7 AAC 53.245 - Adoption and guardianship subsidy agreement and payment

Current through September 28, 2021

(a) If the department determines that the adoptive parent or guardian cannot provide for the child's needs without financial assistance, the adoptive parent or guardian shall enter into a subsidized adoption or guardianship agreement negotiated with the department that
(1) includes the duration of the agreement, the amount of any subsidy payment, the nature and amount of any other payment, and services and assistance to be provided, including any nonrecurring adoption expense described in 7 AAC 53.255;
(2) provides that
(A) the agreement will remain in effect regardless of the state where the parent or guardian resides; and
(B) the department is financially responsible for providing specified services if the services are not available in the state where the parent or guardian resides; and
(3) for adoption assistance under Title IV-E, includes a provision stating that the child is eligible for Medicaid services.
(b) Before making a decision to approve a subsidy or adoption assistance under this section, the department will require
(1) repealed 4/13/2011;
(2) repealed 4/13/2011;
(3) a copy of
(A) the court order terminating the parental rights of all parents; if a termination order was not issued because both parents were deceased, a separate order with that finding is required; or
(B) a stipulation regarding permanency signed by all parties, with a signed order from the state court approving the stipulation, including a determination by the court that the child cannot return home, and the parents' signed consent to adoption; and
(4) a home study approved by the department.
(c) The department will provide subsidized adoption and guardianship payments subject to the availability of appropriations from the legislature and the provisions of AS 25.23.210. An income eligibility requirement does not exist for a prospective adoptive parent or guardian in determining the child's eligibility for adoption or guardianship assistance payments. The amount of the payment will be determined through an agreement negotiated between a prospective adoptive parent or guardian and the department, taking into account the circumstances of the prospective adoptive parent or guardian and the needs of the child as described in this section. The amount may be renegotiated periodically to fit the child's changing needs and the circumstances of the adoptive parent or guardian. However, the amount of the payment may not exceed the foster care payment that would have been paid by the department during the same period if the child were in a foster home.
(d) Factors that the department will consider in negotiating the amount of a subsidy payment include
(1) benefits received by the child that will continue after adoption or guardianship, including SSI and social security survivor benefits under 42 U.S.C. 401 - 434;
(2) unearned income received by the child as described in 7 AAC 53.230;
(3) cost of child care that is not covered by day care assistance under AS 47.25.001-47.25.095; child care costs must be for a limited time and reflect what portion of costs will be provided by the adoptive parent or guardian;
(4) cost of transportation that is extraordinary and required to meet the child's special needs, including transportation to
(A) therapy, medical treatment, or special training; or
(B) visitations with tribal communities, relatives, or siblings;
(5) special diet, equipment, or clothing needed by the child;
(6) documented cost of ongoing medical or dental care and treatment that is not met by Medicaid or other medical or dental coverage;
(7) developmental preschool costs that are not met by other programs such as a Head Start program under 42 U.S.C. 9831 - 9852 or a school district program;
(8) infant stimulation programs;
(9) specialized training or programs for the disabled that are not otherwise paid for by the department;
(10) therapy that is not paid for by insurance or Medicaid; the therapeutic needs must be documented;
(11) medical expenses described in 7 AAC 53.240, if applicable;
(12) other needs, including the basic needs of the child; and
(13) the portion of the cost of the child's care that the adoptive parent or guardian is capable of paying.
(e) An adoption or guardianship subsidy agreement must be signed and in effect before the adoption or guardianship is final. However, a subsidy may be approved for a child after the adoption or guardianship is final, regardless of whether the child is in department custody at the time of the adoption or guardianship, if a review under 7 AAC 54.500 or an evidentiary hearing under 7 AAC 54.510 indicates that
(1) relevant facts regarding the child were known by the department and were not presented to the adoptive parent or guardian before the adoption was finalized;
(2) the department's decision was based upon a means test of the adoptive parent's or guardian's income or other resources, or on a life choice made by the adoptive parent or guardian, including a decision to leave a job to stay at home with the child or return to school;
(3) the department's determination that the child is ineligible for Title IV-E adoption or guardianship assistance was made in error;
(4) the department failed to advise the adoptive parent or guardian about the availability of adoption or guardianship assistance for children in the state's foster care system;
(5) a decrease in the amount of adoption or guardianship assistance was made without the adoptive parent's or guardian's concurrence; or
(6) the department's denial of a request for a change in payment due to a change in the adoptive parent's or guardian's circumstances was made in error.
(f) The department will pay
(1) the negotiated monthly rate at the beginning of the month for which payment is intended; and
(2) on a scheduled payment basis according to the subsidy agreement.
(g) If an adoptive parent or guardian moves out of the state, the parent or guardian shall notify the department in advance.
(h) Subsidy payments terminate when a child reaches age 18. However, the department may immediately terminate the agreement and cease making payments if the department determines that the
(1) adoptive parent or guardian is no longer legally responsible for the child; an adoptive parent or guardian is considered to be no longer legally responsible for the child if parental rights have been terminated, or if the child becomes an emancipated minor, marries, or enlists in the military; or
(2) child is no longer receiving any support from the adoptive parent or guardian; for purposes of this paragraph, "any support" includes family therapy, tuition, clothing, maintenance of special equipment in the home, and services for the child's special needs.
(i) If the child is placed in out-of-home care, the department will not automatically suspend or terminate the subsidy payment. However, due to the change in the child's circumstances, the department may renegotiate the subsidy agreement, and will consider the specific needs of the adoptive child and family circumstances. A renegotiation under this subsection may include the
(1) termination of Title IV-E assistance; or
(2) reduction, suspension, or termination of a state subsidy.
(j) Repealed 4/13/2011.
(k) Before negotiations begin under this section, and after the department's determination of eligibility under this section, the department will notify an adoptive parent or guardian in writing of the right to request a review under 7 AAC 54.500 or an evidentiary hearing under 7 AAC 54.510.

Notes

7 AAC 53.245
Eff. 3/31/2005, Register 173; am 4/13/2011, Register 198

Authority:AS 13.26.062

AS 25.23.210

AS 25.23.230

AS 47.14.100

AS 47.14.120

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