The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 established a program of adoption assistance, strengthened the program of foster care assistance for needy and dependent children, and improved the child welfare, social services, and aid to families with depended children program. The Act required States to make adoption assistance payments, which take into account the circumstances of the adopting parents and the child, to parents who adopt a child who is AFDC-eligible and is a child with special needs.

The Act defines a child with special needs as a child who:

  • Cannot be returned to the parent's home
  • Has a special condition such that the child cannot be placed without providing assistance
  • Has not been able to be placed without assistance

Adoption Assistance can include Medicaid only or a combination of Medicaid and dollar amount. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (often called non-IV-E) adoption assistance program are designed to help adoptive parents meet their adopted children's varied needs. Adoption Assistance payments are made directly to the adoptive parents(s) to assist in providing for the special needs of an eligible adopted child. This program is intended to help or remove financial barriers to the adoption of children with special needs, by providing assistance to the parent(s). Adoption Assistance is not intended to cover all of the routine expected costs associated with raising a child. Available public programs and insurance benefits for which the child is eligible shall be used first to address the child's needs before Adoption Assistance payments are used. All children who qualify for Adoption Assistance are eligible for Medicaid Benefits.

Is Adoption Right for You?

Can you commit to adopting waiting children who have experienced loss and trauma and offer them a lifetime of unconditional love and support? Families are needed who can handle the challenging parenting situations and commit to being "on duty" all day, every day, to adopt. These families must be able to provide for each child unconditionally and know that even when they do not feel appreciated, they are helping to prevent future cycles of abuse, and giving a child hope.

Contact an agency to learn more details

Park County Department of Human Services Adoption Subsidy Policy (PDF)