Youth Turning 18

The Adoption Support Program benefits will automatically end on the child's 18th birthday unless, prior to the child's 18th birthday, the adoptive parent requests an extension of benefits.

If your child was adopted prior to their 16th birthday

Youth who were adopted prior to their 16th birthday can qualify for an extension if they are still in full-time high school, and continue to receive ongoing financial support from their adoptive parents. To submit a request for an extension of their benefits, prior to their 18th birthday, you must send your Adoption Support Consultant the following documents:

  • DCYF Form 15-412 completed by the adoptive parents
  • A letter from your child's high school (on letterhead) verifying both their current full-time enrollment and anticipated graduation date
  • Documentation of any current disabilities your child has, as indicated on form 15-412

Once this documentation has been submitted, your Program Consultant will review it and let you know whether an extension has been approved.

Important Reminders

It is your responsibility to notify the Adoption Support Program if there are any changes to your child's situation after an extension is approved. Some examples of changes you are required to report include: your child no longer attending full-time high school, your child moving out of your home, applying for SSI disability for your child, your child entering the military, or your child getting married.

Under no circumstances can Adoption Support be extended for a youth beyond their 21st birthday, even if they remain in a full-time high school program beyond that date.

Updated verification of your child's high school enrollment can be requested by your Adoption Support Program Consultant at any time. They are required to verify enrollment annually, but verification may be requested more frequently in some situations.

For youth adopted prior to their 16th birthday, Adoption Support benefits can't be extended through college.

If a youth is not eligible for an extension of Adoption Support at their 18th birthday, they can't re-apply for Adoption Support to be re-opened later, even if they meet criteria at that time.

Please contact your Adoption Support Program Consultant for any case specific questions.

If your child was adopted after their 16th birthday

Youth who were adopted from foster care after their 16th birthday may be able to qualify for the Extended Adoption Support Program and continue to receive their Adoption Support benefits through their 21st birthday. To qualify for the Extended Adoption Support Program the youth must:

  • Continue to receive ongoing financial support from their adoptive parents, and
  • Be participating in a qualifying activity 
    • Qualifying activities for the extended adoption support program include:
      • Being enrolled in a high school program
      • Being enrolled in a post-secondary academic or vocational program
      • Participating in a job training program
      • Working more than 80 hours per month; or
      • Being unable to participate in any of the above activities due to a documented medical condition

To apply for the Extended Adoption Support Program, and continue to receive Adoption Support benefits after their 18th birthday, qualifying youth should send the Adoption Support Program Consultant the following documents prior to their 18th birthday:

  • DCYF Form 14-545 – completed by both the youth and adoptive parents, and
  • Documentation of their participation in a qualifying activity

Once this documentation has been submitted, your Program Consultant will review it, and if found eligible, will send you an agreement to sign for the Extended Adoption Support Program.

Important Reminders

Youth who were adopted after their 16th birthdays have up until their 19th birthday to apply for the Extended Adoption Support Program. If they have not applied for the program prior to their 19th birthday or have become ineligible for the program prior to or any time after their 19th birthday, they will no longer be eligible to participate in the Extended Adoption Support Program.

It is your responsibility to notify the Adoption Support Program Consultant if there are any changes to your child's situation after participation in the Extended Adoption Support Program has been approved. Some examples of changes you are required to report include: adoptive parents no longer financially supporting the youth, your child no longer participating in a qualifying activity or changing the type of activity they are participating in, applying for SSI disability for a child, or your child entering the military.

Under no circumstances can Extended Adoption Support continue for a youth beyond their 21st birthday, even if they continue to participate in a qualifying activity.

Updated verification of your child's participation in a qualifying activity will be requested regularly by your Adoption Support Program Consultant. The frequency of the re-verification will be case specific depending on the qualifying activity the youth is engaged with.

Adoptive parents must remain the payee for any ongoing financial support the youth receives through Extended Adoption Support, which is why they must show they are still using it to financially support the youth.

Please contact your Adoption Support Program Consultant for any case specific questions.

College Resources for Adopted Youth Turning 18

Adoption After Age 13

  • If your child is age 13 years or older at the time of the adoption, your child is eligible to apply as an independent person for federal financial aid for college
  • For more information about this go to www.fafsa.ed.gov

Adoption After Age 14

Youth adopted between the ages of 14 and 18 may have continued eligibility for the Washington College Bound Scholarship.

Adoption After Age 16

Educational Training Vouchers - for qualified youth a maximum of $5000 per academic year may be available for youth to assist with tuition, fees, books/supplies, housing, transportation, and other education-related costs.