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There are many different services available to adoptive parents. If there is a particular service you’re looking for information on and don’t see listed below, contact us and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.
- Adoption Tax Credit
- Adoption Subsidies and Financial Assistance
- Respite Care and Adoption Support Groups
- Training and Support on Parenting After Adoption
The adoption tax credit allows adoptive parents of children in foster care to deduct adoption expenses from their federal taxes such as necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, traveling expenses (including meals and lodging while away from home), and other expenses directly related to the legal adoption of an eligible child. All children in foster care under the responsibility of a Title IV-E agency, including all children photolisted on AdoptUSKids, are eligible for this tax credit.
An adoptive family can apply this credit toward their federal tax liability, meaning it can offset what they owe in federal taxes for the year but cannot increase the amount of a refund.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has more information and required forms for claiming the adoption tax credit.
States provide varying levels of financial assistance when adopting a child from foster care. Find out more about financial assistance that might be available to you by making use of Child Welfare Information Gateway resources below:
- Searchable database of adoption assistance by State
- State list of mental health service assistance programs
- State list of additional financial assistance for medical needs
- List of Web services that help you locate health care assistance
- Information on grants, loans, and tax credits for adoption
The National Resource Center for Adoption also has an archived two-hour webinar recording on Title IV-E adoption assistance that you might find useful. Please note this webinar was designed for child welfare professionals and that you need Internet Explorer to access it.
Respite care is the short-term care of a child in order to give the regular caregiver a break. Search for respite care where you live using the ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center’s national respite locator service.
If you can’t find a respite care opportunity where you live, learn more about how you can partner with public agencies to develop one by reading our publications:
- Creating and Sustaining Effective Respite Services: Lessons from the Field (PDF – 1MB) / En Español (PDF – 1.4 MB): This guide is intended to help States, Tribes, and parent support organizations understand the value of respite care in achieving improved outcomes for parents and youth, and build their capacity to sustain such programs after time-limited grants have ended.
- Taking a Break: Creating Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Respite In your Community (PDF – 2MB) / En Español (PDF – 1.4 MB): This publication is a step-by-step manual for developing a respite program, including sample forms that groups can use in the day-to-day operation of their programs.
Parent Support Groups
Parent support groups provide the opportunity to network, share, and learn from other adoptive parents who are experiencing or have experienced the same things as you. Use Child Welfare Information Gateway’s National Foster Care and Adoption Directory to search for parent support groups near you.
You can also connect and share with other adoptive parents and prospective parents through our online community.
Meeting many of the day-to-day emotional needs of a child you’ve adopted will be similar to meeting the needs of any child by providing unconditional reassurance, love, and support. However, there are additional things you’ll need to know to help a child you’ve adopted work through past traumas and loss. Child Welfare Information Gateway has a great list of resources for adoptive parents on:
- Helping adopted children cope with grief and loss
- General information on parenting after adoption
- Specific information on parenting after adoption from foster care
- A list of training opportunities for adoptive parents
If there’s particular service you’re looking for information on and don’t see listed above, contact us and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.