Some time ago, I got a note on a blog post from a family considering the legal risk placement of a sibling group of four. She wondered how on earth we “make ends meet.” Do my husband and I both work, or are we independently wealthy? Well, neither, and my hubby earns a median income.
I told the inquirers about the benefits that can be available in Texas to prospective adoptive families, particularly if you adopt a sibling group or special needs child(ren). In our case, since they were a sibling group of three and a single income family, they were awarded a small monthly stipend plus Medicaid to age 18, which includes full medical, dental, psychological, vision, and hearing benefits. And in case you’re wondering, our Medicaid-funded children get the same or BETTER medical care than our conventionally insured kids! In addition, all children who have ever been in state conservator-ship (foster care) in Texas are eligible for a free college education at any state school and are also eligible for free Pre-K. Both of these mattered to us in our decision making as education is expensive and would have delayed my husband’s retirement by many years.
Some information may be available on your state’s Department of Family and Protective Services website. It is not always straightforward, so your best bet is to talk to your Child Placing Agency or CPS liaison and other adoptive parents to see what benefits kids in your area have received. In our case, a friend with two adopted special needs kids was great about helping me navigate the maze of paperwork to make sure our kids got their benefits.
As to my blog commenter, she was completely unaware such benefits might exist and began to do the research in her own state. She discovered the state would help them with a stipend for each of the four for medical and other benefits.
It is challenging at times to support a family of seven. But we are eating great and still traveling– most of our worries are logistical more than monetary! Before deciding you can’t afford to adopt a special needs child or sibling group. See what help you can get. It may be more than you think!