Several hundred Illinois children are waiting to be adopted and residents of Lake County, Illinois, could be lucky enough to become parents to these children who currently live in foster homes, group homes or residential centers throughout the state. Illinois citizens can help ensure that these children get a chance to grow up in a loving family environment by opening their homes and becoming adoptive parents to one of these children.
Illinois state agencies are doing all they can to encourage adoption by decreasing the waiting period for adopting a child. The Department of Central Management Services runs one of the state’s adoption benefit programs aimed at encouraging adoption. Currently, this program is targeting state employees as potential parents so children who have been waiting a long time to be part of family can finally realize this desire. Under this program, adoption expenses are reimbursed to eligible employees and greater benefits for adopting can be experienced.
This program is targeting these categories of adoptees:
- Children who are age 3 or older and Caucasian children who are age 11 or older, or
- Children who have been diagnosed with specific mental, physical or emotional disability, or
- Children who are to be adopted brothers and sisters, or
- Children from foreign countries age 3 three and older.
Any state employee who is eligible for benefits under the State Employees Group Insurance Program is eligible for adoption benefits. In the event both husband and wife are state employees, only one adoption benefit is available per child. An employee will become eligible for reimbursement after the adoption becomes final and the employee must request reimbursement within a year of the finalization of the adoption.
Adoption charges eligible for reimbursement include attorney fees, court fees and adoption agency fees, among others, and an employee must present receipts for all eligible expenses. Under this program, there will be no reimbursement if expenses are for adopting stepchildren or children related to either parent.
Source: Illinois.gov, ” Adoption Benefit Program,” Accessed on Jan. 7, 2015