Several types of financial subsidies are available to assist adoptive families in meeting the special needs of their adopted child/children:
Title IV-E Adoption Assistance
The Title IV-E Federal Adoption Subsidy program provides federal financial support for children placed for adoption who meet the eligibility criteria. In order for a child to be eligible for Title IV-E Adoption Assistance, a Public Children's Services Agency (PCSA) must determine and document that:
- The child meets special needs status
- At the time the child came into custody of the Public Children Services Agency (PCSA) or Private Child Placing Agency (PCPA), and at the time adoption proceedings are initiated, the child would have been eligible for Ohio Works First (OWF) or the child is determined eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits by the Social Security Administration prior to the finalization of adoption or the child meets the Title IV-E adoption assistance non-ADC relatedness eligibility criteria.
- The initial court order removing the child from his/her home contains the required "best interest" determination.
In addition to a monthly stipend, these children are eligible for medical coverage under Medicaid and may be eligible to receive assistance and services under the federal Title XX program. Applications for Title IV-E subsidy must be completed by the adoptive family prior to adoption finalization. The amount of adoption assistance is determined by negotiation and mutual agreement between the adoptive parent(s) and the PCSA.
State Adoption Maintenance Subsidy Program
The State Adoption Maintenance Subsidy Program is a financial program which provides monthly maintenance subsidy payments to adoptive families adopting children who meet the special needs criteria listed in the Ohio Administrative Code and who are not eligible for Title IV-E adoption assistance. Applications must be completed by the adoptive family prior to finalization. The family's income must meet State guidelines when determining eligibility for the State Adoption Maintenance Subsidy. The child may also be eligible for medical coverage under Medicaid.
Non-Recurring Adoption Expense Subsidy
The Non-Recurring Adoption Expense Subsidy is designed to promote the adoption of special needs children by providing eligible families with the opportunity for reimbursement of certain costs related to adopting a child with special needs. Non-recurring adoption expenses are those one time expenses directly related to the legal adoption of a child with special needs. This program provides reimbursement, up to a specified amount, for expenses such as supervision of placements prior to the adoption, attorney's fees, court costs, transportation costs, and the reasonable costs of lodging and food. Reimbursement is also available for costs associated with the adoption homestudy, and reasonable and necessary adoption fees. The adoptive family's income is not taken into consideration in determining whether payments for non-recurring expenses should be paid. Applications and agreements for the Non-Recurring Adoption Expense Subsidy must be completed by the adoptive family prior to adoption finalization.
Post-Adoption Special Services Subsidy
The Post-Adoption Special Services Subsidy (PASSS) program is available for all adoptive families, (except step-parent adoptions), residing in Ohio whose child may be experiencing adoption-related difficulties or issues that were pre-existing, but were not apparent at the time of adoption. PASSS services are contingent upon the availability of State issued funding and may include:
- Medical services
- Psychological services
- Psychiatric services
- Counseling services
- Residential treatment
Adoption Tax Benefits
The Federal Government and the State of Ohio allow families who adopt to receive a non-refundable tax credit for the year in which the adoption was legalized. Many adoptive parents are eligible for tax benefits. The Hope for Children Act (Public Law 107-16) increased the previous $5,000 adoption tax credit to $10,000. All adoptive parents should meet with a tax advisor to discuss tax benefits. (Application forms are available through the IRS and the State Treasurer's Office.)