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Introduced by   Representatives Nitka of Ludlow, Chen of Mendon, Flory of Pittsford, Grad of Moretown, Kainen of Hartford, Kennedy of Chelsea, O'Donnell of Vernon and Shand of Weathersfield

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Domestic relations; adoption; interstate compact on adoption and                                 medical assistance

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to authorize the department for children and family services to enter into interstate agreements with agencies of other states to provide for medical and other necessary services for special needs children for whom adoption assistance is being provided; establish procedures for interstate delivery of adoption assistance and related services and benefits; and provide for the adoption of related regulations.


It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  15A V.S.A. Article 8 is added to read:

Article 8.  Interstate Compacts on Adoption

and Medical Assistance


As used in this article:

(1)  “Adoption assistance state” means the state that is signatory to an adoption assistance agreement.

(2)  “Residence state” means the state where the child is living.

(3)  “State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or any territory or possession of or administered by the United States.



The general assembly finds that adoptions of children with special needs are especially difficult to accomplish, and may not be arranged unless the prospective adoptive parents can be provided with assured financial or other assistance.  The general assembly also recognizes that when the prospective adoptive parents live in or move to states other than the one responsible for providing the adoption assistance, a mechanism for interstate cooperation is necessary.  Therefore, the department for children and family services is authorized to negotiate and enter into interstate agreements with agencies of other states for the provision of medical assistance and other services for children with special needs on behalf of whom adoption assistance is being provided by the department.


A compact entered into pursuant to this article shall include the following:

(1)  A provision making it available for joinder by all states.

(2)  A provision for withdrawal from the compact upon written notice to the parties, but with a period of one year between the date of the notice and the effective date of the withdrawal.

(3)  A requirement that the protections afforded by or pursuant to the compact continue in force for the duration of the adoption assistance and are applicable to all children and their adoptive parents who, on the effective date of the withdrawal, are receiving adoption assistance from a party state other than their state of residence.

(4)  A requirement that each instance of adoption assistance to which the compact applies be covered by an adoption assistance agreement in writing between the adoptive parents and the state child welfare agency of the state which undertakes to provide the adoption assistance, and further, that any such agreement be expressly for the benefit of the adopted child and enforceable by the adoptive parents and the state agency providing the adoption assistance.

(5)  Other provisions that may be necessary to implement the proper administration of the compact.


(a)  A child with special needs who is a resident of Vermont who is the subject of an adoption assistance agreement with another state shall be entitled to receive a medical assistance identification from Vermont upon submitting a certified copy of the adoption assistance agreement obtained from the adoption assistance state to the office of Vermont health access.  In accordance with rules of the office of Vermont health access, the adoptive parents shall be required at least annually to show that the agreement is still in force or has been renewed.

(b)  The office of Vermont health access shall provide medical assistance to the holder of a medical assistance identification pursuant to this section in the same manner as to a Vermont resident under Vermont laws, and shall process and make payment on any medical claims of such holder in the same manner and pursuant to the same rules and procedures as for other recipients of medical assistance in this state.

(c)  A person who submits a claim for payment or reimbursement for services or benefits pursuant to this section or who makes a statement in connection therewith, which the person knows or should know to be false, misleading, or fraudulent, shall be fined not more than $10,000.00.

(d)  The provisions of this section shall apply only to medical assistance for children under adoption assistance agreements from states that have entered into a compact with this state under which the other state provided medical assistance to children with special needs under adoption assistance agreements made by this state.  All other children entitled to medical assistance pursuant to adoption assistance agreements entered into by this state shall be eligible to receive it in accordance with the laws and procedures applicable thereto.

§ 8-105.  FEDERAL LAW

Consistent with federal law, the secretary of the office of Vermont health access, in connection with the administration of this article and any compact pursuant to this article, shall include in any state plan made pursuant to applicable federal law the provision of adoption assistance and medical assistance for which the federal government pays part or all of the cost.  The department shall apply for and administer all relevant federal aid in accordance with law.


The secretary of the office of Vermont health access shall designate a compact administrator who shall have authority to develop rules to be adopted to effectuate the terms and provisions of compacts entered into under the authority of this article.  The compact administrator shall maintain records of all compacts and related agreements entered into under the authority of this article.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont