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8.2B.7  TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, Eligibility, Judicial determinations


1.We believe that the lack of a "reasonable efforts" determination in accordance with section 472 (a)(1) of the Social Security Act (the Act) cannot result in ineligibility for title IV-E adoption assistance. Is this correct?

2.Do the "contrary to the welfare" requirements at 45 CFR 1356.21(c) and (d) apply to the adoption assistance program?


1. Question: We believe that the lack of a "reasonable efforts" determination in accordance with section 472 (a)(1) of the Social Security Act (the Act) cannot result in ineligibility for title IV-E adoption assistance. Is this correct?

Answer: Yes. The judicial determination of "reasonable efforts" to prevent placement and reunify the child with his family is an eligibility requirement for the title IV-E foster care maintenance payments program (section 472 (a)(1) of the Act), but such a determination is not an eligibility requirement for adoption assistance in section 473 of the Act.

  • Source/Date: ACYF-CB-PIQ-85-06 (6/5/85)
  • Legal and Related References: Social Security Act - sections 472 and 473

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2. Question: Do the "contrary to the welfare" requirements at 45 CFR 1356.21(c) and (d) apply to the adoption assistance program? Show History

Answer: Yes. To fulfill the eligibility criteria in section 473 (a)(2)(A)(i)(I) of the Social Security Act when a child's removal from the home is the result of court action, there must be a judicial determination to the effect that to remain in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare. Since a child's removal from the home must occur as a result of such a judicial determination, the determination must be made in the first court ruling that sanctions (even temporarily) the removal of a child from the home. If the determination is not made in the first court ruling pertaining to removal from the home, the child is not eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance. The contrary to the welfare finding must be explicit and made on a case-by-case basis. Items such as nunc pro tunc orders, affidavits, and bench notes are not acceptable substitutes for a court order. Only an official transcript is sufficient evidence of the judicial determination. A judicial determination regarding reasonable efforts to prevent removal or reunify the family, although required for title IV-E foster care, is not a requirement for title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility.

  • Source/Date: ACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01)
  • Legal and Related References: Social Security Act - section 473 (a)(2)(A)(i)(I); 45 CFR 1356.21(c) and (d)

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