The Department of Children and Families administers two Subsidy Programs.
  • The Adoption Subsidy Program
  • The Guardianship Subsidy Program

Children eligible to receive a subsidy from either program must:

  • be in the care and custody of the Department of Children and Families
  • reside with the family who wishes to adopt or take guardianship of the child for at least six (6) months prior to the child's legalization date
  • have a permanent goal for adoption or guardianship
  • have his/her adoption or guardianship sponsored by the Department of Children and Families.

The Adoption Subsidy Program

A child must be determined to have a special need as defined by the Definition of Child with Special Needs 7.209, section 2 of the Department of Children and Families Regulations .

A child is either eligible for a federally funded Title IV-E Subsidy or a state funded Adoption Subsidy. A child can not be determined eligible for both. The determination is made by The Department of Children and Families prior to the child's adoption becoming legalized.

For a child who is eligible for a Title IV-E Adoption Subsidy, a negotiation of benefits occurs between the identified pre-adoptive family and the Adoption Subsidy Administrator prior to either party signing the Subsidy agreement. Once a child is approved for a subsidy, a child may remain eligible to receive benefits until his or her 22 nd birthday.

The Department of Children and Families offers a deferred subsidy for children who do not meet the criteria of special needs prior to their adoption being legalized. Activation of a deferred subsidy benefit requires a letter with supporting documentation by the adoptive family. The letter must be sent to the Subsidy Manager.

The Adoption Subsidy benefits may include one or more of the following:

  • Care and Maintenance Stipend
  • Healthcare insurance, as administered by MassHealth (Medicaid)
  • A quarterly clothing grant which is income based

The Tuition Waiver Certificate

A child is eligible to receive a Tuition Waiver Certificate if his or her adoption was sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. The Tuition Waiver Certificate entitles the adopted child a tuition free education at many of the state colleges and state universities in Massachusetts. At the time of the adoption legalization, the Adoptive Parent(s) must be a Massachusetts resident. The waiver expires on the child's 25 th birthday.

Inquiries should be sent to:

Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
Attention: Subsidy Unit / Tuition Waiver -Adoption
600 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111

The Guardianship Subsidy Program

Once a child is approved for a Guardianship Subsidy, the child may remain eligible to receive benefits until his or her 22 nd birthday.

The State funded Guardianship Subsidy Program provides one or more of the following benefits for an approved guardianship subsidy:

  • Care and Maintenance Stipend
  • Healthcare insurance, as administered by MassHealth (Medicaid)
  • A quarterly clothing grant which is income based

The Tuition Waiver Certificate

A child is eligible to receive a Tuition Waiver Certificate if his or her guardianship was sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, was placed into custody of the State through a Care and Protection Petition, has been in the custody of the Department of Children and Families for a minimum of 12 consecutive months, and was not adopted or returned home by their 18 th birthday. The Tuition Waiver Certificate entitles the child a tuition free education at many of the state colleges and state universities in Massachusetts. The waiver expires on the child's 25 th birthday.

Requests and inquiries should be sent to:

Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
Attention: Ms. Alison Scott / Tuition Waiver -Guardianship
600 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111

Detailed information regarding the Subsidy Programs is available by contacting

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Department of Children and Families
Attention: Subsidy Unit
600 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111
Local: 617.748.2000
Toll Free: 1.800.835.0838

 


This information is provided by the Department of Children and Families.