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Adoption Assistance for Michigan

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:

  • Three years of age or older and under eighteen years of age
  • Ethnic or family background
  • Member of a minority or ethnic group
  • Member of a sibling group of two or more children being placed together
  • Physical, mental or emotional disability, handicap or condition
  • Medical condition
  • Length of time waiting for an adoptive home

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 in state foster care for at least four months immediately prior to the eligibility determination for adoption assistance is made.

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.)

$2,000 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.)

Michigan does not offer deferred adoption assistance.

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

Adoption assistance payments and benefits may begin in Michigan at 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?

Changes to the adoption assistance agreement are possible when state legislative changes are made to the foster care maintenance rates for children the same age of the child receiving adoption assistance. Adoption assistance rates can increase to reflect increases in the foster care maintenance rates. Adoption assistance rates are capped at the rate the child would receive were they in state foster care.

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 Michigan are administered by the FIA, Child and Family Services Administration through FIA, contracted agencies, and parent organizations. Post adoption services include the following examples:

  1. Information and referral
  2. Educational programs
  3. Educational materials
  4. Support groups
  5. Therapeutic intervention
  6. Advocacy
  7. Confidential Intermediary Program
  8. Tuition incentive program
  9. Recreation and training programs

The FIA provides Regional Post Adoption Support Services (PASS) through seven regional PASS Centers for families who have adopted children from state foster care. PASS information is available from the FIA.

The Adoption Services of the Michigan Department of Human Services runs a cooperative project with the Michigan State University School of Social Work. Link to PASS information on Michigan Stateís Post Adoption Website under the For Parents section for more information on services and eligibility requirements here.

Parent groups also offer adoption support services. The Clinton County Council Foster/Adoptive Youth Support Group offer additional support programs, e-mail or phone: 517.668.0185. Many private organizations offer a variety of respite options. See the ARCH National Respite Network Respite Locator Service, search by state to locate Michiganís respite programs. See also the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE and its listing of service providers.

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 Michigan are administered through the Department of Community Health (DCH), Division of Mental Health Services to Children and Families and are coordinated through local Community Mental Health Services Programs (CMHSPs). Services include the following examples: physician visits, in patient and outpatient hospitalization, medical supplies, prescription drugs, mental health care, personal care services, and substance abuse services.

Department of Community Health, Children and Families mental health. Community mental health services programs locator. Or phone the Michigan Medical Assistance Hotline: 800.642.3195.

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?

The Michigan Family Independence Agency, through the state Adoption Medical Subsidy program, can supplement payment for certain services to the extent that the services are not available through other public and private resources available to the child. Other resources that must first be utilized include: Medicaid, the Intermediate School District, Community Mental Health Centers, Childrenís Special Health Care Services, or the parentís private insurance.

Application for the Adoption Medical Subsidy program may be made either before or after adoption. The program is available to children who were in Michiganís foster care system prior to adoption or whose adoptions were finalized in a Michigan court prior to June 28, 1992.

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 a Family Independence Agency decision affects their childís adoption assistance benefits. Parents are directed to send a written request for fair hearing to:

Fair Hearing Coordinator, Adoption Subsidy Program Michigan Family Independence Agency P.O. Box 30037, Grand Tower Building Lansing, Michigan 48909

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

Michiganís general adoption

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

Michiganís adoption assistance and More Michiganís adoption assistance.

See the FIA publication, Adopting a Child in Michigan, under Section F, Assistance in Adoption.

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

Michiganís state-specific medical assistance and More Michiganís state-specific medical assistance

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