Adopted children with special needs may qualify for state and federal adoption assistance. There are certain eligibility criteria that must be met for state and federal assistance. If you do not qualify under Federal title IV-E adoption assistance program, you will qualify under your state adoption assistance programs. To qualify under the state program, the child must meet the definition of a special needs child under the state law.
The Children’s Bureau provides a service called the Child Welfare Information. This service provides information about the types of state and federal adoption assistance and the eligibility criteria.
The Child Welfare Information’s website has detailed information about the eligibility criteria in each state and the type of assistance available in each state. The information on the website is provided by the Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (AAICAMA).
Section 8 of the Children’s Bureau Child Welfare Policy Manual has information on the assistance available under Federal title IV-E adoption assistance program. For information on assistance under this program, contact the nearest Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Regional Office. The Manual also explains when the assistance will end.
For state wise information on state adoption benefits, use the National Foster Care & Adoption Directory which is available on the Child Welfare Information Gateway. For additional information, please visit the North American Council for Adoptable Children’s website.
There is no federal definition of a child with special. The exact requirements for qualifying as a child with special needs vary from state to state. Generally the following children are considered as special needs children:
• Children with a health or physical problem
• Are Older
• Members of racial or ethnic minorities
• Suffered neglect or abuse
• HIV positive
• Having siblings and must be adopted together with the siblings
• Have emotional problems
• Likely to have future problems
• Exposed to alcohol or drugs
The public foster care system includes all such children who are available for adoption.