Adopting a child can be one of the most joyous events in a parent’s life. It can provide a sense of fulfillment knowing that a child in need is given a stable, loving home. Although there are a lot of children available for adoption in California, the process is not as simple as many would think. Therefore, those who are considering pursuing an adoption, whether privately, through the foster care system or merely adopting a step-child, should make sure they understand the law and how it applies to their situation.
This can be especially important when individuals need assistance meeting the needs of their newly adopted child. Special needs children, in particular, may require extensive resources that are beyond what an adopting family can afford. Fortunately, federal and state law provides that those families who adopt through the foster care system may qualify for adoption subsidies, which are monthly payments that can help offset these ongoing costs of caring for an adopted child.
The exact amount of a subsidy given to an adoptive family is negotiated with the state based on a number of factors. Amongst these factors are the child’s needs and the circumstances of the family, which primarily focuses on the family’s ability to incorporate the child into its family dynamics, the household relationships, the family’s standard of living and the family’s ability to meet the child’s immediate and future needs. These payments will continue until one of a number of events occurs, which may increase, decrease or halt payments. A significant change in the child’s needs that did not exist at the time of the initial determination, for example, may justify an increase subsidy payment.
Dealing with the legalities in the adoption process can be frustrating. Yet, skillfully addressing them is crucial to reaching a desirable outcome that leaves families ready to start their new lives together.