Adoption Subsidies for Adopting Foster Children

Adoption SubsidiesThe Washington State Adoption Support Program provides ongoing support to families who adopt foster children.  These are financial grants under an adoption support agreement which can include a monthly stipend payable over the minority of the child to the adoptive parents to assist with special expenses. Children adopted from foster care often have special needs which increase the expenses of their care.   The subsidy represents an effort to compensate the adoptive parent for the increased expenses of raising a special needs child and therefore to increase the number of special needs children adopted.  The support lasts until the child is 18.  (See WAC 388-27-0120 thru 0390)

When the Department of Social and Health Services decides that adoption is best for the child, the prospective adoptive parents are advised of the availability of the Adoption Support Program. If the child qualifies for the program, a contract between the department and the adoptive family is created. This contract must be in place {signed by both parties) before the adoption is finalized. The contract is reviewed every five years or anytime if the child needs or family circumstances change. Benefits described in the contract may include: A negotiated monthly cash payment based on the child’s special needs and the family circumstances, Medical and Dental Services, Counseling, Training, repayment for costs incurred by the adoptive parent in finalizing the adoption such as the filing fee, attorney fees, and re-registration of the birth certificate.