FPAWS has been hearing from families about struggles with adoption support negotiations. One resource we have is Josh Kroll with the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) who is the program coordinator of their Adoption Subsidy Resource Center. Josh has presented at our FPAWS conference 3 times, and is a great resource. He is located in St Paul MN and generally in the office until 2:30 Pacific time. He won’t be able to fix everything, but can help coach you on how to approach the process and offer support. Josh can be reached at 800-470-6665 x15 or [email protected]
NACAC’s profile of Washington’s adoption support program.http://www.nacac.org/adoption…/stateprofiles/washington.html
NACAC’s information on the federal adoption tax credithttp://www.nacac.org/taxcredit/taxcredit.html
NACAC conference save the date: http://www.nacac.org/conference/conference.html
WAC 388-27-0230 How does the department evaluate a request for adoption support monthly cash payments?
(1) The amount of the adoption support monthly cash payment is determined through the discussion and negotiation process between the adoptive parents and representatives of the department based upon the needs of the child and the circumstances of the family. The payment that is agreed upon should combine with the parents’ resources to cover the ordinary and special needs of the child projected over an extended period of time. Anticipation and discussion of these needs are part of the negotiation of the amount of the adoption assistance payment.
(2) Family circumstances to be considered include: (a) Size, including the adopted child; (b) Normal living expenses, including education and childcare expenses; (c) Exceptional circumstances of any family member; (d) Income; (e) Resources and savings plans; (f) Medical care and hospitalization needs; (g) Ability to purchase or otherwise obtain medical care; and (h) Additional miscellaneous expenses related to the adopted child.
(3) The department and the adoptive parents will jointly determine the level of adoption support cash payments needed to meet the basic needs of the child without creating a hardship on the family.
(4) Under no circumstances may the amount of the adoption support monthly cash payment the department pays for the child exceed the amount of foster care maintenance payment that would be paid if the child were in a foster family home.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.109, 74.13.031, 2002 c 371 § 202(8), 42 U.S.C. 671-675. WSR 04-06-024, § 388-27-0230, filed 2/23/04, effective 3/25/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. WSR 01-08-045, § 388-27-0230, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]
Question: May a State employ a means test when negotiating adoption assistance agreements?
Answer: The use of a means test is prohibited in the process of selecting a suitable adoptive family, or in negotiating an adoption assistance agreement, including the amount of the adoption assistance payment. Once a child has been determined eligible under section 473 of the Act, adoptive parents cannot be rejected for adoption assistance or have payments reduced without their agreement because of their income or other resources. In addition, the State cannot arbitrarily reject a request for an increase in the amount of subsidy (up to the amount the child would have received in foster care) in cases where the adoptive parents make life choices such as resigning one’s job to stay at home with the adopted child or to return to school. Adoptive parents can request a fair hearing if the State rejects such requests. The circumstances of the adopting parents must be considered together with the needs of the child when negotiating the adoption assistance agreement. Consideration of the circumstances of the adopting parents has been interpreted by the Department to pertain to the adopting family’s capacity to incorporate the child into their household in relation to their lifestyle, standard of living and future plans, as well as their overall capacity to meet the immediate and future needs (including educational) of the child. This means considering the overall ability of the family to incorporate an individual child into their household. Families with the same incomes or in similar circumstances will not necessarily agree on identical types or amounts of assistance. The uniqueness of each child/family situation may result in different amounts of payment.• Source/Date: ACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01)• Legal and Related References: 45 CFR 1356.40 (c)
Pennsylvania code that protects foster parent from moving children, especially useful when arguments over adoption support.
§ 3700.73. Foster parent appeal of child relocation.
(a) Foster parents may appeal the relocation of a child from the foster family except under one of the following conditions: (1) The child has been with the foster family less than 6 months. (2) The removal is initiated by the court. (3) The removal is to return the child to his parents. (4) The removal is to place the child for adoption. (5) An investigation of a report of alleged child abuse indicates the need for protective custody removal to protect the child from further serious physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or serious physical neglect as defined in Chapter 3490 (relating to protective services).
(b) The FFCA shall inform foster parents in writing that they may appeal the relocation of a child in accordance with subsection (a) at least 15 days prior to the relocation of the child. (c) Foster parents who wish to appeal the relocation of a child shall submit to the FFCA a written appeal to be postmarked no later than 15 days after the date of the notice of their right to appeal the child’s relocation. (d) Upon receipt of the foster parent’s appeal, the FFCA shall date stamp the appeal and submit it to the Department’s Office of Hearings and Appeals, Post Office Box 2675, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105, within 5 working days. (e) If a foster parent submits an appeal in accordance with subsection (c) and the foster parent has the right to appeal in accordance with subsection (a), the child shall remain in the foster family home pending a decision on the appeal. (f) Parties to an appeal of a child’s relocation may be represented by an attorney or other representative.
Josh Kroll, Project Coordinator – Adoption Subsidy Resource Center, North American Council on Adoptable Children
55114800-470-6665 x15 [email protected]