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Adoption Subsidies

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Adoption subsidies, also known as Adoption Assistance Payments (AAP), are offered by all states to assist adoptive parents manage living and care costs for children with special needs adopted through the U.S. foster care system, and in some instances, adopted privately (domestic only). Federal subsidies are not available to children adopted internationally.

Each state sets its own subsidy rates, definition of "special needs," and process for negotiating and re-negotiating subsidy amounts, within the framework of the federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act. Yes - parents can negotiate prior to adoption and re-negotiate rates at later dates, depending on changing needs of their child.

Payments generally continue until a child reaches 18; however there are circumstances where they can be extended to age 21. If adoptive parents die, payments stop. They also stop if parents are no longer legally responsible for the child, as in the case of emancipation of a minor, a legal process in which the minor child becomes legally responsible for her/himself.

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