The Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions provides Adoption Assistance Grants to eligible Medical Plan members to help pay for a portion of adoption-related expenses, ranging from medical expenses not reimbursed by the Medical Plan to adoption agency and attorney fees.
A portion of the funding for these grants comes from Relief of Conscience funds.
To qualify for an Adoption Assistance Grant, at the time of the adoption
- you must be employed by a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation, mid council, agency, or affiliated organization;
- you and your adopted child must be enrolled for coverage in the Medical Plan; and
- the adopted child must be a dependent under age 21.
Grants are $3,000 per adopted child.
How to receive a grant
Notify the Board of a completed adoption by calling 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN). You will be asked to add your child as a dependent in the Medical Plan (using Benefits Connect) if you have not already done so. You also will be asked to provide the following documentation of the adoption, which the Board must receive before a grant can be provided.
- Domestic adoption: a copy of the final adoption decree
- International adoption: copies of the final adoption decree and the child's passport or written permission to remove the child from his or her native country
Eligible individuals whose adoption expenses exceed available government tax credits and the Adoption Assistance Grant may request a Shared Grant from their presbytery or PC(USA)-affiliated employer. The funds for these grants typically are split 50/50 between the mid council or employer and the Board of Pensions. Shared Grants for adoption expenses are granted at the discretion of the mid council in consultation with the Board of Pensions.
Medical exams for adopted children from other countries
Medical Plan members who are covered by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and adopt children from outside the United States can take advantage of a provision designed to meet the unique health needs of children from other countries. This benefit is available for children through 18 years of age. See Preventive Health Recommendations for Internationally Adopted Children.
For more information, call the Assistance team of the Board of Pension at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN).