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Is support offered to adoptive parents?

The state of Georgia offers assistance in certain adoption cases where it considers the child to have special needs. This includes any child who has any physical, emotional or mental disability, which a licensed psychologist or physician must validate. The definition also includes any child who has been in the custody of anybody other than the biological or legal parents for more than two full consecutive years.

Another special needs case that qualifies for adoption assistance involves biological siblings. As an illustration, if one family cares for a set of two or more siblings, the state may allow that family to receive assistance in one form or another. This is to encourage adoptive parents to keep siblings together and compensate them for doing so.

Assistance could be a one-time payment to help the family pay for court costs, attorney fees and other adoption-related expenses, or it could involve recurring monthly payments from the state to help the family to properly meet the needs of the child. Any family that receives monthly assistance also qualifies to receive Medicaid benefits for the adoptive child to help the family in meeting the child's medical needs. This can be especially helpful when the child needs frequent medical attention because of a disability.

The surrounding circumstances of every adoption is different, so the type and amount of assistance that each family receives could vary depending on the situation. An attorney who has experience in family law matters could help the prospective adoptive parents understand the guidelines for receiving assistance so that they can make a more informed decision about how they will proceed.

Source: The Georgia Department of Human Services Division o f Family and Children Services, "FACTS ABOUT FOSTER PARENTING AND ADOPTION ", October 29, 2014

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