Assessing the Field of Post-Adoption Services: Family Needs, Program Models, and Evaluation Issues. Analysis of Secondary Data. CLAS Participants' Responses to Open-Ended Questions about Adoption Costs and Subsidies

11/01/2002

My daughter has been in specialized schools, $3400/month (8/1990-6/1992). Ran away 7/92. Foster care 9/92-5/96. Ran away numerous times.
My adoption daughter is a teen now and has many needs nearing adulthood. The AAP really makes the difference in setting some of the standards of living she enjoys, thus giving her a stronger feeling of well being and confidence in moving forward as an adult. Her wishes are to be a social worker for CPS or adoptions, or such like fields. (We did good HA!)
Right now, we are looking into a school for Adrienne, which will get her out of our home, at least temporarily. Ideally we want something that will address her attachment problem and give us some respite, but even if we can't find anything for her specifically, we do intend to send her to boarding school. She is making life miserable here.
It seems if you do not make a good living it is hard to adopt. I feel this is very unfair, the more income you have the easier it is to adopt.
The families are being stressed by agencies in our local. They are being denied placements if they need AAP and payments are being reduced against the family wishes. This is causing some kids to remain in the long-term foster care instead of adoption. Also, some families in our area are breaking up. And our county has the highest rate of failed adoption in the state.
The foster care grant we originally received really helped. We are not "overly wealthy" and when Karina was a baby the AAP subsidy helped to pay 2/3 of the cost of her childcare. We continue to need and use the money to provide a better life for our daughter. Some of her medical costs we pay with this money. We also used it to pay costs of preschool and the school that she now attends. During the summer we use the money to send her to Y camp. Without this money we would not be able to afford these extras.
It costs a lot more than what the AAP gives you to help out when children have problems.
My insurance does not cover counseling, nor does my husbands. So AAP comes in very handy.
We greatly desired to adopt children and did so not even knowing AAP was available, but what a wonderful help it has been to us and we are very grateful. It would be a great struggle to provide some of these things without AAP.
I feel I should be receiving AAP, feel distressed not. My daughter is diagnosed with FAS/ADHD and I can no longer work full time and maintain the family. The money would help but apparently we do not qualify due to it being a private adoption. We do not feel this is fair.
Adoption assistance was granted to us because Jeff has a neurological disorder that requires monitoring on a regular basis.
The AAP helped us tremendously.
The aid to adopt helps a lot. With more we could get many new clothes instead of thrift clothes, and good counseling.
The aid to adopt helps tremendously for educational materials. If it were higher he could have his own room, have some privacy to do homework.
The AAP subsidy has been invaluable to us. Without it, we could never have provided the needed counseling. It has also come in handy recently to pay legal fees and juvenile hall bills. I would never ask someone to adopt a special needs child without these funds being available.
Perhaps as for your next survey you might want to include gas or travel expenses. As to having adopted a drug-affected child, there are many hidden costs in terms to traveling to doctors and other professionals to deal with the needs of your child. Our son's physicians to deal with his emotional problems are 2hrs and 100 miles from where we live. We have spent traveling back and forth to doctors' appointments.
We used the AAP for some dental work that insurance doesn't cover. Also for 4th grade he went to a special reading clinic everyday because of a learning disability. It's not covered through the school so we had to pay for it. We know there will be plenty more dental work but hope our insurance covers most of it. We will continue to keep the Medi-Cal card for eyeglasses and counseling as needed.
I have received AAP; I am not sure what it is. Other than when the children were in foster care with me waiting to adopt, we haven't received any outside money or help.
I consider my AAP as my son's child support had I been married to his father and divorced. I asked for an additional $50.00 per month for his braces and $50.00 per month for tutoring. I was denied help for the braces (I did it on my own) but was granted $50.00 for his tutoring. However, when I went to get him help it was going to cost around $200-250 per month and I couldn't afford it. My son's teeth were pretty bad (he had to have two oral surgeries). Even though I had a strain on my budget, I made the sacrifice. My insurance covered 50% I had to cover the rest. I work in the teaching profession and have been helped by many wonderful teachers. My son and I are very blessed.
Very satisfied, I do hate the annual reviews, however necessary they are.
The adoption subsidy has been very helpful because he has required more participation in activities (sports, etc.) to help with behavior that seems linked to his drug exposure prior to birth.
AAP was not enough to cover all tutoring needed. We had to limit tutoring.
Julie was considered hard to adopt because of having been placed in previous foster care placements, and possible speech problems. We were given $500 at the time of adoption. Considering that all of the "problems" were unfounded. Julie is in a gifted program at school, and her ITAS scores are in the high 90's, I have no idea why we were given the money.
Dental care was difficult to obtain; we just paid out of pocket.
I do not feel adoptive families should be treated negatively. Although we are getting by, AAP would be very welcome and allow us to do more for our child. I know that some families get large amounts for "hard to place" healthy children. We got $294 a month when we did get AAP. Piano lessons are costly, but she so wanted them that we are cutting corners in other ways. Our guardianship son is costing us $111.10 a month for orthodontic work and we have no aid for him. We are hoping Stephanie won't need work; however, the doctor is watching because there is some indication it might be needed. Fortunately, she has been a healthy child. And has had lots of nice "hand me downs," so shoes, underwear, and coats have been are largest costs to date for clothing.
It breaks my heart that Brandi requires $0 for social activities and fun things in life. She is a medical/psychological catastrophe at this point requiring more money in help than we can afford to give her. She no longer wants/needs parents, she requires a staff of professionals.
I appreciated the county help, but we did not demand it.
AAP was an unexpected source of money when we adopted our first child, but it can mean the difference of having an enriching childhood for the children or "just getting by." We have set some of the AAP aside to help with college costs or a car purchase when they grow up.
The AAP really helps us with the extras.
The cost of this child's adoption was very expensive because we needed to retain an attorney to represent us in litigation regarding the child.
It's very important especially if you adopt older children or siblings. I couldn't have afforded the five kids we adopted even if I hadn't wanted to split them up. I think if it weren't available most siblings would get split up only because people couldn't afford them. The mediCal is vital.
Counseling is required and it is expensive. Private insurance does an inadequate job at providing enough coverage of this expense.
I do not think our relationships would be so great without the AAP subsidy. The ability for me to sty home and devote myself as a full time mother and the many challenges has been a Godsend. My children are fabulous, bright brilliant, and happy. But it has taken a lot of effort, time, energy, money, and commitment. Without the subsidy we couldn't provide a quality home life.
For what adoptive parents go through, emotionally, physically, and psychologically as a result of adopting an older child from an abusive background, the money that is given is hardly enough. But, when you look at it as a commitment to simply helping someone, of taking a child into and giving them another chance at life, then the money isn't even an issue. I do wish there were a program that could help the "adult" adoptees with therapy and counseling. Our adopted son still needs help with issues that are coming up. And pushing old buttons for him. He still has problems with relationships now that he is dating and with taking responsibilities for his own life and making decisions. He still has problems with bonding, with communication, with changes, with self-esteem and even sexual dysfunction. I try to counsel him as much as I know how, and give him books to read and direct him to others that may be able to relate but he still needs real therapy and we can't afford it. And neither can he. If the Marines knew he needed psychological help they would not let him re-enlist.
We ate $250 worth of counseling bills and had to stop for lack of funding in 94-95. Medical denied payment, as did HMO. Eventually we applied through adoption assistance to get increased funding. It came through.
By accepting and receiving AAP has enabled me to be a full time Mom of the beginning and even now, I only work part-time. I feel this is very important for the child to feel secure.
We tried to get some help with psychiatrist bills for psychotherapy for Donald, but were turned down. Our insurance pays 50%.
I changed jobs in 1995. My new insurance would not cover any pre existing illnesses. My son has been receiving care for attention def. And hyperactivity and depression since age seven. He was hospitalized under my prior insurance the beginning of June 95. This child is very destructive and lacks control over his impulses.
Medi-Cal should cover early orthodontics when recommended by dentists or orthodontist. Would save more money in the long run by reducing more orthodontists and dental work a few years later.
Qualified psychologists who have experience dealing with adopted (late) children are rare and very expensive i.e. $125 per hour. Reasonable resources need to be available to adopted parents.
I am glad we receive the $400 a month because Michael receives counseling on and of special services not covered by insurance and this really helps us out.
I think funding for counseling should be provided b/c there are not a lot of good medical psychologists and my insurance only covers $20.00 per visit. These kids really need "outside" help and adoptive parents need that support too. The adoption did not cost us any money since we took special need siblings.
The subsidies for health problems should go up with age as medical covers less and less.
They have been a blessing.
Always need more money.
La county reimbursed me the agency fee and the legal fee I paid to adopt my son. I started a savings account with that small amount of money for him.
Our daughter's residential care would not be possible without AAP county mental health funds. It is running over $45,000 a year. The residential care saved our daughter's life.
Other than the counseling expenses I do not believe we need any more favor expenses for our children than any other family does for natural children.
We spent $8,000 for two years (pre-school and kindergarten) for a special school to work with Matthew's ADHD until he was old enough for appropriate medicine. Until he could be medically treated, mainstream schools were very unsuccessful.
I need the subsidy because Ricky's psychiatric problems are not coverable by regular insurance.
Without AAP I would not have been able to provide special activity.

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