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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 128311
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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Family lawyer. I have a 5 year old pre-adoptive child in my

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This question is for a family lawyer. I have a 5 year old pre-adoptive child in my home from the State of Georgia foster care system. I am her 5th placement in 3 years. This week, she received a diagnosis of Reactive Attachment Disorder and Trauma. These are mental disorders. On the outside, the child looks perfect but she has maladaptive psychological behaviors. Since the child has been with me for 6 months, I am getting pressure to move forward with adopting her. Beyond the black and white (adopt vs not adopt), what are my options? Also, how does this impact the adoption assistance she would be eligible to received. The child qualifies since she's been in the system for longer than 2 year. The caseworker said that can only offer the minimum. However, with this diagnosis, will that change the amount?

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

You really do not have any options other than adopt or not adopt. If you do not adopt, you can continue being a foster parent until they decide to move the child, which is up to the state. If you adopt, the adoption assistance payments in GA are between $441 and $487 per month (roughly) based on the age of the child. She is right on the verge of $441 and $464 a month. She also gets medicaid. There is no other assistance and she gets nothing additional for the diagnosis, you would get this because she is considered special needs.

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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks for the response. Is there any way that I can get written in the adoption agreement that if she needs a residential treatment facility that they will cover any difference not cover by medicaid in the future?

Thank you for your reply.

The state will not agree to that I am afraid. The state cannot even commit to something like that, their budgets are restricted to the social welfare programs available under the law, which would be medicaid and medicare programs and the adoption assistance programs.

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