Adoption & Guardianship
What are Adoption& Guardianship Subsidies?
Subsidies are financial assistance to families who need assistance
in order to make a long term commitment to a child with special needs.
Special needs, which must be documented by a professional, are defined
in law to mean: "physical or mental disability, emotional disturbance,
recognized high risk of physical or mental disease, membership in a sibling
group, racial or ethnic factors, or any combination thereof."
Prospective adoptive parents and guardians must be evaluated through
an adoptive home study or a guardianship study. Then, a OCS Permanency
Planning Conference team determines if eligibility criteria for a subsidy
has been met.
Families must apply and be approved for a subsidy before an adoption
or a guardianship is finalized.
Subsidy agreements are developed jointly with the prospective adoptive
parents or guardians and OCS, and must be based on the needs of the
child. They are binding contracts that OCS cannot modify unless the
family agrees or the terms of the agreement are violated.
The amount of the subsidy cannot exceed the existing amount for foster
A reimbursement of no more than $2,000 is available to adoptive parents
after the adoption is final. This special reimbursement is for "nonrecurring"
adoption related expenses, such as attorney fees. (Nonrecurring expenses
are paid only after the adoption is final.)
Medicaid health coverage can be included in the adoption subsidy (after
consideration of adoptive parents' health insurance resources). In a
Guardianship, the guardians can apply for Medicaid on behalf of the child
once the guardianship is finalized.
The family can contact the adoption unit to renegotiate the subsidy as the needs of the child or family changes.