Title 4. Public Care Systems. - Chapter 14. Placement of Children in Family Homes. - § 4-1410. Authority to charge or receive compensation for services; inability to pay adoption costs.


Published: 2012

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§ 4-1410. Authority to charge or receive compensation for services; inability to pay adoption costs.

  • Current through October 23, 2012

(a)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, neither the Mayor nor a child-placing agency authorized to perform services in connection with placement of a child in a family home for adoption may make or receive any charge or compensation for these services.

(2) A child-placing agency may charge an adoptive parent a reasonable fee if the child-placing agency is operating in the District of Columbia exclusively for religious purposes or as a nonprofit organization, pursuant to section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, approved August 16, 1954 (68A Stat. 163; 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)), and no part of its net earnings inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

(b)(1) A child-placing agency providing domestic or international adoption services that is authorized to charge a fee pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall develop a sliding-fee scale based on the per capita income of the applicant and provide each applicant with:

(A) Its fee and refund policy;

(B) An estimate of the agency's maximum fee for specific services;

(C) Information regarding available public and private subsidies;

(D) Its sliding income fee scale; and

(E) A complete list of the services that it will provide at each stage of the adoption process.

(2) If a child-placing agency that charges a fee fails to implement and to maintain a sliding-fee scale as required by this subchapter, or rules issued pursuant to this subchapter, the failure shall be grounds for suspension or revocation of its license.

(c) Except for a reasonable, nonrefundable administrative fee, a child-placing agency shall not retain the fee paid by an adoptive parent unless the child-placing agency has provided the service.

(d) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this section, including the process for suspension and revocation of the license required to maintain a child-placing agency.

                                

(Apr. 22, 1944, ch. 174, § 12; June 8, 1954, 68 Stat. 248, ch. 273, § 6;   Apr. 23, 1980, D.C. Law 3-59, § 2(a), 27 DCR 983; Sept. 24, 2010, D.C. Law 18-230, § 201(e), 57 DCR 6951; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 34, 59 DCR 6190.)

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 32-1011.

1973 Ed., § 32-790.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-230 rewrote the section, which had read as follows:

"Neither the Mayor nor any child-placing agency authorized to perform services in connection with placing a child in a family home for adoption may make or receive any charge or compensation whatsoever for such services, except that a licensed child-placing agency which is organized and operated exclusively for religious or charitable purposes and no part of the net earnings of which can inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual may be allowed to charge adoptive parents, within prescribed limits, for such services an amount not to exceed the average costs incurred; such average costs and prescribed limits to be determined in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the committee created by § 4-1403. Inability of adoptive applicants to pay for all or any part of such costs shall not be a disqualifying factor in determining whether applicants are suitable parents for the child."

D.C. Law 19-171, in subsec. (b)(1), validated a previously made technical correction in the designation of subpar. (E).

Temporary Amendments of Section

Section 2 of D.C. Law 18-114 rewrote the section to read as follows:

"Sec. 12. (a) Neither the Mayor nor a child-placing agency authorized to perform services in connection with placement of a child in a family home for adoption may make or receive any charge or compensation for these services; except, that a child-placing agency that is operating in the District of Columbia exclusively for religious purposes or as a nonprofit organization pursuant to section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, approved August 16, 1954 (68A Stat. 163; 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)), and no part of its net earnings inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, may charge an adoptive parent a reasonable fee.

"(b)(1) A child-placing agency providing domestic or international adoption services that is authorized to charge a fee pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall develop a sliding fee scale based on the per capita family income size of the applicant and provide each applicant with:

"(A) Its fee and refund policy;

"(B) An estimate of the agency's maximum fee for specific services;

"(C) Information regarding available public and private subsidies;

"(D) Its sliding fee scale; and

"(E) A complete list of the services that it will provide at each stage of the adoption process.

"(2) The failure of a child-placing agency that charges a fee to implement and to maintain a sliding fee scale as required by this section shall be grounds for suspension or revocation of its license. The Mayor, pursuant to Title I of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, approved October 21, 1968 (82 Stat. 1204; D.C. Official Code § 2-501 et seq.), shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this paragraph.

"(c) Except for a reasonable, nonrefundable administrative fee, a child-placing agency shall not retain the fee paid by an adoptive parent unless the child-placing agency has provided the service.".

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 18-114 provides that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Emergency Act Amendments

For temporary provisions requiring, on an emergency basis, criminal background investigations for individuals residing in foster family homes or other homes in which children are placed by order, see §§ 2-15 of the Criminal Background Investigation for the Protection of Children Emergency Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-431, September 4, 1998, 45 DCR 5915), and §§ 2-15 of the Criminal Background Investigation for the Protection of Children Legislative Review Emergency Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-503, January 27, 1999, 45 DCR 8134).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Private Adoption Fee Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-252, December 17, 2009, 57 DCR 36).

Legislative History of Laws

For legislative history of D.C. Law 3-59, see Historical and Statutory Notes following § 4-1402.

For Law 18-230, see notes following § 4-301.

For history of Law 19-171, see notes under § 4-205.19m.