There are over 120,000 children in the U.S. foster system ready to be placed in permanent homes. Although these adoptions are often referred to as "public adoptions," they're also termed "free child adoption" due to the large amount of federal and state aid and reimbursements allocated to offset up to $2,000 in public adoption fees. This can include expenses such as attorneys, homestudies and travel costs. Free child adoption may also appeal to couples who want an older child and may not have the budget to adopt through a private agency or internationally, both of which can end up costing tens of thousands of dollars.
A free adoption is usually only free if a child has special needs, as many of the children in the foster system do. This means applying for Medicaid or Social Security Insurance to cover some of the adoptee's health care bills.
Free child adoption is something that can be negotiated with a public agency, which will familiarize an adoptive couple with state requirements and whether a child is eligible for medical aid through the Federal Title IV-E Adoption Assistance program or various loans, grants, Medicaid, Social Security Insurance, or State-awarded Title XX assistance.
Free child adoption may not be as free as it appears, though, and potential adoptive parents shouldn't be only attracted to the "price tag." A free child adoption is usually the most possible by adopting a foster child with special needs, meaning they may require more patience, time and medical aid than another adoptive child.
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