All post-adoption subsidies in Indiana are referred for negotiation. In Marion County, your case will be assigned to one of four attorneys who will probably begin by offering a minimal amount of support or nothing. How much you eventually are awarded will depend on the knowledge and skill of your personal adoption attorney. Details of the negotiating process are contained within Chapter Ten of the DCS Manual.
Before you begin negotiating, document in writing your family income, living expenses, indebtedness, and anything else you anticipate spending. Your monthly payment will be based upon financial need. So be prepared. You must show the DCS written proof that you need continuing support until your child reaches age 18.
The agreement reached will be final, with no opportunity for revisiting. That is why it is so important to do your research ahead of time. Be sure to sign the agreement, even if your award is zero. A signed agreement is important for continuing health care, attorney fees, and other related expenses
Your final monthly award may range all the way from zero to a high at the full amount of your most recent monthly per diem. In certain cases where you have adopted a child with special needs, you can have the adoption subsidy extended until age 21. Again you must document your need as your award will continue to be based upon financial need.
One final bit of advice. The monthly payments you will receive for your adopted child will be established in the negotiating process. Your new child deserves whatever additional support you can obtain. With your attorney, work for the best.