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Special Needs Adoption & Subsidies

Posted on in Adoption

DuPage County adoption lawyers, special needs adoptionMany people decide to expand their family by adopting a child with special needs. This can be both challenging and rewarding for a family. Financial support can help a family deal with and overcome these challenges. Fortunately, state and federal adoption assistance programs can help prospective parents pay for expenses that will help their special needs child have the best life possible with their new family.

A Special Needs Adoption

A special needs child may have a developmental, behavioral or learning challenge. The challenge could be caused by a genetic mental health issue or exposure to drug and alcohol. In Illinois, a special needs child is a child who has a need or circumstances that might prevent adoption. The financial support is meant to remove these potential barriers and encourage an adoption. In order to qualify, the child must meet one or more of these criteria:

  • The child is one year old or older;
  • The child and sibling seeking adoption meet the special needs criteria;
  • The child's adoptive parents have already adopted the child’s siblings and qualified for support; and/or
  • The child has an emotional, mental or physical disability that cannot be reversed or corrected.

Adoption Subsidy

Federal law created the adoption subsidy available to families, but each state will administer the funds for families. The state assistance programs help parents meet their children’s needs. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) manages Illinois’ program. A child will qualify for a subsidy if they meet one of the following requirements, among others:

  • The child was eligible for foster care maintenance payments when the adoption process began;
  • The child received Supplemental Security Income; and/or
  • DCFS was responsible for the child when the adoption process began.

Parents apply to DCFS receive an Illinois adoption subsidy. As part of determining a payment amount, DCFS and the adoptive parents will work together to figure out the final amount of the subsidy. Payments will start when the adoption is finalized and can continue until the child is 21 years old if the child has a disabled adoptive parent.

Let Us Help with Your Special Needs Adoption

Adopting a special needs child is a wonderful way to expand your family and can be fulfilling for the child and their new parents. However, adoption in general, let alone adopting a special needs child, comes with a significant amount of complex legal issues that should be managed only with the assistance of a skilled legal professional. Indeed, an attorney with experience in the field can ensure that your adoption case is handled with the care and compassion it deserves.

If you are considering adoption in Illinois, do not hesitate to contact the DuPage County adoption lawyers at Davi Law Group, LLC. We can answer any question you have about adopting a special needs child. Reach out to us today to schedule an appointment.



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