Adoption Support Runaway Issue

Adoption Support Runaway Issue

The following is a response from Children’s Administration regarding the issue of Adoption Support stopping your monthly support check when you report the youth as a runaway.

Hello Mike,

I spoke with the Adoption Support Lead for the state and she has advised me that what is described below is not consistent with practice or policy. 

Essentially adoption support is terminated when a parent is no longer financially or legally responsible for the child.

There are occasions when a youth will go on the run and go to a Community Service Office to apply for food or medical assistance.  In those cases, when CA/Adoption Support is notified, we send a letter to the adoptive family asking them if they are still financially responsible for the youth.  This does not occur when a youth is on the run for a week or two at a time….more typically when the youth is away from home for months at a time.

Our Child Welfare Policy Manual states:

Question 1.  Under what circumstances may the State agency terminate an adoption assistance agreement?


Title IV-E adoption assistance is available on behalf of a child if s/he meets all of the eligibility criteria and the State agency enters into an adoption assistance agreement with the prospective adoptive parent(s) prior to the finalization of the adoption. The agreement must be signed by all parties to the agreement (namely, the adoptive parents and a State agency representative) in order to meet the requirements for an adoption assistance agreement.

Once an adoption assistance agreement is signed and in effect, it can be terminated under three circumstances only. Namely, (1) the child has attained the age of 18 (or the age of 21 if the State has determined that the child has a mental or physical disability which would warrant continuation of assistance); (2) the State determines that the adoptive parents are no longer legally responsible for support of the child; or (3) the State determines that the adoptive parents are no longer providing any support to the child.

Source/Date ACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01) 
Legal and Related References Social Security Act – section 473(a)(4); 45 CFR 1356.40(b)

Connie Lambert-Eckel

Director:  Field Operations

Children’s Administration

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