Adoption Assistance Policies

The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 established a program of adoption assistance, strengthened the program of foster care assistance for needy and dependent children, and improved the child welfare, social services, and aid to families with dependent children programs. The Act required States to make adoption assistance payments, which take into account the circumstances of the adopting parents and the child, to parents who adopt a child who is AFDC-eligible and is a child with special needs.

The Act defines a child with special needs as a child who:
  • Cannot be returned to the parent’s home;
  • Has a special condition such that the child cannot be placed without providing assistance; and
  • Has not been able to be placed without assistance. 
Adoption Assistance in Colorado
Adoption assistance is intended to help or remove financial or other barriers to the adoption of Colorado children with special needs by providing assistance to the parent(s) in caring for and raising the child. Financial support and/or services are provided to adoptive parent(s) in certain defined and limited ways to meet the needs of an eligible adopted child. at a minimum if a family receives adoption assistance from a county the adopted child is eligible for Medicaid. Colorado operates two adoption assistance programs: the Title IV-E program and non-Title IV-E adoption assistance.  See CDHS Volume 7 Rule - CCR 7.306.4 for detailed information regarding eligibility .  

Target groups for adoption assistance agreements are:

1. Children whose special needs are a barrier to their adoption are legally available for adoption and are in the custody of a county department and the county has guardianship of the child with the right to consent for adoption.

2. Children who are in the custody of a relative, tribe, or licensed non-profit child placement agency and meet the eligibility criteria to participate in one of Colorado’s adoption assistance programs.

3. The county department, agency, tribe, or relative requesting the adoption assistance agreement is financially responsible for the care of the child.

Each county human services department determines the type of adoption assistance and eligibility in accordance with state and federal regulations. For more information regarding a county's specific policy regarding adoption assistance. 
 
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