As the single parent of two special needs adopted girls (and one normal girl who does not feel normal Ü), I have often wondered and asked this official or that, this agency or that, what happens to my children if, God forbid, I should die? If a family member or friend were willing to take my child(ren) would they be eligible for the same adoption subsidy that I am entitled to?
There has always been a resounding “I don’t know” or “well, maybe…”.
Not satisfied, I finally went to the source, NYS Social Service Law 453.
It says, paraphrasing, that if I die prior to the twenty-first birthday of my special needs child(ren), payment of the adoption subsidy will continue to the legal guardian or custodian of the child, retroactively from the death of the parent or parents, upon issuance of letters of guardianship or orders of custody. Translation: whoever gets custody or guardianship of the children has to get permission from family court, and as soon as that permission is granted, adoption subsidy payments will be issued to that person or persons, retroactive from the date of the parent’s death.
If the child contests or disagrees with the custody or guardianship order, the court, with social service’s agreement (that the child would be responsible enough), could issue the adoption subsidy directly to the child, or could appoint another representative payee to accept the funds on behalf of the child.
I adopted my children through Fulton County Family Court, and the explanations about adoption subsidy were either skimpy or non-existent. In another article, I will explain how adoption subsidies can be re-negotiated. In each of these articles, I will provide links to the legislation, so that you can read it for yourself, and print off a copy to share with others!
You can access NYS Social Service Law, and do your own search by going to the home page for the New York State Legislature, and then clicking on Laws of New York, and the scrolling down the list and click on SOS for Social Services. I did a search for "adoption subsidy" and came up with 12 different articles, including the one I described above.