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Adoptive parents can get help for special needs child in Texas

Residents of Dallas, Texas, may be aware that in addition to federal government requirements for specific factors in determining whether a child can be legally adopted with or without financial assistance, various state governments have their own conditions that will determine if these adoptions meet the state's definition of "special needs".

According to Texas provisions, the eligibility criteria for an adoption assistance program funded by the state is that a child has already been determined to be a special needs child and that the care for that child is directed by a managing conservatorship under the jurisdiction of Texas.

Texas provisions state that a child will have to meet certain criteria to be declared a child with special needs. Specifically, a child must be less than 18 years of age at the time of signing the adoptive placement agreement and the Social Security Administration has determined that the child is eligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits and has met all medical or disability requirements.

Adoptive parents may receive the maximum monthly amount of $1,200 per child for non-recurring expenses. Adoptive parents may start getting payments and benefits under the adoption assistance program the month after the month in which the adoption placement is signed.

Unlike some U.S. states, Texas does not offer deferred adoption assistance; except where exceptional circumstances exist, the state will not agree to a deferred adoption assistance agreement. In a deferred adoption assistance agreement, adoptive parents can defer receipt of a Medicaid card or monthly monetary payment or both but are eligible to receive such benefits at another time.

There are provisions for making changes in the adoption assistance agreement and a review can be initiated at any time by either the adoptive parents or by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Source: ChildWelfare.gov, "Adoption assistance by state: Texas," Accessed on Oct. 31, 2014

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