There are two funding sources for Adoption Assistance, Title IV-E (federal) funds and state funds. Both programs can provide eligible children with a monthly assistance payment, Medicaid, reimbursement of nonrecurring adoption expenses, and certain special services not covered by any other program. There are four ways that a child can be eligible for Title IV-E adoption assistance:
Child is eligible to Aid for Families with Dependent Children and meets the definition of a child with special needs –
Adoption assistance eligibility that is based on a child’s AFDC eligibility is predicated on a child meeting the criteria for such at the time of removal. In addition, the state must determine that the child meets the definition of a child with special needs prior to finalization of the adoption.
Child is eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and meets the definition of a child with special needs –
A child is eligible for adoption assistance if the child meets the requirements for Title XVI SSI benefits and is determined by the state to be a child with special needs prior to the finalization of the adoption.
Child is eligible as a child of a minor parent and meets the definition of a child with special needs –
A child is eligible for Title IV-E adoption assistance in this circumstance if, prior to the finalization of the adoption, the child’s parent was in foster care and received a Title IV-E foster care maintenance payment that covered both the minor parent and the child of the minor parent and is determined by the state to meet the definition of a child with special needs.
Child is eligible due to prior Title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility and meets the definition of a child with special needs –
In the situation where a child is adopted and receives Title IV-E adoption assistance, but the adoption later dissolves or the adoptive parents die, a child may continue to be eligible for Title IV-E adoption assistance in a subsequent adoption. The only determination that must be made by the state prior to the finalization of the subsequent adoption is whether the child is a child with special needs consistent with the requirements in section 473(c) of the Act. Need and eligibility factors in section 473(a)(2)(A) of the act must not be re-determined when such a child is subsequently adopted because the child is to be treated as though his or her circumstances are the same as those prior to his or her previous adoption. Since Title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility need not be re-established in such subsequent adoptions, the manner of a child’s removal from the adoptive home, including whether the child is voluntarily relinquished to an individual or private agency, is irrelevant.
The child who receives federally funded adoption assistance is assured that if the adopting family moves to any other state Medicaid coverage will still be available.
For children who do not meet the Title IV-E criteria, state funds may be available for adoption assistance. The child must meet the definition of special needs and, at the time the adoption was initiated, be in the court-ordered custody of DHS or a federally recognized Indian tribe as defined by the federal Indian Child Welfare Act and the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act. If the child moves to another state, that state may or may not provide Medicaid coverage; the majority of states are providing this coverage.
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