Laws & Guidance SPECIAL EDUCATION & REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
OSEP Policy Documents Regarding the Education of Infants, Toddlers, Children and Youth with Disabilities: Surrogate Parents

Surrogate Parents

Note: Letters issued prior to December 3, 2004, may not be consistent with the IDEA, as revised by P.L. 108-446. Letters issued prior to August 14, 2006 may not be consistent with the final regulations for Part B published on that date at 71 Federal Register 46540. Readers are advised to consult with the current statute and final regulations.

Section 607 Reports as published in the Federal Register.


March 27, 2013 to North Carolina attorney K. Dean Shatley
Topic Addressed: Surrogate Parents
Section of IDEA:
Part B—Assistance for Education of All Children with Disabilities; Section 615—Procedural Safeguards
Letter regarding who may serve as a “parent” under 34 CFR §300.30 of the regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and conversely who may serve as a court-appointed surrogate parent. 
MS Word (27KB) | PDF (81KB)


September 6, 2011 to Board of Childcare Community Education Director Ronald Caplan.
Topic Addressed: Surrogate Parents
Section of IDEA:
Part B—Assistance for Education of All Children With Disabilities; Section 615—Procedural Safeguards
Letter regarding whether every child with a disability in foster care or a group home requires the automatic appointment of a surrogate parent when the court has assigned limited guardianship to a state agency and the parent is available and reunification and/or parent participation in meetings is part of the same order. 
MS Word (38KB) | PDF (95KB)


Letter to Dr. Mary J. Ford
July 10, 2003
Topic: Surrogate Parents

Letter regarding the distinction between a surrogate parent under 34 CFR 300.515 and a person acting as a parent under 34 CFR 300.20.
Letter regarding surrogate parent requirements under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Specifically, responding to two questions:

  1. If RSA 186-C:14, II(c) were changed to read as follows, would that comply with federal regulations?
  2. Why is it that when a child is a ward of the state a surrogate parent may be appointed but the surrogate parent cannot be the foster parent unless the natural parents’ rights to make educational decisions has [sic] been terminated by state law?

MS Word (27KB) | PDF (81KB)


Letter to Mr. Geoffrey A. Yudien
March 11, 2003
Topic: Surrogate Parents

Letter regarding the authority of the State and the role of the surrogate parent in making educational decisions for children with disabilities placed in state custody.
MS Word (34KB) | PDF (104KB)


Letter to Linda L. Harant
April 16, 2001
Topic: Surrogate Parents

Letter regarding the appointment of surrogate parents for children who are wards of a tribal court.
MS Word (30KB) | PDF (204KB)

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Last Modified: 10/17/2018