Benefits for Adopting an Older Youth

Youth 13 years and Older

Health and Mental Health

• Teenage youth adopted from foster care generally qualify for Medicaid coverage to age 18.

• Medicaid covers medical, dental and mental health services.

• Medicaid can transfer to any other state in the United States.

Financial Adoption Monthly Subsidy

• Monthly financial subsidy is based on the youth’s needs and helps with the costs of raising a teenager. It is generally less than the amount paid for youth in foster care.

Post-Secondary Education

• Youth adopted at age 13 years and older are eligible for federal Pell grants that pay tuition expenses, and often for books or other expenses. Application for FAFSA (Federal Assistance for Financial Student Aid, i.e., Pell grant) will be based on the student’s own income. They do not have to disclose their adoptive parent’s income. (Pell grants are based on income eligibility and disbursed through the financial aid office of the college or training institute. The Pell grant pays tuition expenses, and if there is any left over, it is disbursed to the student for books or other expenses.

Youth 15 years and Older

Adopting a youth 15 years old and older could have all the benefits of adopting a youth 13 years and older plus…

Transition to Adult Living Services

• Basic Life Skills classes – the same that are available for youth in foster care. Classes are geared for youth ages 16 or 17. Classes are dependent on availability (adopted youth do not qualify for the financial incentives). Contact the Transition to Adult Living person in the region in which you reside.

Post-Secondary Education

• Youth adopted at age 15 years old or older who have received 12 months of Transition to Adult Living services while in foster care may be eligible to receive federal Education Training Vouchers, depending on the family’s assets, to help with the cost of post secondary education until they are 21 years old.

 To be eligible, the youth needs to:

  • Graduate from high school or get a GED;
  • Qualify for Workforce Investment Act (WIA), and
  • Be accepted into college or a vocational training program.