Once a child is placed with an adoptive family, numerous services are available to assist the family and child throughout the adoption process (before and after finalization).
Adoption assistance is available to help families meet the "special needs" of their adopted child(ren). The Adoption Assistance Program allows many children the opportunity for a permanent home with families who could not financially afford to meet the child’s special needs. Children must meet specific criteria to qualify for adoption assistance.
- Monthly maintenance is a set monthly payment. The amount is negotiated between you and your worker. This amount is paid to you every month and does not change unless your child’s needs change or your circumstances change. The amount cannot exceed the foster care rate.
- Extraordinary medical expenses are only available for children who were placed for adoption by the cabinet. Assistance may be available for services related to your child’s special needs, which are not reimbursable through any other source. All other resources should be utilized before requesting reimbursement for these expenses through the extraordinary medical program (i.e., private insurance, medical card and community resources).
- Nonrecurring adoption expenses are a one-time reimbursement for expenses related to adopting a special needs child. The child must meet Kentucky’s definition of "special needs" and a reasonable effort made to place the child without adoption assistance. This could include attorney fees and court costs for finalization or travel expenses during visitation, etc.
A Kentucky Medical Assistance Card is generally available for all children who have an adoption assistance agreement.
Parents adopting special needs children are eligible for respite care services.
Professional Support and Guidance
Adoption specialists with the Department for Community Based Services are available across the state to assist families with adoption issues at any time, both before and after the adoption is finalized.
Adoption Support Groups
Support groups for adoptive families are available in various locations throughout the state. The families in these groups meet regularly to provide support and encouragement to one another. Once you adopt, or even before you adopt, you can become involved in a support group. The Recruitment and Certification worker in your county can provide you with information about a support group in your area.
Adoption Support Network
The Adoption Support Network pairs experienced adoptive parents with those who are considering adoption or those who have recently adopted. The local DCBS staff can match them with experienced adoptive parents, who will provide support.
Training and Conferences
Adoptive parents are offered the opportunity to attend ongoing training on topics related to adoption and foster care. These trainings are provided at various locations across the state.
Some unique support services are offered to Kentucky adoptive parents of special needs children. Wednesday’s Child, Inc., and Thursday’s Child, Inc., are two separate groups of community leaders who support and advocate for adoptive families by fund raising and initiating community projects. "Recharge," sponsored by Thursday’s Child, Inc., and "Parent’s Weekend," sponsored by Wednesday’s Child have provided an educational opportunity for parents. Adoptive parents have the opportunity to meet and talk with one another and attend workshops that educate and provide information to help meet the challenges of parenting the adoptive child.
To learn more about these or other support activities you can contact the Special Needs Adoption Program at (800) 928-4303.