Adoption

Adoption

Are you interested in becoming an Adoptive Parent?

 What is adoption? Adoption provides a permanent home for children who cannot return to their family home.  Many of the children in foster care have experienced some form of trauma, Iredell County DSS encourages all prospective adoptive parents to undergo trauma-informed training to understand the effects of trauma and how to help these children heal.   

When a child/ren enter Iredell County’s physical and legal custody, the primary plan is for the child to be reunified with their birth parents and/or biological family members. If the child cannot be reunited with their birth family, the Courts will amend the child’s permanency plan to either guardianship, custody, or adoption. If the child’s permanency plan changes to adoption, the Social Worker will work diligently to locate the most appropriate adoptive family for the child. 


Adoption Requirements:

  • Adoptive Applicants must be at least 18 to become an adoptive parent;
  • Adoptive Applicants can adopt if they’re single, married, divorced or widowed; own or rent; have parenting experience or none at all; already have children in your home or not;
  • All Adoptive applicants have to be finger printed and have criminal record checks completed.

 

Steps to Becoming an Adoptive Parent

Individuals interested in adoption, need to have a Pre-Placement Assessment (PPA). This process involves a thorough assessment and mutual selection process that includes home visits, interviews, and criminal background checks. PPA’s must be updated every 18 months or when a significant change happens within the household.

Adoption Related Fees: The cost of the PPA is $1300.00, for individuals not licensed as foster parents with Iredell County DSS.  In addition to the PPA, the Report to the Court fee is $200.00, per child. 

Woman with baby

If you’re a licensed foster parent with Iredell County DSS, there are no adoption related expenses for the PPA or the Report to the Court.


Post Adoption Services

Iredell County DSS is committed to providing supportive services to adoptive families and the adoptee. Post adoption services are geared towards helping the adoptee overcome any concerns that may arise from their experiences with adoption.

Iredell County DSS also partners with the private agency contracted by North Carolina to provide regional post-adoption support services. 

Post Adoption Services Include the Following:

Support Group (contact us to learn more)

Continuation of monthly stipends and Medicaid benefits

Adoption subsidies and financial assistance - Adoption assistance offers ongoing monthly financial support for children who were adopted from foster care, and qualify based on the adoption assistance eligibility checklist. 

Please contact your child’s adoption assistance social worker immediately, in writing, should the following occur:

  1. Any address change so that receipt of benefits will not be delayed; 
  2. If the adoptive parents are no longer legally responsible for the care and custody of the child or are no longer providing financial support for the child;
  3. Changes in Adoption Assistance payments. 

Adoption tax credits - Adoptive Parent(s) may qualify for the Adoption Tax Credit if eligible expenses were paid related to the adoption of youth in foster care. Adoptive Parent(s) may contact a tax preparer or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at 1-800-829-1040 or via the IRS website at: http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html.

Medicaid Coverage - Most children adopted from foster care are eligible for Adoption Assistance Medicaid.
Other Post-Adoption Services Include:

  • Respite Care
  • Review of Medical Histories
  • Assistance navigating the challenges due to early experiences and/or the effects of early childhood trauma 
  • Confidential Intermediary Services 
  • Counseling Regarding Adoption Issues for Adoptees, Adoptive Families, and Birth Parents
  • Information & Referrals

 

familyIn the end, adoption is a lifelong experience for the adoptee and the family as a whole. In any family it is normal to have challenges; however, post adoption support is there to undergird those challenges through guidance and needed support. If you are in need of post adoption support, please contact us at 704-873-5631, and request the “Adoption Unit.”


 For more information about Adoption & Post Adoption Support, please complete the inquiry form below: