Adoption Assistance

There are many children in Wisconsin with special needs waiting to be adopted. Children who are waiting for a family may come from a variety of situations. Many children are currently living in foster homes. It may be their first placement after being removed from their home or the child may have been in several homes.

When it is not safe for a child to live with their birth parents, efforts are made to find an adoptive family that best meets the needs of the child. These adoptive homes are sometimes referred to as foster home conversions.

Adoption assistance helps support parents raising a child with special care needs who meets the eligibility criteria for adoption assistance in Ch. DCF 50 Administrative Code. This assistance may include:

  • medical assistance for some medical costs not covered by the family's health insurance
  • a monthly amount to help care for the child
  • reimbursement of reasonable and necessary expenses to complete the adoption

C = Paper Checks Mailed
D = Direct Deposit

For more information about Adoption Assistance, please see the information sheet:

You may also call the Adoption Assistance Program at 1-866-666-5532.

If you need to report or request changes or high school information, please user the following forms:

Medical Assistance

For more information about your child's medical assistance, please see the Adoption and Medical Assistance frequently asked questions document.

Adoption Assistance Amendments (Subsidy Increase) Requests

You may request a time-limited amendment to your child's monthly adoption assistance subsidy if all of the following criteria are met:

  • You have a signed Wisconsin Adoption Assistance Agreement in effect for your child
  • It has been at least one year since the adoption was finalized
  • Your monthly adoption assistance subsidy is less than $2,000
  • You believe you child's special care needs have increased since the time of adoption
  • Your child is receiving less than the maximum allowable subsidy for special care needs. The Amendment Specialist can advise whether this is the case.

For more information on Adoption Assistance amendment requests, please see the reverse side (page 2) of the Adoption Assistance information sheet.

There are different amendment request procedures specific to the date of adoption and state of residence. For more information contact the Amendment Specialist.

Amendment Specialist Contact Information

Telephone: 1-866-666-5532

Reimbursement for Adoption Expenses of a Child with Special Care Needs

Reimbursement for some nonrecurring adoption expenses is available to:

  • Individuals who adopt a child or children with special care needs.
  • Individuals who adopt a child or children who are at risk of developing special care needs.

A signed adoption assistance agreement must be in effect with the State of Wisconsin.  The adoption must be finalized before requesting reimbursement of adoption expenses.

To learn more about requesting reimbursement of nonrecurring adoption expenses, please see the brochure:

To request reimbursement of nonrecurring adoption expenses, please use the Adoption of Children with Special Needs One Time Expense Reimbursement form (DCF-F-CFS0459-E).

Changes in Adoptive Family Circumstances

To learn more about how changes in family circumstances can affect Adoption Assistance, please see the information sheet: