Adopting a child (or children) can be life-changing. The process can take a long time, and also become expensive, especially if you adopt through a private agency.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services offers adoption assistance for those who decide to adopt a child or children through the state’s foster care system.
Classification Of Adoptive Children
Children are classified as:
- Title IV-E, under federal Title IV-E of the Social Security Act. These children are considered “special needs” if they are:
- At least six years of age
- At least two years of age and a member of an ethnic or racial group that leaves foster care at a slower rate than other ethnic or racial groups
- Is being adopted with a sibling or to join a sibling
- Has a verifiable physical, mental, or emotionally disabling condition
- Non-Title-IV-E paid from Texas’s own state-funded adoption assistance, and not eligible under Title IV-E
The state determines whether or not the child can be returned to its biological parents. A reasonable effort must be made to find adoption for the child without assistance unless doing so is not in the best interest of the child.
Types Of Adoption Assistance
Texas offers several types of financial assistance to adoptive parents to help with the costs of the adoption. They include:
This state-run health care coverage includes assistance for the child:
- Medical care
- Dental care
- Vision care
- Behavioral/psychiatric care
- Medical transportation
- Medical equipment and supplies
Both Title IV-E and non-Title-IV-E eligible children can receive the same healthcare benefits through Adoption Assistance Medicaid.
For a full list of Medicaid services, contact The Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership at 800-335-8957 or online at www.tmhp.com.
- Need-Based Monthly Assistance
These monthly adoption assistance payments can be for:
- Initial placement expenses that are exceptional
- Special maintenance
- Educational needs that are supportive
- Child care
- Maintain contact with siblings or other family members.
- Necessary routine maintenance
Need is determined by the child’s individual needs and the adoptive family’s financial circumstances.
For a child with a “Basic” service level at the time of adoption, families can receive up to $400 per month.
For a child a with “Moderate” or higher service level, families can receive up to $540 per month.
- One-Time Expense Assistance
These are expenses related to the adoption of up to $1,200. This could include attorney’s fees, court costs, fees paid to a child placement agency, or other fees related to the legal part of the adoption. These reimbursements are made after the adoption is completed.
Getting Adoption Assistance
Parents must request and apply for adoption assistance through the state, as it is not automatic.
You can make a request to the regional adoption assistance eligibility units. You can get Request for Adoption Assistance through your worker. Additional information is available on the Texas DFPS website.
Stepparents are not eligible for non-recurring adoption assistance. International adoptions may qualify if the child is considered a “special needs” child at the time of adoptive placement. The parties must sign the adoption assistance agreement before the adoption is completed.
Let Wendy L. Hart Help Throughout The Child Adoption Process
At the Law Office of Wendy L. Hart, our greatest professional accomplishments involve happy families brought together. As always, you can expect passionate service, thorough knowledge of Texas adoption law, and compassion towards your goal and interests. To begin the adoption process or for help with an existing legal issue related to adoption, call our Mansfield-Fort Worth family law office today at (817) 842-2336. We’ll be happy to help.