Adoption Services

South Dakota Adoption Subsidy Program

Adoption Subsidy is a program which helps support children in adoptive situations by providing monthly Medicaid and/or financial assistance. A child is considered eligible for subsidized adoption under the following circumstances.

  1. When the legal authority to place and to consent to the child’s adoption is held by the department.

  2. When the special needs and circumstances of the child result in a limited number of suitable adoptive homes being available, necessitating the use of a subsidized adoptive home. Special needs and circumstances include:

    • a child’s age, race, or religion;
    • a child with a physical, emotional, neurological, or intellectual handicap or problem;
    • a sibling group that needs to be placed together;
    • a child needing a prosthesis, extensive ongoing or anticipated medical care, or therapy for speech, physical, or psychological problems; or
    • when adoption by the foster parent(s) with whom the child is living is the only appropriate plan.

With the exception of foster parent(s) adopting the foster child, an effort to place without subsidy must be documented before a subsidy is approved. Children in any of the above situations may be eligible for financial assistance in an amount up to the current standard basic foster care rate. A child’s benefits from other sources, such as SSI or Social Security, will affect the amount of subsidy. Medicaid will also be provided.

The general subsidy program serves only public agency adoption. A nonrecurring program is available to families who adopt a special-needs child. Nonrecurring expenses include attorney fees, court costs, transportation, adoptive home study fee and other expenses directly related to finalizing the adoption.