Gov. Bevin Announces Enhanced Adoption Benefit Program to Encourage Adoption, Help Children Find Their Forever Homes

Governor, Personnel Cabinet increase reimbursements, stipends for state workers who adopt

Media Contact: Nicole Burton

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct 25, 2019) – In a video, Gov. Matt Bevin joined the Personnel Cabinet and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) to announce increases to the state Adoption Benefit Program aimed at lowering the number of children in Kentucky’s foster care system and aiding state employees with the financial costs of adoption.

For the first time in the history of the program, employees will have the option of a stipend and/or reimbursement, based on the needs of the family. State employees who adopt may now receive up to $5,000 for a standard adoption and up to $7,000 if the child is certified by CHFS as having special needs. These changes represent a $2,000 increase in the amounts available to employees who adopt. 

“Although the state adoption reimbursement program has been in place since 1998, it’s never been increased to reflect the current expenses and needs of adoptive families,” said Gov. Bevin. “The updates to the Adoption Benefit Program will support our hardworking public employees in their adoption journey, while also helping more children find their forever homes with Kentucky families.”

Kentucky currently has 10,000 children in the foster care system, and hundreds of those children are ready to be adopted. “We want Kentucky to be one of the most adoption-friendly states in the country,” Personnel Cabinet Secretary Thomas B. Stephens said. “This much needed update allows the Commonwealth to further promote adoption among our state employees and better support them through a combination of reimbursements and a stipend.”

Reimbursable expenses include licensed adoption agency fees, legal fees, medical costs (not paid by insurance, Medicaid, or other available resources), court costs, or any other reasonable fees or costs associated with the legal adoption of a child.

“This important upgrade to the adoption benefit represents an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to helping children in our system find forever homes,” CHFS Cabinet Secretary Adam Meier said. “We are confident that these changes to the program will promote awareness about adoption in our state and encourage state employees to consider adoption.”

State employees who wish to apply for the program should send their applications to the benefits coordinator at the Personnel Cabinet. More information on applying is available here.