State Contact

Maureen Clifton
Department of Family Services (DFS)
Hathaway Building, 3rd Floor
2300 Capitol Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Phone: 307-777-3570
[email protected]

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Adoption resources on the web:

https://dfs.wyo.gov/services/child-youth-services/adoption/
Wyoming’s state-specific medical assistance information:
https://health.wyo.gov/healthcarefin/medicaid/
Wyoming Statute 1-22-115
http://wyoleg.gov/statutes/compress/title01.pdf
Wyoming Rules—Current Adoption Rules
https://rules.wyo.gov/Search.aspx
(search for adoption assistance)

In Wyoming a child with special needs is defined as a child that has at least one of the following needs or circumstances that may be a barrier to placement or adoption without financial assistance:

  • The child is six years of age or older.
  • The child is a member of a racial minority.
  • The child is a member of a sibling group that needs to be placed in the same home.
  • The child has irreversible or non-correctable physical or mental disabilities.
  • The child has physical, mental, or emotional disabilities correctable through surgery, treatment, or other specialized services.
  • The child has lived in the same foster family home for a long period of time, has developed emotional ties with the foster family, and adoption assistance is necessary to facilitate an adoption.

The standard adoption assistance rates is $399/month. Based on the needs of a child, the adoption subsidy amount may be negotiated up to the foster care rate for the child.

All benefits terminate at age 18, unless the adopted youth is classified as disabled. In that case, benefits are extended until the youth turns 21.

Respite care may be funded through service dollars, which are a combination of Title XX, IV-E, and Economic Assistance funds. The process for accessing respite care is:

  • The family should contact the social worker who helped finalize the adoption, or that person’s supervisor.
  • The family will be required to explain the need and give details as to the severity of need.
  • The decision to grant respite is made on a case-by-case basis by the social worker and his or her supervisor.
  • Sometimes respite is built into adoption assistance agreements if the child has severe special needs.
  • Another option for respite is the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. Parents can call 307-777-7230 or 800- 438-5791 (in Wyoming) for more information.

For the Department to place a child whose adoption has been finalized in residential treatment, custody must be determined by the court. The court must declare the child “in need of supervision” or must file a delinquency petition or an abuse and neglect petition.