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8.2B.13 TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, Eligibility, Voluntary relinquishments

Items with a star (*) and gray background have been modified from previous record.

Question Number 1:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionIs a child who is voluntarily relinquished to a private, nonprofit agency eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance?
Answer*As authorized by section 473(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) of the Act, a child is eligible for title IVE adoption assistance if s/he is removed from the home by way of a voluntary placement agreement with respect to which title IV-E foster care payments are provided, or as the result of a judicial determination that to remain in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare. However, a child who is voluntarily relinquished to either a public or private, nonprofit agency will be considered judicially removed in the following circumstances:

(1) the child is voluntarily relinquished either to the State agency (or another public agency (including Tribes) with whom the State has a title IV-E agreement), or to a private, nonprofit agency; and

(2) there is a petition to the court to remove the child from home within six months of the time the child lived with a specified relative; and

(3) there is a subsequent judicial determination to the effect that remaining in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare.

Under these circumstances, the AFDC-eligible child will be treated as though s/he was judicially removed rather than voluntarily relinquished. If the State agency subsequently determines that the child also meets the three criteria in the definition of a child with special needs in section 473(c) of the Act, the child is eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance. If, however, there is no petition to remove the child from the home or no subsequent judicial determination, the child cannot be considered judicially removed for the purpose of title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility. Furthermore, if the court merely sanctions the voluntary relinquishment without making a determination that it is contrary to the child's welfare to remain in the home, the child is not eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance.

Source/DateACYF-CB-IM-01-08 (11-6-01)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act -section 473(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) and (c)

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11/12/2001 - 07/24/2006
Question*Is a child who is voluntarily relinquished to a private, nonprofit agency eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance?
Answer*As authorized by section 473(a)(2)(A)(i) of the Act, a child is eligible for title IVE adoption assistance if s/he is removed from the home by way of a voluntary placement agreement with respect to which title IV-E foster care payments are provided, or as the result of a judicial determination that to remain in the home would be contrary to the child''s welfare. However, a child who is voluntarily relinquished to either a public or private, nonprofit agency will be considered judicially removed in the following circumstances:

(1) the child is voluntarily relinquished either to the State agency (or another public agency (including Tribes) with whom the State has a title IV-E agreement), or to a private, nonprofit agency; and

(2) there is a petition to the court to remove the child from home within six months of the time the child lived with a specified relative; and

(3) there is a subsequent judicial determination to the effect that remaining in the home would be contrary to the child''s welfare.

Under these circumstances, the AFDC-eligible child will be treated as though s/he was judicially removed rather than voluntarily relinquished. If the State agency subsequently determines that the child also meets the three criteria in the definition of a child with special needs in section 473(c) of the Act, the child is eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance. If, however, there is no petition to remove the child from the home or no subsequent judicial determination, the child cannot be considered judicially removed for the purpose of title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility. Furthermore, if the court merely sanctions the voluntary relinquishment without making a determination that it is contrary to the child''s welfare to remain in the home, the child is not eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance.

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-IM-01-08 (11-6-01)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act -section 473(a)(2)

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11/12/2001 - 11/12/2001
QuestionIs it possible for a child who is voluntarily relinquished to be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance?
AnswerA voluntary relinquishment does not meet the statutory requirements for either of the two types of removals of a child from his or her home authorized by section 473(a)(2)(A)(i) of the Social Security Act (the Act). Specifically, when a child is removed from the home by way of a voluntary relinquishment, the removal is neither the result of a voluntary placement agreement nor the result of a judicial determination that to remain in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare, as defined in the statute. However, we have considered a child who has been placed with the State agency or another public agency (including Tribes) with whom the State has a title IV-E agreement via a voluntary relinquishment to meet the section 473(a)(2)(A)(i) requirements for a judicial removal in the following specific circumstance: The State must petition the court within six months of the child living with a specified relative and obtain a judicial determination to the effect that remaining in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare. As such, the child will then be treated as though s/he were judicially removed rather than voluntarily relinquished. If the petition to remove the child from the home and the subsequent judicial determination does not occur, the child cannot be considered judicially removed for the purpose of title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility. Furthermore, if the court merely sanctions the voluntary relinquishment without making a determination that it is contrary to the child's welfare to remain in the home, the child is not eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance.

There are two circumstances under which the nature of a child's removal from his or her home is irrelevant:

(1) when a child is eligible for Supplemental Security Income at the time adoption proceedings are initiated and the State determines that the child meets the statutory definition of special needs prior to the finalization of the adoption; and

(2) in a subsequent adoption when a child received title IV-E adoption assistance in a previous adoption that dissolved or in which the adoptive parents died, if the State determines that the child continues to be a child with special needs.

Under these two circumstances, no additional eligibility criteria should be applied to determine title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility, including whether a child had been voluntarily relinquished.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act -section 473(a)(2)

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