Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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South Dakota Adoption Subsidy Program

The Adoption Subsidy Program helps support children who have been adopted by providing monthly Medicaid and/or financial assistance.

A child is eligible for subsidized adoption under the following circumstances:
  • When the Department of Social Services legal authority to place and to consent to the child’s adoption
  • 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 disability 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; and
    • when adoption by the foster parent(s) with whom the child is living is the only appropriate plan.

An effort to place without a 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 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security, will affect the amount of the subsidy. Medicaid will also be provided.

The general subsidy program serves only public agency adoptions. A nonrecurring payment 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.