Minnesota's Department of Human Services has issued a bulletin that summarizes the changes made to the adoption assistance program from the 2012 legislative session. Some of the major highlights and changes are noted below. For a more in-depth review, please read the actual bulletin.
- All statutes and rules pertaining to adoption assistance can now be found in Chapter 259A:
- "Unless otherwise stated, the content is largely a restatement and clarification of existing policies and procedures."
- Eligibility requirements have been clarified in order to comply with federal regulations;
- The age of a child is removed as a barrier to adoption;
- Parents must be asked if they are willing to adopt a child without Adoption Assistance;
- Parents with "barrier crimes" are no longer eligible to receive Adoption Assistance;
- Stepparents & relatives are now excluded from Adoption Assistance (with exceptions);
- Eligibility & reimbursements for special nonmedical expenses have changed slightly;
- Children must be 21 (not 22) or less now in order to obtain a termination or extension of an Adoption Assistance Agreement;
- New policies related to reimbursement of nonrecurring adoption expenses have been added, such as the ineligibility of children who are not U.S. citizens or residents and who were part of an international adoption;
- Adoption services reimbursable by the commissioner will no longer include those involving children under guardianship of a private agency; and
- Reimbursements may only be made for child-specific adoption placement services, which do not include recruitment services.
If you are interested in learning more about this new legislation, DHS staff will provide a VPC (virtual presence communication) training on this topic on Monday, July 23, 2012, from 9am to 12pm. Registration is through TrainLink, and handouts will be available prior to the training date.
To subscribe to future MN DHS bulletins, visit their bulletins webpage.