What Is Adoption Assistance?


The purpose of the adoption assistance program is to help secure and support safe and permanent adoptive families for children with special needs, most of whom are in the public foster care system and are awaiting adoption.

Adoption assistance (subsidy) is designed to provide adoptive families of any economic level with needed social services, and medical and financial support to care for children considered difficult to place. Adoption assistance can take the form of a monthly payment (subsidy) to meet the special and ordinary needs of the child, Medical Assistance as a backup to the adoptive family’s private health insurance, and reimbursement for non-recurring adoption expenses (up to $2000/child).

Who Is Eligible for a Subsidy?

Children placed through the state, a county social service office, a North Dakota licensed child-placing agency, or a North Dakota Tribe may be eligible for a subsidy. Private (non-agency) adoptions do not qualify for a subsidy

In North Dakota, a child may be designated as a child with “special needs” for the purposes of adoption subsidy if the child meets at least one of the following criteria. The child:

The state must also determine that a reasonable but unsuccessful effort has been made to place the child without a subsidy, except where the child is being placed with a family with whom the child has a significant relationship (as in a foster parent or relative adoption).

How Long Do Subsidies Last?

Subsidy payment and medical assistance will end when the child reaches age 18. Under special circumstances, the subsidy may be provided until age 21. However, it must be determined that the child has an extraordinary mental or physical disability that warrants the continuation of the subsidy or that the child is in a full-time educational program.

For more information on the Adoption Assistance Program in North Dakota, please refer to the Adoption Assistance Information Brochure. (73kb pdf)