Child Welfare Policy Manual

October 23, 2016

1.2B.8  AFCARS, Data Elements and Definitions, Foster Care Specific Elements, Principal caretaker

1. Question: When an adoption is dissolved and the child is then re-adopted, should the State submit the information on the first adoptive (legal) parents or the birth parents?

Answer: The AFCARS report should always include information on the legal parents. Therefore, in this case, the State should submit information on the previous adoptive parents.

2. Question: What if a State has information on both the legal as well as one or more putative fathers? For whom should information be provided?

Answer: Information should be provided on the legal father; however, if a child has one or more putative fathers and a legal father is not established, the year of birth used should be that of the putative father whose parental rights were terminated last. (See: 45 CFR 1355, Appendix B, Section I, Roman Numeral IV, Question A2. Also see: Appendix D, Detailed Adoption, Element Number 17.)

3. Question: If a child's principal caretakers are a same sex couple how is it indicated for AFCARS reporting?

Answer: The couple should be entered as either an unmarried or married couple depending on how State law views them. (See: 45 CFR 1355, Appendix B, Section I, Roman Numeral VII, Question A. Also see: Appendix D, Detailed Foster Care, Element Numbers 44 and 49.)

  • Source/Date: ACYF-CB-PIQ-94-01 (7/8/94)
  • Legal and Related References: Social Security Act - section 479; 45 CFR Parts 1355, 1356 and 1357