Financial assistance

What financial help will I receive?

As with any parenting, you will be expected to meet the child's financial needs and will be eligible for the support available to all families. For example, you can apply for child benefit, family tax credit and disability living allowance, as appropriate.

Although you will be responsible for meeting the child's financial needs, additional financial support may be available to adoptive parents in certain circumstances, although allowances are means tested. These are provided depending on need, for example a child's age and complex behavioural and emotional needs may mean that we ask for the adoptive parent to stay at home for longer than their adoption leave allows and if required then we may support this with some financial assistance. All situations are unique to the child and adopters and are therefore individually assessed by the child's social worker. Any financial support plan must be approved by managers before the match is agreed.

If you have any financial concerns that may affect your ability to adopt, please discuss them with the social worker early on in your assessment or in a matching situation.

One-off payments

Buying everything an adopted child needs when they first join your family can be expensive. We may on some occasions seek to assist in some initial costs. We can also help with expenses incurred during the introduction period (for example,  travel costs and any overnight stays) up to an agreed limit. If it has been agreed that the child should have ongoing contact with someone from their birth family, we may also be able to help you meet the costs that this entails.

Ongoing financial support

If this is paid then it will be means-tested and reviewed annually. Such payments are legally viewed as 'non-profit making' and so are not taxable and will not affect benefits. They cannot be paid to duplicate any other benefits.

After an Adoption Order has been granted then any arrangements for financial support will continue to be assessed annually and will remain the responsibility of the local authority that placed the child with you.

You can ask for an assessment of adoption support needs at any time. For the first three years after the Adoption Order, this will be the responsibility of the local authority that placed the child with you. After this, the responsibility will move to the local authority in which you live.

You may also be entitled to:

Priority access to council housing
Discretionary housing payments whilst waiting for your child to be placed with you
Adoption leave and pay when your child is placed with you

Further information regarding the above can be found on the First4Adoption website.