Updated October 2012
Below you can find information about the adoption assistance benefits that may be available to families who adopt children from foster care in New Hampshire. Adoption subsidy policies and practices are, for the most part, dependent on the state where the child was in foster care before the adoption.
Catherine Meister, Adoption Program Supervisor
Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF)
129 Pleasant St.
Concord, NH 03301-3951
NACAC has no New Hampshire volunteer. If you or someone you know would like to volunteer to help families learn more about adoption assistance, please contact Josh Kroll at NACAC: email@example.com or 651-644-3036 x15
What Is Adoption Subsidy?
Adoption assistance is a resource used to remove barriers to adoption for children who have special needs and who cannot be adopted without adoption assistance. Families who are thinking about or are in the process of adopting a child with special needs from foster care should know about adoption assistance. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (often called non-IV-E) adoption assistance programs are designed to help parents meet their adopted children’s special needs.
Below is information related to definitions of special needs, benefits available, and procedures in New Hampshire. 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:
New Hampshire’s state-specific medical assistance information:
New Hampshire’s adoption assistance information:
New Hampshire Statutes, Chapter 170-F Adoptive Care Act:
Part He-C 6438 Adoption Subsidies:
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rules/state_agencies/he-c6400.html (Scroll to He-C 6438)
Who is Eligible for Adoption Assistance or Subsidy?
1. How does New Hampshire define special needs to determine eligibility?
A child’s eligibility for adoption assistance is based on his or her identified special needs. A child’s special needs are conditions or factors that make it reasonable to conclude the child cannot be adopted without medical services, behavioral health services, social services, or adoption assistance payments.
Conditions that may qualify a child as a child with special needs include but are not limited to:
- Medical needs that require specialized care in the home.
- Serious emotional disturbance that requires constant supervision and trained intervention above what is typically required for children of a similar age.
- Developmental needs that require specialized supervision, home modifications, and/or specialized equipment, or
- Other intense needs that require professional services.
Other factors that may qualify a child as a child with special needs include:
- Child is part of a sibling group of at least 3 siblings, one of whom has a special needs condition described above; or
- Child is at least six years old or older and recruitment of adoptive parents has not been successful.
Adoptive parent(s) who apply for adoption assistance must identify their current circumstances that might qualify them for adoption assistance such as; commitment to the child, number and ages of family members including children, if any, in their family, family needs and income, ability to adopt a child without adoption assistance, community and other resources available to meet the child’s needs, and extra expenses required to meet the child’s needs.
2. Does the state-only funded adoption assistance program differ in any way from the Title IV-E program?
3. Are children adopted from private agencies in New Hampshire eligible for adoption assistance?
Families who are privately adopting a child who is IV-E eligible would have to apply and the child would have to meet the special needs criteria described in question 1.
What Supports and Services Are Available?
4. What is the maximum basic daily adoption assistance maintenance payment in New Hampshire?
5. Does New Hampshire provide specialized rates (based on the extraordinary needs of the child or the additional parenting skill needed to raise the child)?
6. When do adoption assistance payments begin?
Adoption assistance payments and benefits may begin at placement.
7. When a child turns 18, which benefits, if any, continue?
8. Does New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire?
- Anesthesia services
- Back braces
- Chiropractic services (6/year)
- Dental services
- Detox center
- Durable medical equipment
- Ear molds
- Early intervention services
- Eye care
- Family planning services
- Food supplements/internal feedings
- Hospital inpatient care
- Hearing aids
- Hospital outpatient care (12/year)
- Laboratory services
- Mental health services
- Nursing—private duty
- Newborn home visits
- Occupational therapy (40 30-minute sessions/year)*
- Obstetrical services
- Optometry services
- Organ transplant services
- Pastoral counseling
- Physical therapy (40 30-minute sessions/year)*
- Physician services (18/year)
- Podiatry services (12/year)
- Psychotherapy services (12/year)
- Rehab centers (outpatient)
- Respite care
- Social work counseling
- School Administration Unit (SAU)
- Speech therapy (40 30-minute sessions per year)*
- Tubal ligation
- Wheelchair van (24 trips/year)
- X-rays (15/year)
*Service limits on occupational, physical, and speech therapies are taken in combination
For more information, contact Simone Roy (603-271-4694 or email@example.com).
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 receiving state-funded adoption assistance are considered one-person families and are eligible for Medicaid.
11. What mental health services are available?
Public mental health services for children in New Hampshire are administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community and Public Health and may include inpatient hospitalization, psychotherapy, social work counseling, mental health services, pastoral counseling, prescription drugs, and respite care.
For more information, parents should contact the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health at 603-271-8140 or 800-852-3345.
12. In New Hampshire, what nonrecurring adoption expenses directly related to the finalization of an adoption may be reimbursed?
Nonrecurring adoption expenses of up to $2,000 per child may be reimbursed, including reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, and other expenses (such as adoption studies, health and psychological examinations, supervision of the placement prior to adoption, transportation, reasonable costs of food/lodging necessary to complete the placement), as long as they are directly related to the legal adoption of a child with special needs.
The families’ social worker will provide families with a written summary outlining the adoption assistance and nonrecurring cost programs. Families should apply for reimbursement before finalization.
13. Is child care available? If yes, who is eligible and how do families access child care?
14. Is respite care available? If yes, who is eligible and how do families access respite care?
Families may be able to access respite care as part of post-adoption services (see question 16).
15. Is residential treatment available? If yes, who is eligible and how do families access residential treatment services?
Residential treatment is not covered by adoption assistance. Families can obtain access through private insurance or the Education Department, or through the filing of an abuse/neglect, CHINS, or delinquency petition.
Some residential treatment centers accept Medicaid, but only a portion of costs may be covered (such as those for the therapeutic portion of the treatment).
Post-adoption services in New Hampshire are administered by the DHHS, Division for Children, Youth and Families and may include:
- Resource and referral
- Educational programs
- Educational materials
- Respite care
- Support groups
- Case management
- Adoption search services
To contact DHHS, DCYF, see the contact and information link: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcyf/adoption/contact.htm
Granite State College, in partnership with the state, provides training for foster and adoptive families on an ongoing basis on a range of subjects including attachment issues, ADHD, and developmental disabilities. For more information, parents can contact Granite State College 888-228-3000 (general college number) or 603-271-4946 (the Education and Training Partnership), or visit http://www.granite.edu/students/fostertraining.php.
Information on adoption search services can be found under the Frequently Asked Questions link at the DHHS web site: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcyf/adoption/adoptees.htm
Not all services may be available in all cases. Families should contact their adoption assistance worker or post-adoption services contact for 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?
First, the prospective adoptive family has to complete the Adoption Assistance Application. The Adoption Assistance Agreement is completed afterwards based on the state’s determination of what the family is eligible for.
19. Who makes the final determination on an adoption assistance agreement?
The Adoption Manager makes eligibility determinations for both the child and family.
20. How do families request adoption assistance after finalization of an adoption?
Contact Catherine Meister at 603-271-8382 or Catherine.L.Meister@dhhs.state.nh.us.
How Can a Family Adjust an Adoption Assistance Agreement?
21. Can adoptive parents ask to change an adoption assistance agreement?
Adoptive parents can make a request to change the adoption assistance agreement at any time. Requests should be made to the Adoption Manager in writing.
Requests for change must be based on a change in the child’s needs or family’s circumstances. Each request is considered on an individual basis. If parents disagree with an answer to the requested change, they may request an appeal of the decision and seek a fair hearing (see question 22).
Adoptive parents may appeal any Division for Children, Youth and Family’s decision that affects their child’s adoption assistance benefits, including eligibility, review, termination, and suspension of assistance. Requests for a fair hearing should be made in writing to:
Administrative Appeals Unit Office of Operations Support
Department of Health and Human Services
105 Pleasant Street
Concord, New Hampshire 03301
What Else do Families Need to Know?
23. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded in New Hampshire?
The program is state supervised/state administered, which means that both policy and eligibility decisions are made by staff at the state office.
In New Hampshire, the federal contribution to Title IV-E-eligible children is 50% (the Federal Financial Participation or FFP rate). Remaining program costs (50%) are covered by state funds
24. Does New Hampshire operate a subsidized guardianship program?
25. Does New Hampshire offer a tuition waiver program?
Yes. Youth are eligible for the tuition waiver if they are younger than age 23 and meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Was in state foster care for the immediate 6-month period before his or her 18th birthday;
- Was in state guardianship or custody on his or her 18th birthday;
- Was adopted while in state guardianship or adopted from the care, custody, and control of the department following a surrender of parental rights; or
- Was in an out-of-home placement under the supervision of the Division for Juvenile Justice Services on his or her 17th birthday.
To find out more about the application process for this program, parents or youth can contact:
Adolescent Program and Independent Living
NH Division for Children, Youth and Families
Brown Building, Fourth Floor
129 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301-3857
26. Does New Hampshire offer a state adoption tax credit?
27. Does New Hampshire have any program to support an adoptee whose adoptive parents die until the child is adopted again?
28. What is the payment schedule for adoption assistance? Who do I contact if I haven’t received my payment? Can I recieve my adoption assistance through direct deposit?
The New Hampshire Foster and Adoptive Parent Association has the schedule of dates available on this web page, http://www.nhfapa.org/.
If you haven’t received payment or would like to set up direct deposit for you payment, contact:
29. What else differentiates New Hampshire’s adoption assistance program from others around the country?