Each year the state removes many children from their families based on allegations of neglect, abuse or abandonment. Sometimes the parents’ parental rights are terminated, and the child is deemed “freed for adoption”. Too often, however, children remain in foster care until reaching the age of majority and they never achieve the emotional security and stability of having a “forever family”. Although some children are adopted shortly after birth, the vast majority of children adopted through the public agency adoption process have been in foster care for an extended period of time before being adopted. Adoptive parents apply to the agency which provides them with the training required for them to successfully foster and/or adopt a child who may have experienced abuse or other trauma. Public agency adoption is attractive because there is little or no cost involved, there is an opportunity to adopt an older child (if desired), and the adoptive parents may be eligible to receive financial assistance (an adoption subsidy) if the child has special needs or meets the criteria of being “hard to place”. And — most important of all — you are providing a home to a child who is truly in need of a forever family.
How do I initiate the public agency adoption process?
Your County Department of Social Services can provide you with information regarding the procedure for becoming qualified as an adoptive parent.
What financial resources are available to adoptive parents who adopt through a public adoption agency?
You may be eligible to receive an adoption subsidy if you are open to the adoption of a child with “special needs” or a child designated as “hard to place” (which may be a function of the child’s age and the length of time the child has been in foster care). Placements made through County Social Service agencies are usually made without fees to the adoptive parents. Additionally, the adoptive parents may be eligible to receive an Adoption Tax Credit.
How can Rumbold & Seidelman help?
Rumbold & Seidelman can assist you in the following ways:
- Communicate with agency caseworkers and attorneys in an effort to expedite legal proceedings
- Counsel you regarding the complex legal proceedings
- Advocate on your behalf regarding your eligibility to receive an adoption subsidy
- Advocate on your behalf regarding your eligibility to receive background and medical information on your child
- Prepare and submit all required documentation and papers for the finalization of the adoption