Mississippi State Subsidy Profile
Updated July 2010
State Subsidy Contact Person
Department of Human Services
Family and Children Services
750 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39202
601-359-4499; 800-345-6347 (in state);
800-553-7545 (out of state)
Phone: 601-359-4753; Fax 601-359-4599
NACAC Subsidy Representative (parent/volunteer)
Family Matters of Jackson
2062 Suzanna Drive
Raymond, MS 39154
What Is Adoption Subsidy?
Parents who are thinking about or are in the process of adopting a child with special needs from foster care should know about adoption assistance (also known as adoption subsidy). Federal (Title IV-E) and state (often called non-IV-E) adoption assistance programs are designed to help parents meet their adopted children’s varied, and often costly, needs. Children can qualify for federal adoption assistance or state assistance, depending on the child’s history. Adoption subsidy policies and practices are, for the most part, dependent on the state in which the child was in foster care before the adoption.
Below is information related to definitions of special needs, benefits available, and procedures in Mississippi. Answers to select questions were made available by the Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (AAICAMA) through the Child Welfare Information Gateway (www.childwelfare.gov). Profiles for other states’ subsidy programs are available. If you have additional questions, please contact NACAC at 651-644-3036, 800-470-6665, or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have state-specific questions, please call your State Subsidy Contact Person or the NACAC Subsidy Representative (listed above) for more information.
For more information on Title IV-E eligibility, view our fact sheet Eligibility and Benefits for Federal Adoption Assistance.
Adoption resources on the web:
Mississippi’s state-specific medical assistance:
Mississippi’s adoption assistance:
then scroll down to Adoption Assistance
Mississippi Code, Adoption Supplemental Benefit Law, 93-17-51 through 93-17-69
then click on the Section titled Adoption Supplement Benefit Law
Who is Eligible for Adoption Assistance or Subsidy?
1. How does Mississippi define special needs to determine eligibility?
A child with special needs is defined as a child that has at least one of the following circumstances that may be a barrier to adoption without financial assistance:
- Six years of age or older
- Member of a sibling group of two or more children placed together for adoption
- Physical disability
- Mental disability (IQ of 70 or less)
- Developmental disability
- Emotional disturbance
- Medical condition(s)
- History of abuse that puts a child at risk of having special needs
2. Does the state-only funded adoption assistance program differ in any way from the Title IV-E program?
To be eligible for state-funded adoption assistance a child must meet the special needs definition in question 1 above. There are no differences in eligibility criteria or monetary benefits. However, if a state-funded child is approved for deferred adoption assistance (see question 8), the child does not receive Medicaid. Title IV-E eligible children with deferred adoption assistance do receive Medicaid.
3. Are children adopted from private agencies in Mississippi eligible for adoption assistance?
Only if they are eligible for federal (Title IV-E) adoption assistance. Very few private agency children qualify because such children do not meet the requirement for a judicial removal of the child from the home.
What Supports and Services Are Available?
4. What is the maximum basic monthly adoption assistance maintenance payment in Mississippi?
5. Does Mississippi provide specialized rates (based on the extraordinary needs of the child or the additional parenting skill needed to raise the child)?
Specialized rates are determined based on the rate established for the child in foster care based on the child’s individual needs. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. Generally, children must have multiple medical needs to qualify for specialized rates. The following children may be eligible for specialized rates:
- Children who have exceptional physical, mental, or emotional, or behavioral needs
- Children with extreme illness or disabilities requiring nursing care (excluding children in residential treatment facilities)
- Emotionally disturbed children requiring therapeutic care
- Medically fragile children
The maximum monthly specialized rates are $700 for exceptional therapeutic needs, and up to $900 for exceptional medical needs.
6. When do adoption assistance payments begin?
Adoption assistance payments begin at adoption placement. In the case of adoption by foster parents, payments begin at adoption finalization.
7. When a child turns 18, which benefits, if any, continue?
Assistance payments terminate when a child reaches age 18. However, the state may choose to extend assistance until children turn 21 if they have a mental or physical disability that warrants continuation.
8. Does Mississippi offer deferred adoption assistance agreements (agreements where initial monthly maintenance amount is $0 for children at risk of developing special needs later)?
9. What Medicaid services are available in Mississippi?
- Child health—all children and youth under age 21 who are on Medicaid are eligible for Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment Services (EPSDT)
- Christian Science sanatoria
- Dental—dental exam and cleaning every 6 months, emergency dental extractions, and if necessary, treatment for an acute dental condition; (fillings, crowns, bridges, and dentures are not covered)
- Vision—exams and one pair of eyeglasses per year
- Family planning
- Home health—50 home health visits each fiscal year when ordered by a physician.
- Inpatient hospital care—up to 30 days of hospital care each fiscal year (July 1 - June 30); unlimited hospital days will be allowed for children with certain diagnoses or in certain facilities
- Nursing home care
- Outpatient hospital care—6 emergency room visits each fiscal year
- Pharmacy services—5 prescriptions per month if the drugs are on Medicaid's approved list of medicine
- Physician Services—12 visits each fiscal year at doctor's office, rural health clinic, or hospital emergency room
- Rural health clinic—visits to a rural health clinic are included in the 12 visit limit to a physician
For more information, call the central state Medicaid office at 601-359-6050.
10. What medical benefits are available for state-funded children? (Children who have federally funded/Title IV-E adoption assistance are automatically eligible for Medicaid benefits.)
Children adopted with adoption assistance (state or federal) receive a Medicaid card. However, state-funded children who have deferred adoption assistance do not receive Medicaid. All children have access to identical medical coverage.
11. What mental health services are available?
Public mental health services for children in Mississippi are administered by the Office of the Governor, Division of Medicaid (DOM) and may include the following: inpatient and outpatient hospital, physician services, prescription drugs, psychiatric residential treatment, and inpatient psychiatric care. For more information, visit http://www.medicaid.ms.gov/ or call the Medicaid central office at 601-359-6050.
12. In Mississippi, what nonrecurring adoption expenses directly related to the finalization of an adoption may be reimbursed?
Families may receive reimbursement, of up to $1,000 per child, of the one-time expenses incurred in adoption, including attorney fees, court costs, criminal records clearance, the adoption home study performed by a licensed child-placing agency, costs of amending a birth certificate, required medical and psychological evaluations, transportation costs for placement and pre-placement, and the reasonable costs of lodging and food necessary for the child and adoptive parents to complete the adoption process.
Families adopting children with special needs through licensed child-placing agencies or independent adoptions may be eligible for reimbursement of nonrecurring expenses. To be eligible, an adoption assistance agreement must be signed by DHS prior to finalization. Means tests are not permitted, and children need not be IV-E eligible.
13. Is child care available? If yes, who is eligible and how do families access child care?
Child care is currently not available.
14. Is respite care available? If yes, who is eligible and how do families access respite care?
All adopted children are eligible for respite care, which can be accessed by contacting Partners in Permanency (601-354-0983 or 800-748-3005).
15. Is residential treatment available? If yes, who is eligible and how do families access residential treatment services?
The Adoption Assistance Program does not include a provision for the payment of residential treatment. DHS will help families who adopted through DHS to explore funding resources for residential care.
Families who need residential treatment services must apply through the Medicaid program. They should:
- call the central state Medicaid office (601-359-6050) and ask for the contact information for the regional Medicaid office;
- call the regional office and request for residential treatment; set up an appointment, and determine the appropriate steps to take; and
- bring documentation to the regional office appointment stating the doctor's recommendation for the child to receive residential treatment.
16. What other post-adoption services are available in Mississippi and how do families find out more about them?
Post-adoption services in Mississippi are administered by MDHS Family and Children’s Services Resource Family Units, which are located in each region. Contact the local Department of Family and Children’s Services office to access services or contact the regional office. A list of the regional offices is also available at http://www.mdhs.state.ms.us/fcs_rd.html or by calling 601-359-4999.
Partners in Permanency (PIP), a program administered through a private adoption agency, also provides post-adoption services to all adopted children in Mississippi. PIP can be contacted at 1-800-748-3005.
Services may include the following:
- Information and referral
- Educational materials
- Support groups
- Therapeutic intervention (limited)
- Respite care
Please note that not all services may be available in all cases. The families’ adoption assistance worker or post-adoption services contact will have more information about process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services.
17. If the assistance listed above in questions 13 to 16 are for specific services, must these services be explicitly identified in the adoption assistance agreement?
What Should Families Know About Applying for Subsidy?
18. Who initiates the adoption assistance agreement?
The adoption assistance agreement is initiated by the adoption specialist in the area where the adopting family resides.
19. Who makes the final determination on an adoption assistance agreement?
The state office administrator (or a designee) makes final determination.
20. How do families request adoption assistance after finalization of an adoption?
Families must submit a written request with any supporting documentation to:
Department of Human Services
Family and Children Services
750 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39202
601-359-4499; 800-345-6347 (in state); 800-553-7545 (out of state)
How Can a Family Adjust an Adoption Assistance Agreement?
21. Can adoptive parents ask to change an adoption assistance agreement?
Adoptive parents may request a change in the adoption assistance agreement at any time. Parents must submit a written request to the DHS administrator (see contact information in question 20 above) along with current documentation of the child’s special needs. The administrator approves or disapproves any changes in agreements.
22. What steps does a family go through to appeal an adoption assistance decision in Mississippi?
Requests for a fair hearing in Mississippi can be made whenever there is a disagreement regarding an agency action affecting adoption assistance.
Adoptive parents must file a written grievance requesting a fair hearing with DHS within 10 working days of the date of the contested agency decision. Fair hearings are held within 60 calendar days of the receipt of the written request, and notices of the proposed hearing shall be sent to all involved parties at least 30 calendar days before the fair hearing.
What Else do Families Need to Know?
23. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded in Mississippi?
The program is state supervised/state administered. This means that both policy and eligibility decisions are made by staff at the state office.
In Mississippi, the federal contribution for Title IV-E-eligible children is 75.84 percent (the Federal Financial Participation or FFP rate). The remaining cost of the program is state funded.
24. Does Mississippi operate a subsidized guardianship program?
25. Does Mississippi offer a tuition waiver program?
No, but Mississippi does have an Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program. The ETV program provides financial assistance to meet the cost of attendance in eligible post-secondary educational and vocational training programs for all youth who aged out of custody or who were adopted from foster care after their 16th birthday. (Youth who are adopted into Mississippi after their 16th birthday from another state may qualify to receive ETV funds from the state that had legal custody of the youth.)
For more information, contact Mario Johnson at 601-359-4983 or email@example.com.
26. Does Mississippi offer a state adoption tax credit?
Mississippi established a tax credit of up to $2,500 per year for qualified adoption expenses. Qualified applicants can apply for the credit the year the adoption is finalized. Please visit to www.dor.ms.gov for further information.
27. Does Mississippi have any program to support an adoptee whose adoptive parents die until the child is adopted again?
Mississippi will assist in the re-adoption of the child by providing the courts with a home study and covering non-recurring adoption expenses.
28. What else differentiates Mississippi’s adoption assistance program from others around the country?