340:75-15-128.1. Adoption assistance benefits
(a) Adoption assistance benefits. Adoption assistance benefits may include Medicaid Medical coverage, a monthly assistance payment, child care, reimbursement of non-recurring adoption expenses, or any combination thereof. Children eligible for Title IV-E assistance are also eligible for available Title XX services.
(1) Medicaid. The Title IV-E child may be eligible for the Oklahoma Medicaid program or the Medicaid program in the state of his or her residence. All necessary medical and dental care under the scope of the Title IV-E program is compensable at usual and customary charges, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-15-129.
(2) Monthly adoption assistance payments. A child who is considered difficult to place may be eligible for a monthly adoption assistance payment. The standard monthly adoption assistance payments set out in Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) Appendix C-20, Child Welfare Services Rates Schedule, correspond to the child's age.
(3) Difficulty of care (DOC). The DOC descriptions set out in OKDHS Appendix C-20, are guidelines from which the most appropriate DOC rate is determined for the eligible child. Every situation is not clearly defined in a DOC rate category and OKDHS, when determining the appropriate rate category:
(A) considers the child's age;
(B) requests documentation from the adoptive family and professional sources outside of the adoptive family that verify the child's needs, conditions, or behaviors as they correspond to a rate category; and
(C) requires updated documentation annually to establish a child's ongoing DOC eligibility.
(4) Child care.
(A) OKDHS may pay for child care services as a part of adoption assistance for the child who is in foster care, per Section 1355.20 of Title 45 Chapter XIII of The Code of Federal Regulations, at the time of approval for adoption assistance; provided, a child determined eligible, will retain eligibility in any subsequent adoption. The child is eligible, when:
(i) the child is 5 years of age and younger;
(ii) the child is adopted through OKDHS or a federally-recognized Indian tribe as defined by the Federal and Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Acts;
(iii) the child was adopted by the parent applying for benefits;
(iv) the adoptive parent applying for benefits has fully executed Form 04AN002E, Adoption Assistance Agreement, that lists child care as an adoption assistance benefit for the child and includes Form 04AN033E, Post-Adoption Child Care Referral, when the child resides in Oklahoma; and
(v) employment or formal training is verified and child care is approved for only the days and hours the adoptive parent works or is attending formal training; however, in a two-parent family, care may be approved for sleep time when one parent works or attends school during the day and the other parent works during normal night time sleep hours.
(B) Child care is:
(i) negotiated between OKDHS and the adoptive parent, but cannot exceed the one star child care center rate as listed on OKDHS Appendix C-4-B, Child Care Provider Rate Schedule, for a child residing outside of Oklahoma;
(ii) approved by Post-Adoption Services;
(iii) included in Form 04AN002E;
(iv) paid from Child Welfare Services funds when the child resides outside of Oklahoma; and
(v) not available when the adoptive family negotiated its Oklahoma adoption assistance rate payment to take into consideration another state's payment rate.
(5) Non-recurring adoption expenses. Certain non-recurring adoption expenses incurred by, or on behalf of, the adoptive parent in connection with the adoption of a child with special needs may be reimbursed.
(A) Reimbursable non-recurring adoption expenses are:
(i) the reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, and other expenses directly related to the legal adoption of a child with special needs;
(ii) not incurred in violation of federal or state law; and
(iii) not reimbursed from other sources or funds.
(B) Financial reimbursement is available to the adoptive parent of a child with special needs for:
(i) adoption fees;
(ii) court costs;
(iii) attorney fees;
(iv) an adoptive home study fee;
(v) costs incurred for family members to obtain health and psychological reports;
(vi) supervision of the adoptive placement by another agency;
(vii) transportation, food, and lodging for the adoptive parent and child during the placement process; and
(viii) the cost of fingerprinting paid for by the adoptive parent.
(6) Non-recurring adoption expense reimbursement amounts. When siblings are placed together with the same adoptive family, separate reimbursement for non-recurring expenses is considered for each child and may be approved for each eligible child, per OAC 340:75-15-128.1.
(A) When the adoption is finalized, non-recurring adoption expense reimbursement does not exceed the documented actual expense incurred, up to a $1,200 maximum per child, without Post-Adoption Services approval.
(B) When the trial adoption disrupts prior to finalization, the prospective adoptive parent may be eligible for a reimbursement of up to $500 per child.
(7) Non-recurring adoption expense approval and payment. Prior to adoption finalization, the reimbursement request for non-recurring adoption expenses is approved by Post-Adoption Services and the adoptive parent and OKDHS designee must sign Form 04AN002E. Payment is made directly to the adoptive parent for approved amounts shown on the itemized statement as paid in full after adoption finalization. Payment is made directly to a vendor, such as an attorney or private adoption agency when the itemized statement indicates the adoptive parent did not pay the fee in full. ■ 1
(8) Interstate adoption reimbursements. OAC 340:75-15-128.5(b) provisions apply to reimbursement of non-recurring adoption expenses in interstate adoptions.
(9) Adoption assistance overpayments. Post-Adoption Services notifies the adoptive parent when an overpayment occurs. The adoptive parent is responsible for repayment, even when he or she is not responsible for the overpayment.
(A) Post-Adoption Services contacts the adoptive parent regarding an overpayment and discusses the amount to be automatically deducted from the monthly adoption assistance payment, when applicable.
(i) The adoptive parent is notified of the overpayment agreement plan by certified mail. When the adoptive parent receives the overpayment agreement plan, he or she signs the plan and returns it to OKDHS.
(ii) The overpayment agreement plan does not exceed 30 months from the date of receipt of the written notification of the plan.
(iii) The minimum monthly payment toward the overpayment is not less than $150, with the exception of the final payment.
(B) Post-Adoption Services notifies OKDHS Legal Services when the adoptive parent does not respond to the written notification or fails to comply with the overpayment agreement plan.
(C) A referral is made to Office of Inspector General when fraud is suspected.
(10) Adoption assistance agreement modification. Form 04AN002E may be modified and the adoption assistance payment amount readjusted periodically when warranted by a change in circumstances and with the adoptive parent's agreement.
(A) The adoption assistance payment amount may not be automatically adjusted without the adoptive parent's agreement except when an across-the-board reduction or increase in OKDHS foster care reimbursement or DOC rates occurs.
(B) Form 04AN002E modification is prospective only and is not retroactive.
(C) When the parties cannot come to an agreement, OKDHS establishes the payment amount.
(D) The adoptive parent must inform OKDHS of circumstances that make the child ineligible for adoption assistance payments or eligible for payments of a different amount. OKDHS may require:
(i) the adoptive parent to provide updated documentation of the child's ongoing eligibility for the payment amount received; and
(ii) a licensed or certified examiner's evaluation of the child when the child's eligibility is in question.
(E) The agreement may be extended and the child may continue to receive assistance until the day of his or her 19th birthday or high school graduation, whichever comes first. The request to extend adoption assistance beyond 18 years of age includes:
(i) a statement from school personnel documenting the child's high school attendance and anticipated graduation date;
(ii) a statement documenting the child's pursuit of a General Educational Development (GED); or
(iii) medical or psychological assessments, signed by a licensed physician, psychiatrist, or clinician describing the child's conditions including diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis conducted and dated within one year preceding the child's 18th birthday. ■ 2
(11) Adoption assistance agreement termination. When Form 04AN002E is signed and in effect, adoption assistance terminates when one of the conditions in (A) through (E) of this paragraph occurs.
(A) The child reaches 18 years of age. The child may continue to receive assistance until the day of his or her 19th birthday, or high school graduation, whichever comes first.
(B) The adoptive parent fails to submit a request for adoption assistance to extend beyond 18 years of age. ■ 3
(C) OKDHS determines the adoptive parent is no longer legally responsible for the child's support.
(D) OKDHS determines the adoptive parent is no longer providing financial support to the child. When a child is placed in out-of-home care, including psychiatric, residential, therapeutic, or foster family care, and the adoptive parent continues to provide financial support for the child, adoption assistance may continue. The payment rate may be renegotiated.
(E) The child's adoptive parents are deceased.
(12) Death of adoptive parents or adoption dissolution. A child who was Title IV-E eligible, met the criteria for special needs, and was receiving adoption assistance at the time of the death of the child's adoptive parents or at the time the adoption dissolved may be eligible for federally-funded or state-funded adoption assistance when adopted again. For the child to be eligible for adoption assistance, the child at re-application must meet the special needs criteria and all requirements in (A) through (D) of this paragraph are completed.
(A) The prospective adoptive parent applies on Form 04AN001E, Adoption Assistance Application.
(B) The prospective adoptive parent provides a district or tribal court copy of a file-stamped:
(i) Petition for Adoption, when requesting pre-finalization adoption assistance for children in state or tribal custody; or
(ii) Final Decree of Adoption, when requesting adoption assistance to begin after adoption finalization.
(C) OKDHS documents the child was receiving federally-funded or state-funded assistance at the time of the death of the adoptive parent or at the time the adoption dissolved.
(D) OKDHS receives documentation that the new adoptive parent is not the biological parent.
(13) Adoptive-family relocation to another state. When OKDHS uses Form 04AN002E, all subsequent adoption assistance agreement modifications remain under the control and authority of OKDHS regardless of the adoptive parent's state of residence.
(14) Federally-funded adoption assistance eligibility. To be considered eligible for federally-funded adoption assistance, the child must meet criteria, per OAC 340:75-15-128.2, and be placed for adoption in accordance with applicable state and local laws.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:75-15-128.1
1. Approval and payment for non-recurring adoption expenses.
(1) Post-Adoption Services completes Adoption Fees Authorization to Purchase screen in the Finance system and email or mails the authorization form to the vendor.
(2) The authorization is signed by both the vendor and the adoptive parent and returned to Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) Financial Services (FS) at the address listed on the form.
(3) OKDHS FS issues payment to the vendor once receipt of the authorization form is accepted.
2. Modification of the adoption assistance agreement. For all modifications, the effective date is the first day of the following month of the request or once eligibility criteria is met. For example, when the adoptive parent sends in a request for an age increase in March, but the child does not turn 6 or 13 years of age until June, the effective date would be July 1.
3. Adoption assistance agreement termination. When the adoptive parent does not timely submit the required documentation or when OKDHS determines the child does not meet the criteria that warrants an assistance extension beyond 18 years of age, adoption assistance terminates on the child's 18th birthday.