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Texas 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:

  • Six years of age or older and less than eighteen years of age
  • Two years of age or older and less than eighteen years of age and a member of a minority group that traditionally creates a barrier to adoption
  • Member of a sibling group to be adopted together or adopted to join a sibling
  • Verifiable physical, mental, or emotional handicapping condition, as established by an appropriately qualified professional through a diagnosis that addresses what the condition is and how the condition is handicapping

Note: Children must be legally free for adoption to be eligible for adoption assistance.

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 and under the managing conservatorship of the state of Texas (in state custody/under jurisdiction of the state).

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.)

Texas offers deferred adoption assistance.

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

Adoption assistance payments and benefits may begin in Texas the first month after the month of adoption placement.

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?

Adoptive parents or DFPS can initiate a review of an adoption assistance agreement at any time. A request for a change in the agreement can be made any time there is a change in the child’s circumstances, where the child is living, their legal status, or a change that may affect eligibility for the program. The family can always request a fair hearing if their request is denied. Requests must be made in writing to the adoption assistance benefits negotiator. Upon receipt of a request for a change in the monthly payment, the adoption assistance benefits negotiator contacts the adoptive parents within ten working days to negotiate a new payment amount. Any negotiated increases are effective no earlier than the first of the following month after a new agreement is signed. Contact DFPS, link: http://www.tdprs.state.tx.us/Contact_Us/default.asp.

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 Texas are overseen by the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services through contracts with outside agencies. DFPS post adoption services include the following examples:

  1. Case work/case management
  2. Outpatient therapy
  3. Parent training
  4. Residential treatment (limited)
  5. Support groups
  6. Respite
  7. Information and referral

Access to post adoption services is made through referral. DFPS workers provide the post adoption provider/contractor’s name, address, and/or telephone number in the adoptive family’s region and are usually no longer involved after referral. The Post Adoption Program is contracted by region. Contact DFPS, link: https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Contact_Us/counties.asp.

See the Texas Foster Care and Adoption links for Helpful Resources: http://www.tdprs.state.tx.us/Adoption_and_Foster_Care/Helpful_Resources/default.asp and the Voluntary Adoption Registry, http://www.tdprs.state.tx.us/Adoption_and_Foster_Care/Adoption_Registry/default.asp.

Many organizations offer a variety of respite options. See the ARCH National Respite Network Respite Locator Service, search by state to locate Texas’s respite programs, link: http://www.respitelocator.org/.

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 in Texas are administered through the Health and Human Services Commission and includes the following examples: psychiatric/psychological/behavioral health services, outpatient counseling for chemical dependency, in-patient hospital services, rehabilitative services and case management for mental illness, and prescription/pharmacy services.

Texas Medicaid Program overview link: http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/medicaid/med_info.html, Clients and Benefits link: http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/medicaid/reports/PB/pb_pdf/Chapter4.pdf and contact information: http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/medicaid/contacts.html. Texas Medicaid hotline: 800.252.8263.

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?

Texas does not have a specific program to provide additional finances or services for medical or therapeutic needs not covered under the state medical plan. Additional services may be available through their Post Adoption Service Program- see Question #7 for information on post adoption services in Texas.

Note: Not all services may be available in all cases. Contact your adoption assistance worker or post adoption services contact for 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 families have the right to request a far hearing any time they experience a delay, denial, suspension, reduction, or termination affecting the adoption assistance agreement. A fair hearing is also available if it is believed that the processing of the adoption assistance application is unreasonably delayed. A request for fair hearing must be made to the adoption assistance worker in writing within ninety days of the effective date of the delay, denial, suspension, reduction, or termination action. Families can represent themselves or have another person, including an attorney, represent them at the fair hearing. Please note that there is no right to appeal the decision to provide all available benefits, including the maximum allowable monthly payment. Contact DFPS, link: http://www.tdprs.state.tx.us/Contact_Us/default.asp.

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

Texas’s general adoption link: http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Child_Protection/Adoption/.

Texas Adoption Resource Exchange links: http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Adoption_and_Foster_Care/About_Adoption/default.asp and http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Adoption_and_Foster_Care/Helpful_Resources/faqadoption.asp (FAQs)

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

Texas's adoption assistance link: http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Adoption_and_Foster_Care/About_Adoption/subsidy.asp

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

Texas’ state-specific medical assistance link: http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/medicaid/med_info.html

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

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