Department of Health and Family Services
Division of Children and Family Services

                DCFS Memo Series 2003 - 03
                February 11, 2003

             Re:  REVISED CH. HFS 50, ADM.
                    CODE, FACILITATING THE
                    ADOPTION OF CHILDREN WITH
                    SPECIAL NEEDS



Area Administrators/Assistant Area Administrators
Bureau Directors
County Departments of Community Programs Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities Services Directors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Departments of Social Services Directors
Licensed Child Placing Agencies
Licensing Chiefs/Section Chiefs
Program Office Directors/Section Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators


William R. Fiss
Acting Administrator


The Department revised Administrative Code HFS 50, Facilitating the Adoption of Children with Special Needs. The new rule became effective December 1, 2002. All actions related to the adoption of children with special care needs on or after that date must be determined pursuant to the revised rule. The rule is available on the Wisconsin State Legislature’s web site at   A paper copy of Administrative Code HFS 50 is available upon request.

The major changes in the revised rule are:

  • The definition of "child at high risk" - HFS 50.01 (4) (j);

  • Reference to placements of children brought to Wisconsin for adoption from another state under the interstate compact on the placement of children that are mandated by federal statutes and regulations - HFS 50.03 (1) (d); and

  • The Department will no longer send out an annual review to adoptive families and temporarily suspend adoption assistance for failure to return the annual review – HFS 50.06 (3).

If training is desired on the changes, please contact Dale Langer at (608) 266-3595 or Jill Duerst at (608) 266-1142.


Area Administrator


Dale Langer, Manager
Adoption and Consultation Section
P.O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
Phone: N/A
FAX: (608) 264-6750



County Foster Care Coordinators
BMCW Adoption/Contract Staff
BPP Regional Adoption/Partner Staff
BRL Licensing Staff
Post Adoption Resource Centers
Private Foster Care Agency Contacts
Special Needs Adoption Network

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