259.85 Postadoption service grants program.
Subdivision 1. Purpose. The commissioner of human services shall establish and supervise a postadoption service grants program to be administered by local social service agencies for the purpose of preserving and strengthening adoptive families. The program will provide financial assistance to adoptive parents to meet the special needs of an adopted child that cannot be met by other resources available to the family.
Subd. 2. Eligibility criteria. A child may be certified by the local social services agency as eligible for a postadoption service grant after a final decree of adoption if:
(1) the child was a ward of the commissioner or a Minnesota licensed child-placing agency before adoption;
(2) the child had special needs at the time of adoption. For the purposes of this section, "special needs" means a child who had a physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral disability at the time of an adoption or has a preadoption background to which the current development of such disabilities can be attributed;
(3) the adoptive parents have exhausted all other available resources. Available resources include public income support programs, medical assistance, health insurance coverage, services available through community resources, and any other private or public benefits or resources available to the family or to the child to meet the child's special needs; and
(4) the child is under 18 years of age, or if the child is under 22 years of age and remains dependent on the adoptive parent or parents for care and financial support and is enrolled in a secondary education program as a full-time student.
Subd. 3. Certification statement. The local social services agency shall certify a child's eligibility for a postadoption service grant in writing to the commissioner. The certification statement shall include:
(1) a description and history of the special needs upon which eligibility is based;
(2) separate certification for each of the eligibility criteria under subdivision 2, that the criteria are met; and
(3) applicable supporting documentation including:
(i) the child's individual service plan;
(ii) medical, psychological, or special education evaluations;
(iii) documentation that all other resources have been exhausted; and
(iv) an estimate of the costs necessary to meet the special needs of the child.
Subd. 4. Commissioner review. The commissioner shall review the facts upon which eligibility is based and shall award postadoption service grants to eligible adoptive parents to the extent funds are appropriated consistent with subdivision 5.
Subd. 5. Grant payments. The amount of the postadoption service grant payment shall be based on the special needs of the child and the determination that other resources to meet those special needs are not available. The amount of any grant payments shall be based on the severity of the child's disability and the effect of the disability on the family and must not exceed $10,000 annually. Adoptive parents are eligible for grant payments until their child's 18th birthday, or if the child is under 22 years of age and remains dependent on the adoptive parent or parents for care and financial support and is enrolled in a secondary education program as a full-time student.
Permissible expenses that may be paid from grants shall be limited to:
(1) medical expenses not covered by the family's health insurance or medical assistance;
(2) therapeutic expenses, including individual and family therapy; and
(3) nonmedical services, items, or equipment required to meet the special needs of the child.
The grants under this section shall not be used for maintenance for out-of-home placement of the child in substitute care.