Finding and Using Postadoption Services: Paying for Postadoption Services

This information was taken directly from Child Welfare Information Gateway

Paying for Postadoption Services

While many postadoption services are not free of charge, there may be some assistance available for some adoptive families.

Federal and State adoption assistance for children adopted from a public agency. Many children adopted from public agencies qualify for adoption assistance (subsidies), which can often be used to purchase postadoption services. An adoption assistance agreement should spell out the types of postadoption services (such as respite care or counseling) that will be reimbursed. State assistance may cover expenses not covered by Federal programs, particularly medical assistance (Medicaid); direct payments to meet a child’s special physical, mental, or emotional needs; and emergency assistance. Eligibility requirements vary by State. For more information, visit

Health and mental health care benefits. Families with an adoption assistance agreement may be able to access Medicaid to cover certain health and mental health needs. In addition, some health insurance companies and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) also may offer benefits that can be used for postadoption health or mental health services. Adoptive parents can check on their particular coverage with their insurance provider. Families must choose to use either Medicaid or their private health insurance, but not both. For more information, see

Employer-supported benefits. Some companies may provide employer benefits, such as information resources or referrals, and financial reimbursement for adoption- related activities. For more information, see Employer-Provided Adoption Benefits at

Conference, seminar, and educational event fees. Scholarships are sometimes available to help with the cost of attending adoption conferences and seminars. States may offer postadoption funding, particularly for families who adopted through public agencies. To find out about available support, parents can check with organizers about scholarship opportunities or contact their State Postadoption Services Contact. For contact information, search the National Foster Care & Adoption Directory, http://, and check State Foster Care and Adoption Officials.

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The original (2006) version of this factsheet was developed by Child Welfare Information Gateway, in partnership with Susan Frievalds. This update is made possible by the Children’s Bureau, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The conclusions discussed here are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not represent the official views or policies of the funding agency, nor does the funding agency endorse the products or organizations mentioned in this factsheet.


Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2012). Finding and using postadoption services. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau.