Adoption Services

South Dakota Adoption Subsidy Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who may apply for subsidy?
A. Persons interested in adopting a child who is under the care of public agencies may apply for adoption subsidy.

Q. When can a subsidy be received?
A. Upon placement for adoption.

Q. How long can the subsidy continue?
A. Subsidy may continue until the child is 18 years old or longer if the individual is living at home and enrolled in and regularly attending high school.

Q. Must the child remain in South Dakota to receive subsidy?
A. No. Subsidy can be paid regardless of where the child and the adoptive parent(s) live. However, services covered by Medicaid may vary from state to state.

Q. What if the child is receiving benefits such as SSI, SSA, VA, Railroad or other beneficiary payments?
A. After the finalization of the adoption, the parent(s) may apply directly to the benefit source and receive the benefits. When the amount of the adoption subsidy payment is negotiated, these additional resources are considered.

Q. If the child starts to receive benefits after the adoptive placement, must they be reported?
A. Yes, as such benefits might change the amount of subsidy or Medicaid coverage for which the child is eligible.

Q. What if the adoptive parent(s) has health and medical insurance?
A. The adoptive parent’s insurance must be used if the child can be covered through his/her insurance company. Medicaid may be used if the insurance company pays below the Medicaid allowable and the service falls within the scope of the Medicaid program.

Q. If the parent(s) elects not to apply for subsidy before the adoption is finalized, can they apply later if there is a change in the child’s condition, health, etc.?
A. No. Federal regulations do not allow a subsidy to be written after the adoption is finalized.

Q. Is there ever a review of the need for adoption subsidy?
A. No. The subsidy is written until the child’s 18th birthday.

Q. Must changes be reported at any other time?
A. Yes. Changes in circumstances such as changes of address, benefits being received by the child, or the child leaving the adopted home should be reported as they occur.

Q. If a service is offered from another source in the community, must it be used?
A. If the service is appropriate to meet the child’s needs, it must be used. Such services may include speech therapy or tutoring from the public schools, Indian Health Services, etc.

Q. If insurance or community resources now meet the child’s needs, is there any reason to apply for subsidy?
A. Applications may be made for subsidy to cover the child in case the insurance or community resources become unavailable at a later date.

Q. Are the payments made to the parent(s) or directly to a professional?
A. The monthly check is paid directly to the adoptive parent(s). Medicaid is paid to eligible vendors after the service is given.

Q. Who can the adoptive parents contact when they have questions or need to report changes?
A. Changes should be reported in writing or by phone to:

  • Address: South Dakota Department of Social Services,
    Child Protection Services
    Adoption Specialist
    700 Governors Drive
    Pierre, South Dakota 57501-2291
  • Phone: (605) 773-3227