Financial Assistance for Adoption in Georgia
The adoption process is not inexpensive. Some families who want to adopt are left struggling to find the resources to meet the high costs. Before you decide there is no way you can afford it and, therefore, give up your dream of starting a family, speak to an experienced Georgia adoption attorney. There may be financial assistance available in some circumstances. A knowledgeable attorney can help you explore the options.
Some prospective parents in Georgia may qualify for an adoption subsidy through federal (Title IV-E) and Georgia state adoption assistance programs. These programs were created to help parents meet their children’s costly and varied needs. In Georgia, children can qualify if they are deemed to have special needs. This may include someone:
- with a medically-documented mental, physical, or emotional disability;
- who has been in the care of an agency or someone other than the biological or legal parent for more than 24 months;
- who is a member of a sibling group who has been placed in the same home.
Types of Adoption Assistance Benefits
There are multiple types of assistance offered to eligible families. These include:
- Medical Coverage: There might be Medicaid/Amerigroup coverage available even when the child is up for adoption in another state or the adoptive parents are moving to another state.
- Monthly Payments: There may be monthly payments made to adoptive families. However, they cannot exceed the amount the child received while in a foster home or the amount the child would have received had he or she been placed with a foster family.
- Non-Recurring Funds: Eligible families may receive a one-time payment that is designed to cover fees related to adoption. It cannot exceed more than $1,500 per child. The payment can cover related fees like court costs, legal fees, and any other one-time, adoption-related expenses, provided they do not conflict with any federal or state laws. Families who receive monthly adoption assistance are automatically approved for non-recurring funds.
Private Loans and Grants
In addition to state and federal assistance, there may be options for private loans that defray the costs of adoption. Adoption.com offers online applications and immediate decision results. Faith-based organizations like Chosen for Life Ministries (CFLM) provide adoption grants to a select group of prospective parents. The response time on this particular example is not immediate — it can take four weeks or more — so it is important to apply early if you qualify.
Retaining a Georgia Adoption Attorney
It is important to point out that it is illegal for someone to pay another person for his or her child, no matter what state you live in. This means the birth mother cannot ask potential adoptive parents for money, and you, as prospective parents, cannot offer a birth mother money in hopes of influencing her adoption decision. However, reasonable living expenses can be paid on behalf of the biological mother, but there must be clear documentation.
If you are looking to adopt a child, retaining a skilled Georgia family law attorney can make the process more streamlined and less stressful. The team at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor has years of experience handling all aspects of adoption for prospective parents.