A. In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. “Adoption subsidy” means a grant that is provided to a child with special needs and that has been applied for through the department.

2. “Agency” means the department or a child welfare agency that is authorized in its license issued by the department to place or care for children in foster care.

3. “Application” means the completion of the department application form with documentation of the child’s special needs.

4. “Child” means any person who is under the age of eighteen years, who is legally free for adoption and who otherwise may not be adopted because the person has special needs.

5. “Developmental disability” has the same meaning as provided in section 36-551.

6. “Emotional disturbance” means a condition which impedes the child’s ordinary developmental progress as defined by accepted psychiatric or psychological standards and as diagnosed by one or more psychiatrists or psychologists approved by the department.

7. “Emotional ties” includes:

(a) Identification of the child as a member of the foster family.

(b) Identification by the foster family of the child as belonging to that family.

(c) The likelihood that the child will not establish significant emotional ties to another family if he is denied permanent placement with the foster family.

8. “High risk of physical or mental disease” means a potentially debilitating condition as defined by accepted standards of the health service profession and as certified by one or more health service providers approved by the department.

9. “High risk of severe emotional disturbance if removed from the care of his foster parents” means the development of significant emotional ties to the foster family as documented by the child’s case manager and as diagnosed by a psychiatrist or psychologist approved by the department.

10. “Mental disability” means a lifelong condition which is characterized by impaired intellectual development and impedes the ability to function independently as defined by accepted national standards and as certified by a psychologist, physician or child development specialist approved by the department.

11. “Physical disability” means one of the following conditions:

(a) A chronically debilitating, progressive or fatal disease which requires assistance for the child in activities of daily living.

(b) The requirement of assistance of another person or mechanical device for movement from place to place.

12. “Racial or ethnic factors” means Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or other heritage which may prevent a child from being adopted by a family of similar racial or ethnic origin.

13. “Special needs” means one or more of the following conditions which existed before the finalization of adoption:

(a) Physical, mental or developmental disability.

(b) Emotional disturbance.

(c) High risk of physical or mental disease.

(d) High risk of developmental disability.

(e) Age of six or more years at the time of application for an adoption subsidy.

(f) Sibling relationship.

(g) Racial or ethnic factors.

(h) High risk of severe emotional disturbance if removed from the care of his foster parents.

(i) Any combination of the special needs described in this paragraph.

B. The condition described in subsection A, paragraph 13, subdivision (h), is not a special need unless the foster care relationship existed before the foster adoption placement was made.