The department shall enter into adoption assistance agreements with the adoptive parents of a child as authorized by Part E of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act.
The adoption of a child may be subsidized by the department. The need for and amount of the subsidy shall be determined by the department under its rules. The department shall pay a $150 subsidy each month for the premiums for health benefits coverage for a child with respect to whom a court has entered a final order of adoption if the child: was in the conservatorship of the department at the time of the child’s adoptive placement; after the adoption, is not eligible for medical assistance; and is younger than 18 years of age. The executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission shall adopt rules necessary to implement subsidy rules, including rules that: limit eligibility for the subsidy to a child whose adoptive family income is less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level; provide for the manner in which the department shall pay the subsidy; and specify any documentation required to be provided by an adoptive parent as proof that the subsidy is used to obtain and maintain health benefits coverage for the adopted child.
In addition to the subsidy, the department may subsidize the cost of medical care for a child. The department shall determine the amount and need for the subsidy.
The county may pay a subsidy if the county is responsible for the child’s foster care at the time of the child’s adoptive placement.
If the child is receiving supplemental security income from the federal government, the state may pay the subsidy regardless of whether the state is the managing conservator for the child.
Subject to the availability of funds, the department shall work with the Health and Human Services Commission and the federal government to develop a program to provide medical assistance to children who were in the conservatorship of the department at the time of adoptive placement and need medical or rehabilitative care but do not qualify for adoption assistance.
The executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission by rule shall provide that the maximum amount of the subsidy that may be paid to an adoptive parent of a child under an adoption assistance agreement is an amount that is equal to the amount that would have been paid to the foster parent of the child, based on the child’s foster care service level on the date the department and the adoptive parent enter into the adoption assistance agreement. This applies only to a child who, based on factors specified in rules of the department, the department determines would otherwise have been expected to remain in foster care until the child’s 18th birthday and for whom this state would have made foster care payments for that care. Factors the department may consider in determining whether a child is eligible for that amount of the subsidy authorized include the following: the child’s mental or physical disability, age, and membership in a sibling group; and the number of prior placement disruptions that the child has experienced.
In determining the amount that would have been paid to a foster parent for a child assigned the same service level as the child who is the subject of the adoption assistance agreement; and may not include any amount that a child-placing agency is entitled to retain under the foster care rate structure in effect on the date the department and the adoptive parent enter into the agreement.
A child for whom a subsidy is provided for premium for health benefits coverage and who does not receive any other subsidy is not considered to be the subject of an adoption assistance agreement for any other purpose, including for determining eligibility for the exemption from payment of tuition and fees for higher education.
If considering adoption, do not hesitate to call the San Antonio Attorneys at the law offices of Arthur G. Augustine at (210)299-4777 for a free consultation.
3107 Broadway Street, Suite 100 San Antonio, TX 78209-6718 (210) 338-8225