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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 care.

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.