Subsidy & Fees
In Pennsylvania, the The Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) pays most of the fees associated with the home study and placement of children from within the state. That means the adoption process could literally cost you nothing! There may be minimal costs such as completing or updating your child abuse, FBI and criminal background clearances, having a medical examination by your physician and filing fees for obtaining a social security card and new birth certificate for the adopted child.
WHAT IS ADOPTION ASSISTANCE?
Families, who have the willingness and dedication to adopt eligible special needs children through SWAN, are provided with financial help and other benefits through the Adoption Assistance Program (also known as adoption subsidies).
The Adoption Assistance Program recognizes that adoptive families that commit to adopting special needs children may encounter challenges in the surrounding areas of medical, psychological or educational. Therefore, there is a need for some assistance to take on the extra costs associated with adopting and raising these children.
WHO FUNDS ADOPTION ASSISTANCE?
The federal, state and county governments share in the costs associated with adoption assistance. The funding comes from the following areas:
1. Title IV-E of the Social Security Act
2. State needs - based funding
3. County Revenues
WHO DETERMINES A CHILD'S ELIGIBILTY?
Each county agency of children and youth services determines a child's eligibility. Once a child becomes adopted, all adoption assistance checks are issued to the adoptive families by the county agency of children and youth services.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR ADOPTION ASSISTANCE?
In order to qualify for adoption assistance in Pennsylvania, a waiting child must meet the following requirements:
- The child must be under 18 years of age.
- The parental rights have been terminated under the conditions of the PA adoption law.
- The child is in the legal custody of a county agency of children and youth services or
another agency licensed by the state.
In addition, the child must have at least one of the following characteristics:
- A physical, mental or emotional condition or handicap.
- A genetic condition which indicates a high risk of developing a disease or handicap.
- Be a member of a minority group.
- Be a member of a sibling group.
- Be five years of age or older.