopted child.  That pays for up to $10,000 a year in services (we use far less than that, but it's there if we need it).

 

I would definitely try to talk to whoever you can in the adoption department of the Job and Family Services office because these grants are state mandated and from what you posted, you qualify. 


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Old 12-20-2010, 09:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamarhu View Post

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.


That is what we were told, federal guidelines and the state economy.

For us, a letter from her healthcare provider specifying her diagnosis was what we needed to get the subsidy. It was really touch and go if we would get it or not. We were adopting regardless and they knew that and that may have hurt, who knows. In the end, we got the subsidy, they also offered us vendor payments, but I have no idea what those can be used for or how to take advantage of them. They also did give us Medicaid until 18, but we only use as a secondary insurance.

They said daycare is never offered after adoption.


Carly, mama to DS C (5th grade), DD Miss M (07/09, fostered 1/10, adopted 08/10), and Little Miss C (11/10, fostered 01/11, adopted 11/12). Foster Son, Mr. A, age 11 placed 10/13.
My angel babies , ~01/08~ (twins), ~09/08~, and ~01/09~.

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Old 12-20-2010, 09:37 AM
 
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Carly, I spent a lot of time with the criteria sheet and P's adoption worker.  I bet it was less of them "not wanting" to offer subsidy and more of them "having their hands tied" before you got medical documentation.  I've know the people at my DSS office for over five years and the belt tightening was difficult for them to accept, too.  They liked being able to offer subsidy to the majority of adoptive families and it was so hard to go back to families who were on the adoptive track and tell them that their children no longer qualified.  Polliwog almost didn't qualify.  But, they really have to use the new scoring system or risk being cited in an audit. 

 

Did they send you the list of qualifying services when you were deemed eligible for vendor payments?  If not, I'll scan mine and send it to you.  It won't cover much in M's case, since I would assume that her services would be covered by insurance.  Chris's is much broader because of his IEP but even still, it won't be as easy to use as it was before.  His will cover tutoring if I decide to get it, a smaller or specialized after-school program if needed, and could even go toward his private school tuition if he gets in and still would benefit from a smaller and hands-on classroom.

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Old 02-01-2011, 08:49 AM
 
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We just adopted our two year old daughter who we have had since birth on 12/16/10. The subsidy negotiation went on for 3 weeks and was very draining for me. We were initally offered 75.00 and the medicaid card and went back and forth untill we ended up at 395.00 and medicaid card. A great resource is a man named Tim Hanlon that you can look up on line and email. He wrote our a 6 page needs document for me at no cost and stated all laws and regulation to each need. He is retired from franklin county and knows all the laws. He was a very helpful resource. If you don't feel that you get what your child should let it go to mediation and have someone besides your county decided. You need to fight for your child and dont be scared to decline thier offer and push for more.   

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Old 02-03-2011, 11:12 PM
 
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I am still just in the licensing process, are we talking the regular subsidy or isn't there additional subsidies available. I am still so confused about how this works, though the SW that led our class are very nice they didn't clarify this at all. All I know is here in Riverside County, CA all adopted children continue to receive the same payments as they did in foster care, and MediCal through age 18. Am I mistaken that there *may* be additional subsidies available for special needs, sibling groups, etc that matchers could not place without the additional subsidy? We have put down to take 2 children, but if DH will stretch on that I would be open to taking more..and additional help would be welcome. 


Happily married to DH for 6 years, in process to foster-adopt 3 children DD4, DS3 and DS2. We may be bringing half brother age 9 one day as well! We are not infertile, we just have decided that since there are precious children who need homes there is no need for us to have biological children.

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Old 02-04-2011, 03:55 AM
 
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I wouldn't think that there would be more than that unless the child/ren had significant special needs. The factors you listed are what qualify the children for the subsidy in the first place.

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Old 02-04-2011, 04:39 AM
 
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I don't know if this helps:

 

http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f_subsid.cfm


 
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View PostCarly, I spent a lot of time with the criteria sheet and P's adoption worker.  I bet it was less of them "not wanting" to offer subsidy and more of them "having their hands tied" before you got medical documentation.  I've know the people at my DSS office for over five years and the belt tightening was difficult for them to accept, too.  They liked being able to offer subsidy to the majority of adoptive families and it was so hard to go back to families who were on the adoptive track and tell them that their children no longer qualified.  Polliwog almost didn't qualify.  But, they really have to use the new scoring system or risk being cited in an audit.


You are right, my post came across wrong, they do have their hands tied and can only do so much with their new guidelines. The medical documentation sealed the deal for M and they were happy to process once they had that. I am sure the tightening is making their jobs harder, too, as M's former foster mom went and adopted a subsidy-eligible child after giving her to us because she couldn't afford to adopt M.


Carly, mama to DS C (5th grade), DD Miss M (07/09, fostered 1/10, adopted 08/10), and Little Miss C (11/10, fostered 01/11, adopted 11/12). Foster Son, Mr. A, age 11 placed 10/13.
My angel babies , ~01/08~ (twins), ~09/08~, and ~01/09~.

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