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

Child Welfare


Adoption assistance represents a key element of federal and state policy to promote the adoption of children and youth from foster care and support adoptive families in meeting their needs.

Federal title IV-E or state subsidies aim to compensate adoptive parents for the short- and long-term costs of adopting eligible children. Although eligibility criteria vary from state to state, the term “eligible” most frequently refers to children who are school-aged; part of a sibling group; children of color; or those with specific physical, emotional, or developmental needs. Benefits commonly include monthly cash payments, medical assistance, social services, and nonrecurring adoption expenses.

Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau, provides detailed information about state adoption assistance programs on its 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 updates the information on this site.

In addition, the North American Council on Adoptable Children website provides additional information about state adoption assistance programs.

Adoption subsides may not be the only type of funding available to families. Information Gateway’s section on Grants/Loans/Tax Credits for Adoption highlights other sources of financial assistance.

Finally, your caseworker can provide more detailed information regarding adoption subsidy.

Last Reviewed: July 10, 2020