Adoption Subsidy Rates in New York

In New York State monthly subsidy payments continue until the child is 21, unless the adoptive parent is no longer legally responsible for the support of the child or the child is no longer receiving any support from the adoptive parent. 

Medical Assistance (i.e Medicaid)  continues for handicapped children within these same parameters. Medical Assistance for hard-to-place children is not continued past the eighteenth birthday unless there is a determination of need. States cannot require parents or guardians to place a child eligible for subsidy or Tile IV-E guardianship payments on their private or group insurance as a condition of Medicaid receipt. (See AAICAMA Practice Bulletin)

Adoption subsidies are based on the foster care board rates in the child’s district of origin. A child who is eligible for adoption subsidy in New York can receive no less than 75% of the applicable (i.e. local district) foster care board rate in accordance with Title 18 NYCRR. Part 421, Section 421.24 (c)(1-18)

For a child placed outside the district, the applicable board rate can be either the rate of the adoptive parent’s county of residence or the the child’s district of origin. For a child placed outside the state the applicable rate is the rate of the child’s district of origin. See Local District Foster Boarding Homes Rates for county specific foster care and subsidy rate information.

Calculating the Amount of Subsidy Based on Income:

The income of the person(s) adopting a special needs child cannot be considered in determining whether or not to enter into a subsidy agreement. Income may only be considered for the purpose of determining the amount of the monthly payment. Local districts may elect to provide all subsidies at either 1) 100 percent of the local board rate regardless of income or 2) a lesser amount (not less than 75% of the applicable board rate) based on the prospective parent(s) annual income. The social services district must use the same option for all subsidized adoptions and determine the amount based on a percentage of the applicable state income standard.

A social services district has two options in determining the subsidy amount to be paid for care and maintenance of the handicapped or hard to place child. Unless the person(s) adopting voluntarily and, in writing, request and agree to a lower amount or request not to receive a subsidy, such amount must be either:

A. 100% of the applicable board rate regardless of the annual income of the person(s) adopting; or

B. An amount less than 100%, but not less than 75%, of the applicable board rate, as determined in accordance with the following three-step formula. The social services district must:

    1. Calculate the annual income of the person(s) adopting pursuant to the applicable provisions of paragraph 10 of Title 18 NYCRR, Section 421.24 (c)
    2. Determine the percentage such annual income is of the current 2016 Income Standards for the Child and Family Services Plan (pdf).  For example: A family of three with $39,060 in annual income is at 194% of the 2016 state standard ($39,060/$20,160 = 1.9375).
    3. Use the following schedule to determine the amount to be paid based on the percentage calculated in step #2 above.
      • Over 100%, but not more than 110% of applicable State income standard – 95% of Applicable Board Rate
      • Over 110% but not more than 120% – 90% of Applicable Board Rate
      • Over 120% but not more than 130% – 85% of Applicable Board Rate
      • Over 130% but not more than 140% – 80% of Applicable Board Rate
      • Over 140% – 75% of Applicable Board Rate

Example: A family of five (including the child to be adopted) with an income of $35,000 is at 123% of the state income standard and would receive a maximum 85% of the local board rate for that particular child (i.e. $35,000/ $28,440 = 1.23 or 123%).

Reinstatement of an Adoption Subsidy

In cases where the adoptive parents may have requested the subsidy be suspended because the child left the home or they no longer wish to receive the subsidy, the adoptive parent(s) can have it lifted.

If subsidy is terminated because of child reaching their twenty first birthday, entered the military, married, if the parents voluntarily surrendered their parental rights or if the court terminated the adoptive parents rights, the suspension cannot be reactivated.

For counties outside of the five boroughs of New York City, contact the county from which you adopted your child to ask what they need from you to reinstate the subsidy.  In New York City, adoptive parents should follow these steps:

  • Send a notarized letter requesting to LIFT the subsidy indicating the date the child returned to the home and they wish to start receiving the subsidy again.
  • The letter must be signed by adoptive parent or parent(s).
  • Include daytime contact information, phone and/or e-mail.  
  • Fax the letter to the ACS Customer Service fax number at  212-676-9032.  Make sure you send it to the Attention of the Post Adoption Unit.

The staff assigned to work on the case should contact you to confirm your request has been received and the name/number of the worker assigned to the case issue. In the event, you fax documents, and have not heard from anyone in a week, call or e-mail to check that the communication was initially received.

For specific questions, families are encourage to contact the Yvette Norman-Godreau at the Post Adoption Unit at ACS directly for assistance.  Yvette can be reached at 212-341-2832 or 


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