State Contact

Jeanie Weasel Tail
Adoption Negotiations Program Manager
Child & Family Services Division
PO Box 8005
Helena, MT 59604
406-300-7424
[email protected]

Ms. Afton Russell
Post Adoption Services Program Manager
406-202-5177
[email protected]

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Adoption Resources on the Web

https://dphhs.mt.gov/cfsd/adoption/
(Parents can also send specific questions to [email protected].)

Montana’s state-specific medical assistance:
https://dphhs.mt.gov/MontanaHealthcarePrograms/

Montana’s adoption assistance information is found in the Montana Code Annotated 2021, Title 42 Adoption, Chapter 10 Subsidized Adoption link: https://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/title_0420/chapter_0100/
part_0010/sections_index.html

Administrative rules of Montana, 37.52.201 through 37.52.220, Subsidized Adoption:
http://www.mtrules.org/gateway/Subchapterhome.asp?scn=37%2E52.2

Policy Manual: https://dphhs.mt.gov/assets/cfsd/cfsdmanual/604-1.pdf

For adoptions finalized since July 1, 2022, the state of Montana offers a refundable state adoption tax credit.

In Montana a child with special needs is one who is under the placement and responsibility of the state Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) or of a tribe with whom the state has a Title IV-E agreement. The child must also meet all of the following criteria :

  1. The child meets at least one of the following criteria that serve as a barrier to placement or adoption without financial assistance:
    1. Diagnosed as having a physical, mental, or emotional disability
    2. Recognized to be at high risk of developing a physical, mental or emotional disability
      A member of a minority group
    3. Six years of age or older
    4. A member of a sibling group to be placed together for adoption
    5. If an applicable child, meets all medical or disability requirements of SSI*
  2. The child is under age 18 when the subsidized adoption agreement is signed.
  3. The child is legally free for adoption and cannot or should not be returned to the home of his or his parent(s).
  4. Adoptive placement is in the child’s best interest.
  5. Montana has determined that reasonable, but unsuccessful, efforts have been made to place the child with appropriate adoptive parents without adoption assistance, except where it would be against the best interests of the child because of such factors as the existence of significant emotional ties with prospective adoptive parents while in the care of such parents as a foster child.

The maximum basic adoption assistance maintenance payment is $10 less per month than the rate the child received in foster care. Current adoption assistance rates are:

Age Rate
0-12 $20.73/day
13+ $24.49/day

Adoption assistance rates are negotiated on an individual basis based on the child’s needs and the parents’ ability to meet those needs. There is no guarantee that a child will receive the maximum rate.

Some children with high needs are eligible to receive higher adoption assistance, with amounts to be negotiated based on the child’s needs and the parents’ ability to meet those needs. As stated above, the adoption assistance cannot exceed $10 less per month than what the child received in foster care. Specialized adoption assistance daily rates are:

Age Rate
0-2 $30.81/day
3-12 $29.22/day
13+ $32.72/day

Adoption assistance payments and Medicaid will terminate when a child reaches age 18. However, adoptive parents may request approval of continued adoption assistance and Medicaid until the child is 21 (at the latest), if the child has a mental or physical disability that warrants continuation. Parents should contact the state’s Adoption Negotiations Program Manager at the Central Office in Helena (listed at the top of this profile).

For information on post-adoption services in the State of Montana, parents should contact the state’s Post Adoption Services Program Manager listed at the top of the profile.

Montana operates a Title IV-E guardianship program. For more information, parents can contact Mark Girdler, at 406-841-2411 or [email protected] or read the policy here, https://dphhs.mt.gov/assets/cfsd/cfsdmanual/407-3.pdf