48.975(3)(a)4. 4. The amount of adoption assistance for maintenance may be changed under an amended agreement under sub. (4) (b) or (c). If an agreement is amended under sub. (4) (b) or (c), the amount of adoption assistance for maintenance shall be the amount specified in the amended agreement but may not exceed the uniform foster care rate that would be applicable to the child if the child were in foster care during the time for which the adoption assistance for maintenance is paid.
48.975(3)(b) (b) Medical. The adoption assistance for medical care shall be sufficient to pay expenses due to a physical, mental or emotional condition of the child which is not covered by a health insurance policy insuring the child or the parent.
48.975(3)(c) (c) Nonrecurring adoption expenses. Subject to any maximum amount provided by the department by rule promulgated under sub. (5), the adoption assistance for nonrecurring adoption expenses shall be sufficient to pay the reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, legal fees and other expenses that are directly related to the adoption of the child and that are not incurred in violation of any state or federal law.
48.975(3m) (3m)Duration. The adoption assistance may be continued after the adoptee attains 18 years of age if any of the following applies:
48.975(3m)(a) (a) The adoptee is under 19 years of age, is a full-time student at a secondary school or its vocational or technical equivalent, and is reasonably expected to complete the program before reaching 19 years of age.
48.975(3m)(b) (b) The adoptee is under 21 years of age, is a full-time student at a secondary school or its vocational or technical equivalent, has a mental or physical disability that warrants the continuation of adoption assistance as determined by the department, is not eligible for social security disability insurance under 42 USC 401 to 433 or supplemental security income under 42 USC 1381 to 1385 based on disability, and otherwise lacks adequate resources to continue in secondary school or its vocational or technical equivalent.
48.975(3m)(c) (c) The adoptee is under 21 years of age, is a full-time student at a secondary school or its vocational or technical equivalent, an individualized education program under s. 115.787 is in effect for the adoptee, and the adoption assistance agreement for the adoptee became effective on or after the date on which the adoptee attained 16 years of age.
48.975(4) (4)Procedure.
48.975(4)(a) (a) Except in extenuating circumstances, as defined by the department by rule promulgated under sub. (5) (a), a written agreement to provide adoption assistance shall be made prior to adoption. An agreement to provide adoption assistance may be made only for a child who, at the time of placement for adoption, is in the guardianship of the department or other agency authorized to place children for adoption, in the guardianship of an American Indian tribal agency in this state, or in a subsidized guardianship under s. 48.623.
48.975(4)(b) (b) If an agreement to provide adoption assistance is in effect and if the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents of the child who is the subject of the agreement believe there has been a substantial change in circumstances, as defined by the department by rule promulgated under sub. (5) (c), the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents may request that the agreement be amended to increase the amount of adoption assistance for maintenance. If a request is received under this paragraph, the department shall do all of the following:
48.975(4)(b)1. 1. Determine whether there has been a substantial change in circumstances, as defined by the department by rule promulgated under sub. (5) (c) and whether there has been a substantiated report of abuse or neglect of the child by the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents.
48.975(4)(b)2. 2. If there has been a substantial change in circumstances and if there has been no substantiated report of abuse or neglect of the child by the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents, offer to increase the amount of adoption assistance for maintenance based on criteria established by the department by rule promulgated under sub. (5) (d).
48.975(4)(b)3. 3. If an increased amount of adoption assistance for maintenance is agreed to by the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents, amend the agreement in writing to specify the increased amount of adoption assistance for maintenance.
48.975(4)(bm) (bm) Annually, the department shall review an agreement that has been amended under par. (b) to determine whether the substantial change in circumstances that was the basis for amending the agreement continues to exist. If that substantial change in circumstances continues to exist, the agreement, as amended, shall remain in effect. If that substantial change in circumstances no longer exists, the department shall offer to decrease the amount of adoption assistance for maintenance based on criteria established by the department under sub. (5) (dm). If the decreased amount of adoption assistance for maintenance is agreed to by the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents, the department shall amend the agreement in writing to specify the decreased amount of adoption assistance for maintenance. If the decreased amount of adoption assistance for maintenance is not agreed to by the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents, the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents may appeal the decision of the department regarding the decrease under the procedure established by the department under sub. (5) (dm).
48.975(4)(c) (c) The department may propose to the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents that an agreement to provide adoption assistance be amended to adjust the amount of adoption assistance for maintenance. If an adjustment in the amount of adoption assistance for maintenance is agreed to by the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents, the agreement shall be amended in writing to specify the adjusted amount of adoption assistance for maintenance.
48.975(4)(d) (d) An agreement to provide adoption assistance may be amended more than once under par. (b) or (c).
48.975(4m) (4m)Recovery of incorrect payments. The department may recover an overpayment of adoption assistance from an adoptive parent who continues to receive adoption assistance for maintenance by reducing the amount of the adoptive parent's monthly payment of adoption assistance for maintenance. The department may by rule specify other methods for recovering overpayments of adoption assistance.
48.975(5) (5)Rules. The department shall promulgate rules necessary to implement this section, which shall include all of the following:
48.975(5)(a) (a) A rule defining the extenuating circumstances under which an initial agreement to provide adoption assistance under sub. (4) (a) may be made after adoption. This definition shall include all circumstances under which federal statutes, regulations or guidelines provide that federal matching funds for adoption assistance are available to the state if an initial agreement is made after adoption, but may not include circumstances under which federal statutes, regulations or guidelines provide that federal matching funds for adoption assistance are not available if an initial agreement is made after adoption.
48.975(5)(b) (b) A rule defining a child with special needs, which shall include a child who the department determines has, at the time of placement for adoption, moderate or intensive difficulty-of-care problems, as defined by the department, or who the department determines is, at the time of placement for adoption, at high risk of developing those problems.
48.975(5)(c) (c) A rule defining the substantial change in circumstances under which adoptive or proposed adoptive parents may request that an agreement made under sub. (4) be amended to increase the amount of adoption assistance for maintenance. The definition shall include all of the following:
48.975(5)(c)1. 1. Situations in which a child who was defined as a child with special needs based solely on being at high risk of developing moderate or intensive difficulty-of-care problems has developed those problems.
48.975(5)(c)2. 2. Situations in which a child's difficulty-of-care problems have increased from the moderate level to the intensive level as set forth in the department's schedule of difficulty-of-care levels promulgated by rule.
48.975(5)(d) (d) Rules establishing requirements for submitting a request under sub. (4) (b), criteria for determining the amount of the increase in adoption assistance for maintenance that the department shall offer if there has been a substantial change in circumstances and if there has been no substantiated report of abuse or neglect of the child by the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents, and the procedure to appeal the decision of the department regarding the request.
48.975(5)(dm) (dm) Rules establishing the criteria for determining the amount of the decrease in adoption assistance for maintenance that the department shall offer under sub. (4) (bm) if a substantial change in circumstances no longer exists and the procedure to appeal the decision of the department regarding the decrease. The criteria shall provide that the amount of the decrease offered by the department under sub. (4) (bm) may not result in an amount of adoption assistance for maintenance that is less than the initial amount of adoption assistance for maintenance provided for the child under sub. (3) (a) 1., 2. or 3.
48.975(5)(e) (e) A rule regarding when a child must be photolisted with the adoption information exchange under s. 48.55 in order to be eligible for adoption assistance. The rule may not require photolisting under any circumstances in which photolisting is not required by federal statutes, regulations or guidelines as a prerequisite for the state to receive federal matching funds for adoption assistance.
48.975(5)(f) (f) Rules governing the provision of adoption assistance for the care of a child after the child attains 18 years of age.
48.975 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. DCF 50, Wis. adm. code.
48.977 48.977 Appointment of guardians for certain children in need of protection or services.
48.977(2)(2)Type of guardianship. This section may be used for the appointment of a guardian of the person for a child if the court finds all of the following:
48.977(2)(a) (a) That the child has been adjudged to be in need of protection or services under s. 48.13 (1), (2), (3), (3m), (4), (4m), (5), (8), (9), (10), (10m), (11), or (11m) or 938.13 (4) and been placed, or continued in a placement, outside of his or her home pursuant to one or more court orders under s. 48.345, 48.357, 48.363, 48.365, 938.345, 938.357, 938.363, or 938.365 or that the child has been so adjudged and placement of the child in the home of a guardian under this section has been recommended under s. 48.33 (1) or 938.33 (1).
48.977(2)(b) (b) That the person nominated as the guardian of the child is a person with whom the child has been placed or in whose home placement of the child is recommended under par. (a) and that it is likely that the child will continue to be placed with that person for an extended period of time or until the child attains the age of 18 years.
48.977(2)(c) (c) That, if appointed, it is likely that the person would be willing and able to serve as the child's guardian for an extended period of time or until the child attains the age of 18 years.
48.977(2)(d) (d) That it is not in the best interests of the child that a petition to terminate parental rights be filed with respect to the child.
48.977(2)(e) (e) That the child's parent is neglecting, refusing or unable to carry out the duties of a guardian or, if the child has 2 parents, both parents are neglecting, refusing or unable to carry out the duties of a guardian.
48.977(2)(f) (f) That the agency primarily responsible for providing services to the child under a court order has made reasonable efforts to make it possible for the child to return to his or her home, while assuring that the child's health and safety are the paramount concerns, but that reunification of the child with the child's parent or parents is unlikely or contrary to the best interests of the child and that further reunification efforts are unlikely to be made or are contrary to the best interests of the child or that the agency primarily responsible for providing services to the child under a court order has made reasonable efforts to prevent the removal of the child from his or her home, while assuring the child's health and safety, but that continued placement of the child in the home would be contrary to the welfare of the child, except that the court is not required to find that the agency has made those reasonable efforts with respect to a parent of the child if any of the circumstances specified in s. 48.355 (2d) (b) 1. to 5. applies to that parent. The court shall make the findings specified in this paragraph on a case-by-case basis based on circumstances specific to the child and shall document or reference the specific information on which those findings are based in the guardianship order. A guardianship order that merely references this paragraph without documenting or referencing that specific information in the order or an amended guardianship order that retroactively corrects an earlier guardianship order that does not comply with this paragraph is not sufficient to comply with this paragraph.
48.977(3) (3)Designation as a permanent placement. If a court appoints a guardian for a child under sub. (2), the court may designate the child's placement with that guardian as the child's permanent foster placement, but only for purposes of s. 48.368 (2) or 938.368 (2).
48.977(3r) (3r)Subsidized guardianship.
48.977(3r)(a) (a) Guardian. Subsidized guardianship payments under s. 48.623 (1) may not be made to a guardian of a child unless a subsidized guardianship agreement under s. 48.623 (2) is entered into before the guardianship order is granted and the court either terminates any order specified in sub. (2) (a) or dismisses any proceeding in which the child has been adjudicated in need of protection or services as specified in sub. (2) (a). If a child's permanency plan calls for placement of the child in the home of a guardian and the provision of monthly subsidized guardianship payments to the guardian, the petitioner under sub. (4) (a) shall include in the petition under sub. (4) (b) a statement of the determinations made under s. 48.623 (1) and a request for the court to include in the court's findings under sub. (4) (d) a finding confirming those determinations. If the court confirms those determinations, appoints a guardian for the child under sub. (2), and either terminates any order specified in sub. (2) (a) or dismisses any proceeding in which the child is adjudicated to be in need of protection or services as specified in sub. (2) (a), the county department or, as provided in s. 48.623 (3) (a), the department shall provide monthly subsidized guardianship payments to the guardian under s. 48.623 (1).
48.977(3r)(b) (b) Successor guardian. Subsidized guardianship payments under s. 48.623 (6) (bm) may not be made to a successor guardian of a child unless the court makes a finding confirming that the successor guardian is named as a prospective successor guardian of the child in a subsidized guardianship agreement or amended subsidized guardianship agreement under s. 48.623 (2) that was entered into before the death or incapacity of the guardian and that the conditions specified in s. 48.623 (6) (bm) have been met, appoints the successor guardian to assume the duty and authority of guardianship as provided in sub. (5m), and either terminates any order specified in sub. (2) (a) or dismisses any proceeding in which the child has been adjudicated in need of protection or services as specified in sub. (2) (a). If the court makes that finding and appointment and either terminates such an order or dismisses such a proceeding, the county department or, as provided in s. 48.623 (3) (a), the department shall provide monthly subsidized guardianship payments to the successor guardian under s. 48.623 (6) (bm).
48.977(4) (4)Procedure and disposition.
48.977(4)(a) (a) Who may file petition. Any of the following persons may file a petition for the appointment of a guardian for a child under sub. (2):
48.977(4)(a)1. 1. The child or the child's guardian, legal custodian, or Indian custodian.
48.977(4)(a)2. 2. The child's guardian ad litem.
48.977(4)(a)3. 3. The child's parent.
48.977(4)(a)4. 4. The person with whom the child is placed or in whose home placement of the child is recommended as described in sub. (2) (a), if the person is nominated as the guardian of the child in the petition.
48.977(4)(a)5. 5. The department.
48.977(4)(a)6. 6. A county department under s. 46.22 or 46.23 or, if the child has been placed pursuant to an order under ch. 938 or the child's placement with the guardian is recommended under ch. 938, a county department under s. 46.215, 46.22, or 46.23.
48.977(4)(a)7. 7. A licensed child welfare agency that has been assigned primary responsibility for providing services to the child under a court order.
48.977(4)(a)8. 8. The person representing the interests of the public under s. 48.09.
48.977(4)(b) (b) Contents of petition. A proceeding for the appointment of a guardian for a child under sub. (2) shall be initiated by a petition which shall be entitled “In the interest of .... (child's name), a person under the age of 18" and shall set forth all of the following with specificity:
48.977(4)(b)1. 1. The name, birth date, and address of the child and whether the child has been adopted.
48.977(4)(b)2. 2. The names and addresses of the child's parent or parents, guardian, and legal custodian, the person nominated as the guardian of the child in the petition, and any person nominated as a successor guardian of the child in the petition.
48.977(4)(b)3. 3. The date on which the child was adjudged in need of protection or services under s. 48.13 (1), (2), (3), (3m), (4), (4m), (5), (8), (9), (10), (10m), (11), or (11m) or 938.13 (4) and the dates on which the child has been placed, or continued in a placement, outside of his or her home pursuant to one or more court orders under s. 48.345, 48.357, 48.363, 48.365, 938.345, 938.357, 938.363, or 938.365 or, if the child has been so adjudged, but not so placed, the date of the report under s. 48.33 (1) or 938.33 (1) in which placement of the child in the home of the person is recommended.
48.977(4)(b)4. 4. A statement of the facts and circumstances which the petition alleges establish that the conditions specified in sub. (2) (b) to (f) are met.
48.977(4)(b)5. 5. A statement of whether the proceedings are subject to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act under ch. 822.
48.977(4)(b)6. 6. A statement of whether the child may be subject to the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 USC 1901 to 1963, and, if the child may be subject to that act, the names and addresses of the child's Indian custodian, if any, and Indian tribe, if known.
48.977(4)(c) (c) Service of petition and notice.
48.977(4)(c)1.1. The petitioner shall cause the petition and notice of the time and place of the hearing under par. (cm) to be served upon all of the following persons:
48.977(4)(c)1.a. a. The child if the child is 12 years of age or older.
48.977(4)(c)1.b. b. The child's guardian and legal custodian.
48.977(4)(c)1.c. c. The child's guardian ad litem.
48.977(4)(c)1.d. d. The child's counsel.
48.977(4)(c)1.e. e. The child's parent.
48.977(4)(c)1.f. f. The persons to whom notice is required to be given under s. 48.27 (3) (b) 1.
48.977(4)(c)1.g. g. The person with whom the child is placed or in whose home placement of the child is recommended as described in sub. (2) (a), if the person is nominated as the guardian of the child in the petition.
48.977(4)(c)1.gm. gm. Any person nominated as a successor guardian of the child in the petition.
48.977(4)(c)1.h. h. The person representing the interests of the public under s. 48.09.
48.977(4)(c)1.i. i. The agency primarily responsible for providing services to the child under a court order.
48.977(4)(c)1.j. j. If the child is an Indian child, the Indian child's Indian custodian, if any, and tribe, if known.
48.977(4)(c)2. 2. Except as provided in subd. 2m., service shall be made by 1st class mail at least 7 days before the hearing or by personal service at least 7 days before the hearing or, if with reasonable diligence a party specified in subd. 1. cannot be served by mail or personal service, service shall be made by publication of a notice published as a class 1 notice under ch. 985. In determining which newspaper is likely to give notice as required under s. 985.02 (1), the petitioner shall consider the residence of the party, if known, or the residence of the relatives of the party, if known, or the last-known location of the party.
48.977(4)(c)2m. 2m. If the petitioner knows or has reason to know that the child is an Indian child, service under subd. 2. to the Indian child's parent, Indian custodian, and tribe shall be provided in the manner specified in s. 48.028 (4) (a). No hearing may be held under par. (cm) until at least 10 days after receipt of service by the Indian child's parent, Indian custodian, and tribe or, if the identity or location of the Indian child's parent, Indian custodian, or tribe cannot be determined, until at least 15 days after receipt of service by the U.S. secretary of the interior. On request of the Indian child's parent, Indian custodian, or tribe, the court shall grant a continuance of up to 20 additional days to enable the requester to prepare for the hearing.
48.977(4)(cm) (cm) Plea hearing.
48.977(4)(cm)1.1. A hearing to determine whether any party wishes to contest a petition filed under par. (a) shall take place on a date which allows reasonable time for the parties to prepare but is no more than 30 days after the filing of the petition. At the hearing, the nonpetitioning parties and the child, if he or she is 12 years of age or over or is otherwise competent to do so, shall state whether they wish to contest the petition. Before accepting a plea of no contest to the allegations in the petition, the court shall do all of the following:
48.977(4)(cm)1.a. a. Address the parties present and determine that the plea is made voluntarily and with understanding of the nature of the facts alleged in the petition, the nature of the potential disposition and the nature of the legal consequences of that disposition.
48.977(4)(cm)1.b. b. Establish whether any promises or threats were made to elicit the plea of no contest and alert all unrepresented parties to the possibility that an attorney may discover grounds to contest the petition that would not be apparent to those parties.
48.977(4)(cm)1.c. c. Make inquiries to establish to the satisfaction of the court that there is a factual basis for the plea of no contest.
48.977(4)(cm)2. 2. If the petition is not contested and if the court accepts the plea of no contest, the court may immediately proceed to a dispositional hearing under par. (fm), unless an adjournment is requested. If a party requests an adjournment, the court shall set a date for the dispositional hearing which allows reasonable time for the parties to prepare but is no more than 30 days after the plea hearing.
48.977(4)(cm)3. 3. If the petition is contested or if the court does not accept the plea of no contest, the court shall set a date for a fact-finding hearing under par. (d) which allows reasonable time for the parties to prepare but is not more than 30 days after the plea hearing.
48.977(4)(d) (d) Fact-finding hearing. The court shall hold a fact-finding hearing on the petition on the date set by the court under par. (cm) 3., at which any party may present evidence relevant to the issue of whether the conditions specified in sub. (2) (a) to (f) have been met. If the court, at the conclusion of the fact-finding hearing, finds by clear and convincing evidence that the conditions specified in sub. (2) (a) to (f) have been met, the court shall immediately proceed to a dispositional hearing unless an adjournment is requested. If a party requests an adjournment, the court shall set a date for the dispositional hearing which allows reasonable time for the parties to prepare but is no more than 30 days after the fact-finding hearing.
48.977(4)(e) (e) Court report. For a child who has been placed, or continued in a placement, outside of his or her home for 6 months or longer, the court shall order the person or agency primarily responsible for providing services to the child under a court order to file with the court a report containing the written summary under s. 48.38 (5) (e) and as much information relating to the appointment of a guardian as is reasonably ascertainable. For a child who has been placed, or continued in a placement, outside of his or her home for less than 6 months, the court shall order the person or agency primarily responsible for providing services to the child under a court order to file with the court the report submitted under s. 48.33 (1) or 938.33 (1), the permanency plan prepared under s. 48.38 or 938.38, if one has been prepared, and as much information relating to the appointment of a guardian as is reasonably ascertainable. The agency shall file the report at least 48 hours before the date of the dispositional hearing under par. (fm).
48.977(4)(fm) (fm) Dispositional hearing. The court shall hold a dispositional hearing on the petition at the time specified or set by the court under par. (cm) 2. or (d), at which any party may present evidence, including expert testimony, relevant to the disposition.
48.977(4)(g) (g) Dispositional factors. In determining the appropriate disposition under this section, the best interests of the child shall be the prevailing factor to be considered by the court. In making a decision about the appropriate disposition, the court shall consider any report submitted under par. (e) and shall consider, but not be limited to, all of the following:
48.977(4)(g)1. 1. Whether the person would be a suitable guardian of the child.
48.977(4)(g)2. 2. The willingness and ability of the person to serve as the child's guardian for an extended period of time or until the child attains the age of 18 years.
48.977(4)(g)3. 3. The wishes of the child.
48.977(4)(g)4. 4. If the child is an Indian child, the order of placement preference under s. 48.028 (7) (b) or, if applicable, s. 48.028 (7) (c), unless the court finds good cause, as described in s. 48.028 (7) (e), for departing from that order. A strong attachment of the child to the person or a strong commitment of the person to caring permanently for the child does not, in itself, constitute good cause for departing from that order.
48.977(4)(h) (h) Disposition. After receiving any evidence relating to the disposition, the court shall enter one of the following dispositions within 10 days after the dispositional hearing:
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2015-16 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2017 Wis. Act 367 and all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders effective on or before September 5, 2018. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after September 5, 2018 are designated by NOTES. (Published 9-5-18)