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Adopting a child with special needs in North Carolina

If you are considering adopting a child with special needs, you may qualify for adoption assistance. There are federal and state adoption assistance programs that are in place to help you meet your child's needs. Very often, these programs are dependent on the child's history, including in which state the child was in foster care prior to the adoption.

Special needs to determine eligibility

North Carolina determines if a child is special needs based on a varied range of circumstances that may cause a barrier to the child being adopted without financial assistance.

The qualifiers include being over six years of age or being two years or older and a member of a minority. Also used to determine eligibility is if the child has a medically diagnosed disability that requires professional treatment. Behavioral or emotional disorders that have been diagnosed by a professional can also allow a child to qualify for adoption assistance.

Adoption from a private agency

If the child meets certain criteria, he or she may still be eligible for assistance if you are adopting through a private agency instead of the county. The private agency must send documentation of the child's eligibility to the county in order to receive assistance.

Nonrecurring adoption expenses

In addition to continued health care assistance, you may also be eligible to receive reimbursement for adoption expenses up to $2,000. Expenses associated with the adoption typically include adoption fees, court costs, and attorneys' fees directly related to the legal adoption of the child.

Additional costs that may be included are medical examinations (physical and psychological) and travel expenses incurred during the process, and fees for both the adoptive home study and post-placement supervision.

Post-adoption services

Other post-adoption services that you may receive includes support group referral, advocacy, and respite care.

If you are considering adopting a child with special needs, it is important to know what kind of assistance you may be qualified to receive. For advice concerning adoption in North Carolina, contact an attorney experienced in family law.

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