Adoption is a key factor to take in to consideration as an expecting parent to a child with a medically complex condition as hydranencephaly, one that is most generally not offered as an option upon diagnosis. Our foundation hopes to make this a clear option, one that outweighs the more often offered option of a medically induced termination of pregnancy, as we navigate this journey that includes a family network of many adoptive parents to children with hydranencephaly. The misconception still exists that these children will not live the quality of life that would prompt a family to adopt them.
Some facts on adoption, from adoption.com:
Costs: Adopting from the U.S. foster care system is generally the least expensive type of adoption, usually involving little or no cost, and states often provide subsidies to adoptive parents. Stepparent and kinship adoptions are often not very costly. Agency and private adoptions can range from $5,000 to $40,000 or more depending on a variety of factors including services provided, travel expenses, birthmother expenses, requirements in the state, and other factors. International adoptions can range from $7,000 to $30,000.
While there may be a small fee required up front, any requirement that all fees be paid immediately following application should raise red flags. When talking with your professional, ask about the payment schedule, and about sliding scale fees if your financial resources are limited.
There are a growing number of resources to help manage the cost of adoption, including tax benefits (some of which apply to public agency adoptions as well), loans, employer benefits, and others."
~Adoption Subsidies: "also known as Adoption Assistance Payments (AAP), are monthly payments made to parents who adopt children with special needs from the U.S. foster care system. The amount is based on the severity of the child's disabilities and is in no way related to the income of the adoptive parents. Subsidy (along with Medicaid coverage for the adoptee until adulthood) is meant to defray some of the costs associated with raising children. It is not meant to reimburse all expenses. It is not income so it is not taxable. It is not meant to take the place of child support after a divorce. It was designed to make adoption more affordable and therefore more feasible for the typical adult or couple. The average base amount nationwide is about $350.00 per month.
In 1980, Congress created the subsidy program (Public Law 96-272) to encourage foster parents and others to adopt waiting children because permanency offers important lifelong and generational benefits to children. This program has been very successful in three ways:
*in helping to reform foster care,
*in encouraging record numbers of adoptions, and
*in saving tax dollars that would have otherwise been spent keeping children in foster care.
~Active Duty Military Adoption: you are eligible for reimbursement of expenses up to $2,000 for the adoption of a single child and up to $5,000 per family per year. There is one caveat: The adoption must have been arranged through a source that is authorized by a State to provide adoption placements, if the adoption is supervised by a court under state or local law. Paid after the adoption is finalized, this benefit is not doubled if both parents are in the military.
Fees that can be reimbursed include agency fees, legal fees, placement fees, and medical expenses. Travel expenses were not originally covered when this program was introduced, but they may be covered now.
Military parents can exercise an option to have children that are placed with them covered by their military medical program even before the adoption is finalized. You should apply to the Secretary of your branch of the service for the child to be a "Secretary Designee." If you have questions about this process, contact your commanding officer or The National Military Family Association at: (703) 931-6632.
Under the military’s Program for Persons with Disabilities, military parents may be eligible to receive up to $1,000 a month for disabled or special needs adopted children. The military also has a program called the Exceptional Family Member Program that will ensure that adoptive parents of special needs children are assigned to bases or duty stations that can meet the needs of the child.
~Adoption Tax Credit (contact your local IRS office): applies to domestic and international adoptions, but the procedure is not the same. Credit for expenses for international adoptions can be claimed only after finalization; for domestic adoptions, the credit can be applied even if the adoption does not go through.