After an adoption is finalized, the county agency will send an annual evaluation to the adoptive family in an effort to determine if the child is still eligible for adoption assistance or eligible for subsidy payments in a different amount. This form can be the mechanism for adoptive families to request a renegotiation of the monthly adoption subsidy payment. It is encouraged, but not required, for adoptive families to complete the form. The adoption subsidy payment cannot be suspended or reduced if the adoptive parents fail to comply with this request for information, renewal or recertification of the adoption assistance agreement.
Note: A youth 18-21 years of age must meet certain requirements in order for the adoptive family to receive an ongoing subsidy. Refer back to Adoption Assistance Extension – Title IV-E or State Monthly Subsidy and Health Care Coverage for Children Ages 18 to 21 for details.
When can an adoption assistance agreement be appealed?
A family has a right to a department hearing to appeal:
- A finding of ineligibility after determination of eligibility.
- A denial or reduction of service.
- The termination or suspension of service.
If an adoption has been finalized without an adoption assistance agreement, can an appeal be filed later?
It is possible to file for a fair hearing and request assistance after an adoption has been finalized. The types of situations which would constitute grounds for a fair hearing may include:
- Relevant facts about the child were not known by the agency or presented to the family before finalization;
- Assistance was denied based on a means test of the adoptive family;
- The county agency erred about the child’s eligibility status; or
- The county agency having placement care and responsibility of the child failed to advise the family of the existence of adoption subsidy before finalization.
It is the responsibility of the fair hearing officer to determine if the circumstances fall within one of the above areas.
Can the terms of a subsidy agreement be amended?
The CCYA or the adoptive family can request modification to the adoption assistance agreement. Changes to the agreement are to be negotiated, and in the event that the CCYA and the adoptive family are unable to agree upon the modification proposed by either party, the adoptive family may file an appeal. The adoption monthly subsidy may not exceed the foster care maintenance amount the child would receive in foster care.
Conditions in which the agreement may be terminated by the CCYA as follows:
- The adoptive parents are no longer legally responsible for the child.
- The child reaches the age of 18 and does not qualify for extension or the child does qualify for extension and reaches the age of 21.
- There is a death of the adoptive parents or child.
- The adoptive parents are no longer providing financial support. The definition of financial support from the Child Welfare Policy Manual is described as follows:
“Any support” includes various forms of financial support. The State may determine that payments for family therapy, tuition, clothing, maintenance of special equipment in the home, or services for the child’s special needs, are acceptable forms of financial support. Consequently, the State may continue the adoption assistance subsidy, if it determines that the parent is, in fact, providing some form of financial support to the child.