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I want to adopt a child. Am I eligible for adoption assistance (also called adoption subsidy)?

Child Welfare


For the general public:

Child Welfare Information Gateway (Information Gateway), a service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, provides the factsheet Adoption Assistance for Children Adopted From Foster Care that explains the types of adoption assistance and eligibility requirements for both Federal and State adoption assistance programs.

Information Gateway also provides detailed information about State adoption assistance programs  through the Adoption Assistance by State search website.  On this site, you will find State-by-State information on eligibility for adoption assistance, medical assistance, availability of postadoption services, fair hearings, and links to State websites for adoption and adoption assistance information. The Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (AAICAMA) updates the information on this site.

For professionals:

Some children adopted from foster care who meet their State’s definition of special needs are eligible for Federal or State adoption assistance to minimize the financial obstacles to adoption. State adoption assistance programs provide financial support and medical services for children determined to have special needs who are not eligible under the Federal title IV-E adoption assistance program. In order to be eligible for State programs, children must fit the definition of special needs in their State.

Policies regarding Federal title IV-E adoption assistance are contained in Section 8.2 of the Children’s Bureau Child Welfare Policy Manual (CWPM).

Questions regarding policy regulating Federal title IV-E adoption assistance should be directed to the appropriate Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Regional Office. A list of Regional Offices is available from the ACF Office of Regional Operations.

The CWPM discusses when adoption assistance payments can be terminated. The State Adoption Assistance Specialist in each State can address specific questions about the termination of adoption assistance.