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8.9 Adopters Guide to Financial Support

This chapter was added to the manual in February 2022.


  1. Policy and Purpose 
  2. Procedure
  3. Remuneration for Former Foster Carer
  4. Legal Costs in respect of the Adoption Order Application

1. Policy and Purpose 

Manx Care will exercise discretion when considering financial applications from adopters, in line with the child’s needs.

Currently, all Adoption Support Services provided (including financial support) are discretionary as the Isle of Man legislation does not specifically describe Adoption Support. The current duty is broadly described as follows, at clause 14 of the Adoption Act 1984:

It is the duty of the Department (now Manx Care) to establish and maintain a service designed to meet the needs in relation to adoption of:

  1. Children who have been or may be adopted;
  2. Parents and guardians of such children;
  3. Persons who have been adopted or may adopt a child.
And for that purpose to provide appropriate assessment, placing and counselling facilities or to secure that they are provided by approved adoption societies.

2. Procedure

Manx Care may provide financial support to an adoptive or prospective adoptive parent for the purposes of supporting the placement of the adopted child or the continuation of adoption arrangements after an Adoption Order is made. The circumstances where eligibility for a financial assessment are as follows:

  1. The complexities of the needs or circumstances of the particular child being adopted impose an additional financial responsibility upon the family that are outside those usual expenses anticipated by parents;
  2. If the adopters agree to adopt a sibling group, which impose additional financial responsibilities that the financial element of basic adoption assessment had not anticipated.

Adoptive parents are entitled to Adoption Leave, from the point of introductions with their child(ren) and will need to refer to their own employer’s policy regarding Adoption Leave and confirm their entitlement(s) with the Isle of Man Social Security Benefits Office.  

Prior to the Adoption Order being made final, the means tested allowance outcome will need to be presented to the Social Care Leadership meeting for approval, with overall sign off being the responsibility of the Assistant Director of Children and Families Social Work. Any financial support agreed will be based on the child’s needs only and written in to the matching criteria and Adoption Support Plan.

There is no role for the Adoption Panel to determine the financial support provided to prospective adopters. However, panel members can make a recommendation for the team to undertake an assessment of need.

Any financial support from Manx Care will be based on a means tested assessment of the adoptive parent(s) financial circumstances and will be agreed for the period of 1 year. Manx Care will use its mean test process to determine the level of financial support provided.

The Adoption Support Plan, which includes any financial support, will remain in place for a maximum of 3 years. Annually, the Adoption Support Plan will be revisited and may require a re-assessment of circumstances. This will be undertaken by Manx Care’s Finance Team. It will be required that the adoptive parent will provide the necessary information within 21 working days of the first request. Failure to do so, will result in the payments ending.

A re-assessment may be undertaken sooner, if the family experience a change in their income/circumstances. Significant changes that Manx Care must be made aware of include:

  • The child ceases to have a home with the adoptive parent;
  • The child ceases full time education and commences employment;
  • The child qualifies for income support or job seekers allowance on his own right;
  • The child marries;
  • The child dies.

Where the above changes occur, it will result in discontinuation of the allowance.

It is important that the adoptive parents make Manx Care aware of any such changes without delay, as a re-assessment will need to be undertaken and any over-payments will be recouped.

If a financial assessment was undertaken, but an allowance was not warranted and the family’s financial circumstances change adversely within the first 3 years, they should contact the Adoption Service for a re-assessment of need.

If the family have over £100k in savings or investments, they will be exempt from such support.

All regular adoption allowances will cease when the child reaches the age of 18 years.

After the Adoption Order has been granted, it is expected that adoptive parents should claim for all relevant benefits in respect of the child(ren), including Child Benefit, Disability Living Allowance and Employed Persons Allowance.

Financial support may be paid as a regular allowance, for up to 3 years. This support is provided to meet an assessed needs, which is likely to give rise to recurring expenditure. Otherwise, it may be paid as a single payment at the discretion of Manx Care.

Adoption Allowance agreements made prior to April 2020 will be unaffected by this policy. The terms of those arrangements made with adoptive parents will continue to be honoured, until they are reviewed or expire, as per correspondence/minutes containing the details of such.

3. Remuneration for Former Foster Carer

All procedures as above will apply equally to foster carers who put themselves forward, have been assessed and approved as prospective adopters.

At the point where the child is formally matched by Adoption Panel and agreed by the Agency Decision Maker (ADM), the placement becomes a pre-adoptive placement and foster care payments will cease. An Adoption Allowance may then be payable, upon assessment of the child’s needs and Adoption Allowance may then be payable, upon assessment of the child’s needs and criteria is met for financial support.

4. Legal Costs in respect of the Adoption Order Application

Manx Care will be responsible for covering the costs in respect of the Adoption Order Application.

Adopters are responsible for engaging their own legal representation and the firm should send any invoices directly to the adopters, who will then submit these to Manx Care.  

Manx Care expects adopters to use legal services judiciously. For example, ask for a quote upfront and do not arrange meetings and/or email/phone for ‘updates’ or with questions, that could wait until you  meet on planned occasions, so as to avoid unnecessary charges.

This will not be an open ended funding and it is expected that discussions will take place with the Family Placement Service and the Attorney General’s office, if the adoption application goes on longer than anticipated.