Illinois State Adoption Subsidy Profile

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1. What specific factors or conditions does your State consider to determine that a child cannot be placed with adoptive parents without providing financial assistance? ("What is your State definition of special needs?")

A child with special needs is defined as a child that has at least one of the following needs or circumstances that may be a barrier to placement or adoption without financial assistance:

  • One year of age or older
  • Member of a sibling group being adopted together where at least one child meets one of the other criteria listed here
  • Being adopted by adoptive parents who have previously adopted, with adoption assistance, another child born of the same mother or father
  • Irreversible or non-correctable physical mental or emotional disability
  • Physical, mental, or emotional disability correctable through surgery, treatment, or other specialized services

2. What are the eligibility criteria for your State-funded adoption assistance program?

In order to be eligible for state-funded adoption assistance a child must be a special needs child as defined above.

3. What is the maximum amount a family may receive in non-recurring adoption expenses from your State? (Adoptive parents can receive reimbursement of certain approved, "one-time" adoption expenses incurred in the process of finalizing a special needs adoption.)

$1,500.00 per child

4. Does your State enter into deferred adoption assistance agreements? (In some States, adoptive parents can enter into an agreement in which they choose to defer the receipt of a Medicaid card, the monthly monetary payment, or both and can elect to receive the Medicaid card and/or monetary payment at another time.)

Effective 1/1/04, Illinois will no longer provide deferred adoption assistance for new adoptions.

5. When may adoption assistance payments and benefits begin in your State?

Adoption assistance payments and benefits may begin in Illinois at adoption finalization.

6. How are changes made to the adoption assistance agreement in your State?

  1. When can a parent request a change in the adoption assistance agreement?
  2. How does a parent request a change in the adoption assistance agreement?
  3. What if a parent does not receive the change they request in the adoption assistance agreement?

Adoption assistance agreements may be modified at any time in writing if signed by the adoptive parents and the Regional Administrator or his/her designee.

7. What types of post adoption services are available in your State and how do you find out more about them?

Post adoption services in Illinois are administered by the Department of Children and Family Services and through several state funded, state contracted and family organizations. DCFS post adoption services include the following examples:

  1. Support groups
  2. Educational advocacy
  3. Mental health services
  4. Community-based services (Adoption related Family Centered Services programs)
  5. Crisis intervention
  6. Assessment
  7. Therapeutic intervention
  8. Case management/advocacy
  9. Respite
  10. Adoption registry

Organizations include the Adoption Information Center of Illinois Post Adoption Information and Referral Service and the Illinois Adoption/Subsidized Guardianship Preservation Services. Please note that not all services are always available. Families should contact their adoption assistance worker, local or regional Illinois Department of Child and Family Services’ (DCFS) office, or the statewide Post Adoption and Guardianship administrator for information. Illinois’s post adoption links: http://www.adoptinfo-il.org/postsupport1-main.htm and http://www.state.il.us/dcfs/library/com_communications_postadopt.shtml.

Note: Not all services may be available in all cases. Contact your adoption assistance worker or post adoption services contact for information regarding process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services.

8. What mental health services are provided by your State?

Public mental health services for children Illinois are administered through the Department of Public Aid and include the following examples: psychological testing, psychiatric care, inpatient psychiatric hospitalization, psychiatric clinic services, and drug prescription.

Please note that services may change and that all recipients are not eligible for all services. Contact your county Medicaid specialist to determine eligibility, availability and duration of services. Illinois’s Department of Public Aid’s Children’s Mental Health link: http://www.dpaillinois.com/cmh/ and Medicaid services link: http://www.dpaillinois.com/medical/medicaid.html.

Note: Not all services may be available in all cases. Contact your adoption assistance worker or medical assistance specialist for information regarding process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services.

9. Does your State provide additional finances or services for medical or therapeutic needs not covered under your State medical plan to children receiving adoption assistance?

Additional medical services are provided if they are identified in the child's individual subsidy agreement. However, amendments may be made to the original agreement to add services that relate to a pre-existing condition. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services assumes responsibility for any medical services related to a child's pre-existing condition(s) when such services are not covered by another funding source (i.e., family's insurance, or other public resources).

Illinois provides the additional adoption assistance payments through a program known as Needs Not Payable Through Other Sources. Funds are available for physical, emotional and mental health needs not payable through insurance or public resources that are associated with or result from a condition whose onset has been established as occurring prior to the entry of the final order of adoption. Payment for these services requires prior approval. Illinois offers these Health Care Payments in addition to the state medical card. Illinois also offers Other Special Services. Services include counseling services for the child and the adoptive family following adoption finalization, regular day care for any child up to age three if the parent is working or in school, and therapeutic daycare.

Note: Not all services may be available in all cases. Contact your adoption assistance worker for information regarding process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services.

10. What is your State's process for applying for a fair hearing? (A fair hearing is a legal, administrative procedure that provides a forum to address disagreements with agency decisions.)

Adoptive parents can request a fair hearing any time the Illinois DFCS makes a decision to reduce, change, or terminate adoption assistance. Request for fair hearing are made through the adoption assistance worker. Appeals go through several levels, beginning with the adoption assistance worker, then the Administrator, and finally to an appeal panel via the Administrative Hearings Unit, 406 E. Monroe St., Station #15, Springfield, IL 62701-1495.

11. What is your State Web address for general adoption information?

Illinois’s general adoption link: http://www.adoptinfo-il.org/

12. What is your State Web address for adoption assistance information?

Illinois’s adoption assistance links: http://www.adoptinfo-il.org/postsupport6-subsidy.htm and http://www.adoptinfo-il.org/adoption5-financial2-adoptassist.htm

13. What is your State Web address for State-specific medical assistance information for children?

Illinois’s state-specific medical assistance link: http://www.dpaillinois.com/medical/medicaid.html

Credits: Child Welfare Information Gateway (http://www.childwelfare.gov)

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