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Adoption Benefits

Adoption Assistance

If the family requests, children are eligible to receive a monthly adoption maintenance subsidy until they are 18 years of age. Rates, as of July 1, 2007, will be a standard amount for all children: $417 per month in Volusia and Flagler counties. These rates are subject to change by the Legislature. Higher rates can only be negotiated based on the severity of the child’s mental, emotional, and physical needs. Written justification with supporting documentation is required. The supplemental rate is an increase that can be no more than the traditional foster care board rate based on child’s age.  This rate must be approved by the CEO of the agency.  An enhanced rate is an increase that can be no more than the child’s actual foster care board rate and must be approved by the Florida Secretary of State.

Social Security Income (SSI) eligibility for an adopted child is based on the adoptive parents’ income. If the child remains eligible after adoption, the SSI amount is deducted from the Adoption Subsidy.  If he/she receives Social Security benefits, (SSA or SSD) on the account of a deceased or disabled parent, this will not affect his eligibility and he/she can continue to receive those benefits after Adoption. 

There is no charge for the Adoption Home Study.  The Adoption Program provides up to $1,000 per child to cover non-recurring costs of adoption (court costs, legal fees, etc.).

Ongoing Medicaid Eligibility

The child may receive Adoption Medicaid and also be placed on his/her adoptive family’s medical insurance plan. The adoptive parent is responsible for any medical cost that Medicaid does not cover, unless there is a pre-existing medical condition with the child (medical subsidy). The child may also be eligible for Medicaid until the age of 21 under 409.1451 Independent living transition services.

College Tuition Exemption*

The child is given a certificate of college tuition fee waiver when the adoption is finalized.  This waiver is for any state supported Florida university, college, community college or vocational school.

*Exemption from Educational Fees: Children reaching age 18 while they are receiving a Relative Caregiver Payment or were legally adopted after May 5, 1997 are now eligible for an exemption from tuition and certain educational fees for state funded post-secondary career and vocational, educational, college or university courses.  The student must first have earned a high school diploma or General Equivalency diploma (GED). 

 Educational Training and Voucher Funds*

If the teenager was adopted at 16 or 17 years of age from the Florida foster care system effective July 1, 1999; in foster care for a minimum of 6 months; and attending an institution of higher education. The child may receive a maximum of $5000 per year towards the payment of RTI Scholarship awards. The young adult must complete the initial application prior to his/her 21st birthday.

*Exemption from Educational Fees: Children reaching age 18 while they are receiving a Relative Caregiver Payment or were legally adopted after May 5, 1997 are now eligible for an exemption from tuition and certain educational fees for state funded post-secondary career and vocational, educational, college or university courses.  The student must first have earned a high school diploma or General Equivalency diploma (GED).  Also the college will require that the student apply for and be denied financial aid. 

Tax Credits for Adoption

The adoptive family may be eligible for a tax credit. Additionally, if the adoptive parent received any reimbursement from their employer for adoption-related expenses, it is deductible.  The child may also be claimed as a dependent for deductions. 

http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html




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