Every child deserves a loving home with people who can look after all their needs. But for some, those needs require special care and attention. “Special needs” adoption can mean a variety of different things. Today, we cover important information those considering adoption should know about special needs adoption.
What is considered a “special needs adoption?”
“Special needs” has an expansive definition in the context of adoption. As we discussed in a previous post, children who are part of a sibling group may be labeled as a special needs adoption.
In Florida, other criteria that might lead to this label include:
- Mental or physical disabilities
- Strong emotional ties to foster parents or a relative who cares for them
- Being older than eight years old
- Developmental issues
- Medical conditions
Many children adopted from foster care fall into one of these categories. In general, the “special needs” label usually means the child qualifies for an adoption subsidy, rather than indicating they have a disability.
Adopted children with special needs may qualify for state subsidies
Children who qualify as having “special needs” under Florida Statutes §409.166 can receive financial assistance from the state. Some of these benefits include:
- A monthly assistance payment
- Medicaid assistance
- Tuition exemptions
An adoptive parent can also receive reimbursement of up to $1,000 for non-recurring expenses relating to the adoption.
What adoptive parents should consider
Any adoptive child needs special care and attention to adjust to their new life. Parents considering adopting a child with special needs should think about:
- Their financial resources, especially health insurance
- Whether their school district could support the child’s needs
- What disabilities they are prepared to handle
- Whether they are comfortable taking in an older child
Answering these questions requires much thought, and careful guidance. By consulting with a Florida adoption attorney, prospective parents can feel better prepared to care for a child with special needs.