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Library: Policy

340:75-15-128.3. State-funded adoption assistance eligibility requirements

Revised 9-17-18

(a) Per Section 7510-1.3 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) establishes and administers an ongoing program of adoption assistance for the eligible, special needs child in DHS custody or a federally-recognized Indian tribe, as defined by the federal Indian Child Welfare Act and the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act, who is not eligible for federally-funded adoption assistance benefits.

(1) Adoption assistance benefits under this program are provided out of funds appropriated to DHS for the maintenance of the child in foster care or made available to DHS from other sources.

(2) Adoption assistance benefits under this program may include Medicaid (SoonerCare) coverage, a monthly adoption assistance payment, reimbursement of non-recurring adoption expenses, child care, or any combination of benefits.

(3) To comply with Section 471(a)(14) of the Social Security Act and Section 1356.21(n) of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, DHS limits the number of children under its responsibility, who remain in substitute care for over 24 months, to no more than 30 percent of the children in care during any fiscal year.

(b) DHS may determine a child eligible for state-funded adoption assistance when he or she does not meet Title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility requirements and, at the time of adoptive placement:

(1) is not 18 years of age;

(2) was in court-ordered DHS custody or a federally-recognized Indian tribe as defined by the federal and Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Acts; and

(3) met the definition of a child with special needs, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-15-128.4.

(c) OAC 340:75-15-128.1 addresses the adoption assistance benefits an eligible child may receive. When DHS determines a child is eligible for an adoption assistance payment, DHS sets the payment amount within the range of payments in Appendix C-20, Child Welfare Services Rates Schedule, based on the child's needs and the adoptive parent's circumstances. The other provisions of OAC 340:75-15-128.1 regarding overpayments, termination or modification, death of adoptive parent, or dissolution of the adoption, and relocation by adoptive parent to another state also apply to state-funded adoption assistance.

(d) OAC 340:75-15-128.5 applies to state-funded adoption assistance except as specifically indicated otherwise.

(e) A child may be eligible for state-funded adoption assistance, as determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with Post-Adoption Services and DHS Director or designee approval, when either potential adoptive parent has a felony conviction, per OAC 340:75-15-88.

(f) The only exception to the requirement in OAC 340:75-15-128.5 is that Form 04AN002E, Adoption Assistance Agreement, must be signed by the adoptive parent and DHS before adoption finalization, when the child is determined to have a causative, pre-existing condition not identified or known prior to adoption finalization that resulted in a severe medical or psychiatric condition requiring extensive treatment, hospitalization, or institutionalization. The child must also meet the definition of a child with special needs, per OAC 340:75-15-128.4.

(1) The application procedure is the same as that for Title IV-E applications made after adoption finalization, per OAC 340:75-15-128.5. There is no requirement that the adoptive parent prevail at a fair hearing.

(2) The benefits are the same as those for state-funded adoption assistance approved prior to adoption finalization.

(3) When a child is eligible for a monthly adoption assistance payment, he or she may also be entitled to receive retroactive payments for the two months prior to the date the adoption assistance was approved, when requested, and documentation is produced that shows the child was receiving treatment or assessment during those two months.

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