Below you will find information about the adoption assistance benefits that may be available to families who adopt children from foster care in Manitoba.
Updated November 2018
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What Is Adoption Assistance?
Adoption assistance may be available for children with special needs. Often, assistance is provided to encourage the adoption of special needs children and remove the financial disincentives to adoption for the families. If you have questions, please call the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) at 651-644-3036 or our subsidy help line at 800-470-6665, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manitoba’s Adoption Resources on the Web:
- Manitoba Family Services and Housing’ Adoption Home Page
- Manitoba Family Services and Housing’s Adoption of a Permanent Ward/Financial Assistance
Who Is Eligible for Adoption Assistance?
1. Manitoba’s legal definition of special needs is as follows:
Under the financial assistance regulation, a child is eligible for assistance if they meet the following definition of special needs:
- has a diagnosed physical or mental condition;
- has a diagnosed emotional or behaviourial disturbance;
- is at high risk of developing such conditions;
- has a need for permanency with a family with whom there are significant emotional ties,
- has a need for a culturally compatible family or extended family,
- is a a member of a sibling group.
What Supports and Services Are Available?
2. If available, the standard adoption assistance rate in Manitoba is:
For special services such as counselling, there is no standard rate. For on-going assistance (per diems) the amount is calculated based on family income and size. The maximum is half the daily maintenance rate for foster care. For example, as of January 1, 2008 a child under 10 in the southern part of the province would qualify for $11.94 maximum per day. Age 11 and over it increases to $14.59 per day. Northern rates are higher.
3. Specialized rates, if available, are based on the extraordinary needs of the child, and/or the additional parenting skill needed to raise the child. If Manitoba offers special allowances over and above the standard rate, the criteria used to define the higher rates are as follows:
4. In addition to monthly payments, what sort of post-adoption services (respite, counseling, residential treatment, parent training, etc.) are provided? When available, are these services formally specified in the adoption assistance agreement in Manitoba?
There are three types of financial assistance: start up costs (one time costs); special services (e.g. counselling); and on-going (per diem). Special services may include: counselling, play therapy, and speech therapy are services for which parents are able to receive reimbursement, and must be formally specified in the adoption assistance agreement.
5. What medical or dental services are available in Manitoba?
Medical coverage is not usually provided as Canada has universal medical coverage. However, extraordinary dental treatment such as orthodontic work or the cost of medication related to a child’s special needs, for example, may be covered.
6. When my child turns 18, which benefits, if any, are available to our family?
7. Do relatives adopting under the program receive the same benefits as non-relatives?
If the children are permanent wards, the same benefits are available to relatives.
8. Do children adopted from private agencies in Manitoba receive the same subsidies as those children adopted from public agencies?
What Should Families Know About Applying for Adoption Assistance?
9. When do subsidy payments begin?
The ongoing assistance starts the date of the adoption placement. Special service assistance is available anytime after the placement occurs. Start-up costs are available at the time they occur, generally at the time of placement.
10. Will Manitoba consider my family income to determine my child’s benefit package?
Family income and size are used to determine the amount of ongoing assistance (per diem). This is through the Financial Assistance Regulation. For special services,the family must use any public program that is available and if they have private insurance coverage, they must access it first.
11. Are prospective adoptive families routinely notified of all benefits available to them in Manitoba?
Yes, our regulations require this notification.
12. Who sets the assistance rates and how are they established?
The on-going assistance rate is set by the Financial Assistance Regulation. Rates for special services are set by the service providers although the province still must approve the request.
13. Who makes the final determination of a child’s eligibility in Manitoba? What roles, if any, do workers and administrators at the agency or regional level play in eligibility determination and/or assistance negotiation?
Eligibility is determined by the Director of Child and Family Service for the province, delegated to the Provincial Adoption Coordinator. The applicants’ agency assists the applicants with the application and with supporting documentation and forwards it to the Director.
14. Once a child is determined eligible for assistance, is there any requirement to look for an adoptive family who will accept a placement without assistance?
15. Once eligibility is established, how and by whom are assistance agreements negotiated in Manitoba?
The agency determines what services should be applied for by the applicant, but the adoption coordinator retains the right of approval.
How Can a Family Adjust an Adoption Assistance Agreement?
16. A child’s adoption assistance agreement may be periodically reviewed by the agency. What is the typical process used in Manitoba?
The ongoing assistance is reviewed annually. The adoptive parents submit an income statement and based on this, the per diem rate may change. For special services such as counselling, the service provider must submit a progress report at six months. We also request feedback from the adoptive parents at this time.
17. Can adoption assistance agreements be modified if requested by adoptive parents?
The agreement can be modified at the annual review or at other times at the discretion of the adoption coordinator.
18. A deferred or nil agreement is one in which the initial monthly assistance payment is $0. If a child’s needs are listed as high risk and symptoms later manifest, the payment is renegotiated. Are deferred agreements offered in Manitoba?
19. What are the exact steps a family must go through to access the appeal process in Manitoba?
There is no formalized appeal process.
20. Families may request assistance after the finalization of an adoption under certain circumstances. Below is the process by which families access adoption benefits after finalization.
What Else Do Families Need to Know?
21. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded in Manitoba?
Child and Family Services Agencies administer the financial assistance, and the Province approves the level of the assistance and funds the program.
22. Below are other programs that may differentiate Manitoba’s adoption assistance program from others around the country.