Senate Bill No. 345

Public Act No. 00-4

An Act Requiring A Biennial Review Of Adoption Subsidies.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 17a-117 of the general statutes, as amended by section 6 of public act 99-166, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Department of Children and Families may, and is encouraged to contract with child-placing agencies to arrange for the adoption of children who are free for adoption. If (1) a child for whom adoption is indicated, cannot, after all reasonable efforts consistent with the best interests of the child, be placed in adoption through existing sources because the child is a special needs child and (2) the adopting family meets the standards for adoption which any other adopting family meets, the Commissioner of Children and Families shall, before adoption of such child by such family, certify such child as a special needs child and, after adoption, provide one or more of the following subsidies for the adopting parents: (A) A special-need subsidy, which is a lump sum payment paid directly to the person providing the required service, to pay for an anticipated expense resulting from the adoption when no other resource is available for such payment; or (B) a periodic subsidy which is a payment to the adopting family; and (C) in addition to the subsidies granted under this subsection, any medical benefits which are being provided prior to final approval of the adoption by the Court of Probate in accordance with the fee schedule and payment procedures under the state Medicaid program administered by the Department of Social Services shall continue as long as the child qualifies as a dependent of the adoptive parent under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Such medical subsidy may continue only until the child reaches age twenty-one. A special-need subsidy may only be granted until the child reaches age eighteen. A periodic subsidy may continue only until the child reaches age eighteen and is subject to [annual] biennial review as provided for in section 17a-118, as amended by this act. The amount of a periodic subsidy shall not exceed the current costs of foster maintenance care.

Sec. 2. Section 17a-118 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) There shall be [an annual] a biennial review of the subsidy by the Commissioner of Children and Families in accordance with a schedule established by the commissioner or the commissioner's designee. The adoptive parents shall, at the time of such review, submit [annually] a sworn statement that the condition which caused the child to be certified as a special needs child or a related condition continues to exist or has reoccurred and that the adoptive parent or parents are still legally responsible for the support of the child and that the child is receiving support from the adoptive family. If the subsidy is to be terminated or reduced by the Commissioner of Children and Families, notice of such proposed reduction or termination shall be given, in writing, to the adoptive parents and such adoptive parents shall, at least thirty days prior to the imposition of said reduction or termination, be given a hearing before the Adoption Subsidy Review Board. If such an appeal is taken, the subsidy shall continue without modification until the final decision of the Adoption Subsidy Review Board.

(b) A child who is a resident of the state of Connecticut when eligibility for subsidy is certified, shall remain eligible and continue to receive the subsidy regardless of the domicile or residence of the adoptive parents at the time of application for adoption, placement, legal decree of adoption or thereafter.

Approved April 18, 2000