Adoption Assistance


What is Adoption Assistance?
Adoption assistance programs provide financial support to help families meet the needs of their children adopted from foster care (and in rare cases those adopted through private actions). There are several types of adoption assistance including monthly subsidy, nonrecurring costs, and supplemental benefits for medical assistance.

Monthly subsidy:
Parents of children who are considered to have special needs and who are adopted through DSS will receive a monthly subsidy payment beginning at the time the child is placed in their home and continuing until the child is 18 and may continue until 21 if the child is in school full time or unable to attend school due to disability. This monthly subsidy amount is negotiated between the agency and the adoptive family and cannot exceed what the child would receive in foster care.  In some rare cases, children who were adopted privately may qualify for monthly subsidy.  For families who wish to receive their subsidy via direct deposit please read carefully and complete form 1105 and return to the address provided.

Nonrecurring costs:
DSS will reimburse adoptive families up to $1500 per child for legal fees and certain other expenses related to the adoption of their child(ren). Children who are adopted privately may be eligible for this reimbursement as long as they meet the agency’s definition of special needs and have an adoption subsidy agreement signed prior to the finalization of their adoption. Linked below, please find important documents related to non-recurring costs.


Informative Brochure on Nonrecurring Costs

Nonrecurring Cost Email

Nonrecurring Reimbursement Application


Supplemental Benefits for Medical Assistance:
Supplemental benefits for medical assistance (SBMA) is available to assist families in meeting children’s physical, mental, and psychological needs that existed before the adoption finalized. This amount is negotiated between the agency and the family. These benefits are meant to cover expenses that are not covered by private insurance, Medicaid, or other resources. Certain treatments and procedures such as orthodontics and “alternative” medical treatments are not covered. Up to $500 of SBMA funds can be used per authorization year (one year following signing of adoption subsidy agreement) for respite care.  Parents who would like to submit a request for reimbursement please read carefully and complete form 30129 and return to the address provided.

Child Welfare Services Transformation

Best Outcomes for Children and Families

Do you have a complaint regarding services being provided to a child by a state agency? Please submit your complaint by phone (1-800-206-1957) or an electronic submission form here with the South Carolina Department of Children's Advocacy.