.04 Post Adoption Services.

A. Post adoption services may be provided to support the adoptive placement after adoption finalization in accordance with available staff resources.

B. Upon request of the adoptive family, the local department may make the following services available:

(1) Short-term adoption related counseling;

(2) Information and referral services; and

(3) Provision of any additionally acquired medical, social, psychological, and genetic history of the minor adoptee to the adoptive family.

C. The agency shall provide services to the birth parent of an adopted individual until the adoptee is 21 years old:

(1) Providing a birth parent the opportunity to update agency records with the appropriate birth family history;

(2) Providing a birth parent the opportunity to release the agency from the confidentiality requirements relating to identifying information requested by the adult adoptee at some later date;

(3) Accepting from a birth parent medical information critical to the adopteeís growth and development, and making full effort to communicate this to the adoptive family or the adult adoptee, as appropriate;

(4) Accepting from an adoptee or the adoptive family medical information which may be critical to the birth family, and making efforts to communicate this to the birth family; and

(5) Providing information and referral, when appropriate, regarding services available through the Mutual Consent Voluntary Adoption Registry and search, contact, and reunion services as set forth in COMAR 07.02.13.

D. The local department shall provide information to the adoptive family regarding the following:

(1) Counseling in support of the placement and to prevent dissolution of the adoption;

(2) Post Adoption Permanency Program services as described in §F of this regulation;

(3) Referral services; and

(4) The Maryland Tuition Waiver and the Maryland Education and Training Voucher program as set forth in COMAR 07.02.11.

E. Release of Nonidentifying Information.

(1) Upon request of an adoptee, or the adoptive or birth parent, a local department shall release all non-identifying medical and birth family history information contained in the closed adoption file to the requestor.

(2) When a local department has no medical information, local department staff shall inform the requestor of the:

(a) Lack of the requested information; and

(b) Right to petition the court to appoint a special intermediary to gather the needed medical information if the adoptee or a blood relative of the adoptee or birth parent has an urgent need for the medical information.

(3) When an adoptee or birth parent petitions the court for medical information, a local department shall attempt to locate the adoptee or the birth parent in order to obtain the needed medical information after the court:

(a) Makes a judicial determination that there is an urgent need for the medical information; and

(b) Appoints the local department as the intermediary.

(4) When a local department has been appointed intermediary and the adoptee or birth parent has been located, the local department:

(a) Shall advise the individual of the need for the medical information without revealing any identifying information about the adoptee or birth parent:

(b) May not encourage or discourage contact between the adoptee and the individualís birth parent; and

(c) Shall file a confidential report with the court addressing the efforts to contact the adoptee and the birth parent and the results when efforts to locate the adoptee or birth parent are completed.

(5) A local department shall:

(a) Provide all the available information on the location of the birth parent to anyone who has been court ordered to act as intermediary; and

(b) Place a copy of the court order appointing the intermediary in the records of the individuals involved.

F. Post Adoption Permanency Program Services.

(1) The purpose of the Post Adoption Permanency Program services is to provide post adoption assistance in the form of services to children adopted through a public agency or a licensed private agency and their adoptive families.

(2) A local department shall notify families of the availability of post adoption support services during the adoption orientation process.

(3) Upon the request of an adoptive parent for available post adoption support services, the local department of social services shall:

(a) Obtain a copy of the adoption decree from the adoptive family requesting support services;

(b) Conduct a clinical assessment of the needs of the child and the adoptive family; and

(c) Determine whether the adopted child is at risk of coming into of out-of-home placement, or foster care placement and in need of post adoption support services not available from other resources.

(4) Upon determining that an adopted child and adoptive family are in need of post adoption support services the local department shall:

(a) Develop with the family a proposed post adoption support services plan that:

(i) Identifies treatment goals;

(ii) Suggests treatment modalities; and

(iii) Recommends services;

(b) Select appropriate vendors from those providers approved by the local department; and

(c) Submit the plan to the Administration for review and funding plan approval.

(5) Upon submission of the proposed support services plan, the Executive Director or designee shall determine whether to approve the service plan and the funding necessary to implement the plan.

(6) The Administration shall notify the local department of the status of the proposed service plan within 15 days of receipt of the service plan request.

(7) Funds available for the provision of post adoption support services shall be:

(a) Limited to the maximum amount established by the Maryland General Assembly; and

(b) Provided during a fixed year until allocated funds are expended.

(8) The local department shall provide the post adoption support services to the adopted child or the adoptive family upon approval and release of funds by the Administration.

(9) Services may include:

(a) Short-term adoption-related counseling;

(b) Medical treatment;

(c) Mental health services;

(d) Crisis intervention services; and

(e) Information and referral services.