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  #1  
Old 08-22-2012, 02:27 PM
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feelingreyt feelingreyt is offline
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Stipends

First of all, I am NOT trying to start a debate. I am not trying to get flamed. I am just trying to understand.....I have wondered this for a long time and well, I am finally ready to bite the bullet and ask!

I know that foster children receive a stipend to help reimburse the fp for expenses they incur for taking care of the child. I also know that it's usually far below what the foster parent actually spends on the child. So I get it, I understand it. Definitely needed! I was a foster parent years ago and I completely agree that it's necessary!

But, what I don't understand is why some children that are perfectly HEALTHY continue to get the stipend AFTER they are adopted. Medical card, I understand, but a stipend to help pay for the childs basic needs? I just don't get it.

Just trying to see the reasoning behind it. Maybe since I adopted privately I see things differently. BUT, that being said, I just can't imagine getting a stipend for my son that happens to be adopted. He is just as much mine as my bios are and I sure don't get reimbursed for their care. And whether or not I got a monthly check for his care would NOT have been a determining factor in whether I adopted him or not.

SO why do HEALTHY children that are adopted continue to get a stipend? I don't believe it's because they wouldn't be adoptable otherwise....too many people want to adopt.

Just trying to understand
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  #2  
Old 08-22-2012, 03:04 PM
Jensboys Jensboys is offline
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The idea is that it allows families that otherwise would not be able to adopt due to financial constraints, the opportunity to adopt. The stipend is ONLY available for children adopted from the foster care system and only for those with some sort of "special need" (which can be race, age, or part of a sibling group). It is the idea that ANY family can be a great family for an adopted child, not just the rich, or those that can easily pay for sports, tutoring, medical needs of additional (even healthy) children.
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  #3  
Old 08-22-2012, 03:54 PM
DianeS DianeS is offline
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Children adopted from foster care must be considered to have some sort of "special need" in order for their parents to keep receiving the stipend after they adopt the children.

Each state has a list of what makes a child adopted from foster care get that designation.

Of course medical needs almost always count. But so do age, race, being adopted with siblings, in-utero drug/alcohol exposure, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, needing additional counseling, having a family history of medical/physical/mental issues that surface later in childhood, and a host of other issues.

In the state I used to live in, a child was considered to have a special need if he received ongoing health care above what the "average" child needed (physical/mental/emotional all count) , if he was over 8 years old, if he was a minority over age 3, if he was part of a sibling group where either was over age 5, if he was part of a sibling group of 3 or more children no matter their ages, if he was otherwise unlikely to be adopted without a stipend, or if he had been with the foster family who wished to adopt him for more than a year and that moving the child would make him qualify for a stipend.

Raising children that someone else has damaged early in their lives is expensive. Much more expensive than raising a child who was treated well in early life. Keeping those children in foster care is extremely expensive, and paying a stipend to the adoptive parents is much cheaper than keeping the children in foster care.

And as JensBoys said, adopting from foster care should not be reserved only for those who can afford to pay out of pocket for the child's special needs. Without a subsidy, I can't afford to raise a child with special needs. But because I have the emotional ability and physical support to raise a child with some special needs, the subsidy that will pay for their extra care makes it possible for me to adopt from foster care.

Hope that helps!
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  #4  
Old 08-22-2012, 04:59 PM
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Linny Linny is offline
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Just wanted to throw this out there......children/babies adopted privately are also granted subsidies...not just children/babies adopted from foster care.

Someone might have already mentioned this, but I wanted to add as well. Those adopted privately are now entitled to adoption subsidies if the child/baby has a dx'ed special need. And, sometimes, subsidies can be granted AFTER the adoption is finalized if the baby/child has been dx'ed or shown to have significant special needs.
Again, as the PP have mentioned, the subsidies are there for those who might otherwise have difficulty in the expenses of adoption and continuing specialized care.

Sincerely,

Linny
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  #5  
Old 08-22-2012, 05:12 PM
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in our case our outwardly healthy looking kids were granted an adoption subsidy because of Bubba's mental health issues (RAD, ADHD, PTSD), his issues with his foot (partial amputation), and because he and Flowergirl were both over 2 at the time. the issues coupled with their ages made them less adoptable.

the subsidy is in place to help them with expenses beyond what the average kid might need, things like specialized camps, respite, transportation to specialized therapies, even psychiatric care when you live here in East Podunk and no one wants your Medicaid, which they also got to offset their medical expenses. they also received the qualification for tuition to state universities and colleges.

and that Medicaid thing? don't know if it was a familial issue or an anomoly, but Flowergirl had oral surgery last Thanksgiving due to a 2-yr molar that embedded in her jaw. if the surgeon hadn't been so awesome, she might have had nerve damage. the subsidy would have allowed us to find the right person to help had that happened.

do i need the subsidy? not really. am i grateful for it? absolutely. it provides some of the extras that our kids need and might not be able to have otherwise. and that little surgery? it cost a little over $13K. between Medicaid and our insurance, we paid nothing. i would not have forgone it had we had no subsidy, but it would have left us with a bunch owing.

not every kid who looks "healthy" is. subsidies just make it easier.
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  #6  
Old 08-23-2012, 06:34 AM
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feelingreyt feelingreyt is offline
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Thanks so much ladies!

I can totally understand why special needs children get a subsidy....Thats why I said HEALTHY children. And I also know that healthy looking children can be special needs...so I get that, I really do.

My son was born exposed and I believe he has some long lasting effects from that exposure. He looks perfectly healthy and really is...his is mainly behavior problems....Is he special needs? I don't know, but it never occurred to me to ask for a subsidy. And we aren't rich, by the way, but we do meet our children's needs. Of course our situation is different, as ours is a relative adoption.

I was mainly asking about healthy children. Some people go from Dr to Dr trying to get a dx on their STAC so they can get a subsidy. Or literally beg DCS for one. I personally know someone who said she could not, would not, adopt her fc child without one. DCS did not back down, but the family adopted the child anyway...they were just trying to strong arm DCS into one because they knew some children qualified. That, I just don't understand!
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:02 AM
BestMomEver BestMomEver is offline
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I don't get it either. And I think you are being generous saying you get why they get medical care. I don't get that either. Its always been hard for me to swallow. My extremely special needs bio DD doesn't qualify for any of that stuff. I really do not think that subsidies for basically healthy young children increase adoption rates. And here completely healthy white adoptable children do get a subsidy.
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  #8  
Old 08-23-2012, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Jen
I don't get it either. And I think you are being generous saying you get why they get medical care. I don't get that either. Its always been hard for me to swallow. My extremely special needs bio DD doesn't qualify for any of that stuff. I really do not think that subsidies for basically healthy young children increase adoption rates. And here completely healthy white adoptable children do get a subsidy.

Glad I'm not the only one that doesn't get it!
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  #9  
Old 08-23-2012, 07:50 AM
Longing2bMom Longing2bMom is offline
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I don't get it either. I hate to admit that both of my perfectly healthy, caucasion, non-drug exposed children adopted as infants get adopton assistance including a monthly stipend, free medical, and WIC coupons. I could have never afforded to adopt once, let alone twice, without the adoption assistance. However, it is not supposed to be about helping me afford to adopt. It is supposed to be about helping find families for the children, and had I not adopted them, there are plenty of other families who would have without the assistance.

In my state, virtually all children adopted from foster care qualify based on "Adverse Parental Background" counting as a special need, but I can't help buy wonder how much more money would be available to help truly special needs kids if healthy kids like mine didn't qualify. That being said, I am so thankful that they do qualify because without it, they wouldn't be my kids.
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  #10  
Old 08-23-2012, 08:08 AM
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I am pretty sure in my state there are no subsidy payments for non-sn kids adopted from FC. But all kids do receive Medicaid (until adulthood) and free tuition to state college (the tuition at state college is relatively cheap though,,,it's the board, books, fees, etc. that cost so much).

My DH was shocked that we would get a monthly subsidy payment until we finalize any adoption from FC. He was like, "wait, they will pay US?!" It made me laugh. I was going to tell DCF we wouldn't take the subsidy, but heck, I feel the money could help any kid we foster until we adopt and it's really "theirs."
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:12 AM
loveajax loveajax is offline
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oh, one other thing....when we went thru MAPP, I started thinking of how much it costs (financially) the government when a kid is removed. each parent is entitled to a state lawyer. the parents receive free services. the kid usually has at least one SW assigned to the case, a GAL, therapists, EI, etc. etc. So perhaps it is a public policy thing (like the ATC) to encourage adoption to actually save money in the long run.
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  #12  
Old 08-23-2012, 09:11 AM
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feelingreyt feelingreyt is offline
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I am LOLing at love's dh!! Too funny

Let me say, when we fostered, I most definitely cashed that check I doubt very many people would foster without some reimbursement!


Love you made some very valid points about adoption being cheaper on the State than Foster Care. But think of how much more $$$ they would save if all they only gave a subsidy to truly special needs children. How much more $$$ they could put toward the Foster Care System to help the children that truly need it.....

I think it's great though that children adopted through Foster Care get free college tuition!

Longing, don't feel bad! I'm not trying to make anyone feel guilty for getting a stipend! Just trying to make sense out of it all
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:16 AM
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feeling, dh just read me an article about how a child watch organization will be starting a trial in Feb against our state's DCF. it is woefully underfunded. i wonder what the percentage of the budget is adoption subsidies? i don't know. my motto in these things is by not investing in children early, you will pay SOOO much more later on (in health care costs, special education, prison populations, etc.). it's a no-brainer, but kids, especially kids in foster care, have no political voice. my dh is all hot and bothered to "do" something....(I call him Ralph Nader Jr.), but not sure exactly what!!
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:18 AM
jmd5294 jmd5294 is offline
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In our county, many kids do not get an adoption subsidy that involves money every month. The prospective adoptive parents have to apply for it, and fill out PAGES and PAGES of information about why they feel the child needs a subsidy, and what they would use the subsidy money for. Many are denied.

However, I don't know of any kids adopted through our county who do not receive medicaid through their 18th birthday, so I guess that counts as "subsidy".

That being said, when you are fostering a child and getting a subsidy check each month for that child, it assists in raising the child's standard of living. For some families, who are living paycheck to paycheck, taking that check away would, in fact, make it superbly difficult to care for a child forever. I look at it as, the subsidy sometimes enables these kids to remain with the families they're bonded to, regardless of that family's income.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveajax
feeling, dh just read me an article about how a child watch organization will be starting a trial in Feb against our state's DCF. it is woefully underfunded. i wonder what the percentage of the budget is adoption subsidies? i don't know. my motto in these things is by not investing in children early, you will pay SOOO much more later on (in health care costs, special education, prison populations, etc.). it's a no-brainer, but kids, especially kids in foster care, have no political voice. my dh is all hot and bothered to "do" something....(I call him Ralph Nader Jr.), but not sure exactly what!!

Love, I would love to meet you and your hubby someday! You guys are amazing! Not mention that little sassy J My boys would so be fighting for her attention, lol

I wish we could help all the children in foster care! And I, too, wonder how much money is allotted for adoption subsidies!

IMHO, more money should be available for the children who need it! Ones that don't have a Mamma bear there protecting them, looking out for them, loving them fiercely. One who hasn't had the good fortune of being adopted by a loving family. One who needs special intervention to help break the cycle of abuse that they have endured! One who has to remain in foster care for a variety of reasons. I could go on and on.

Again, I want to make it clear: I was not saying foster children should not get a subsidy. I was not saying Special Needs children should not get a subsidy.
What I am saying is that it makes NO SENSE to me that healthy adopted children get an adoption subsidy. Seems like that money should go to the children who really need it....those that are in foster care!
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