Code of the District of Columbia

§ 4–114. Powers of Mayor over dependent children.

(a) The Mayor of the District of Columbia (hereinafter referred to as the “Mayor”) may:

(1) Make temporary provision for the care of children pending investigation of their status;

(2) Have the care and legal guardianship, including the power to consent to or arrange for adoption in appropriate cases, of:

(A) Children who may be committed to the Mayor as wards of the District of Columbia by courts of competent jurisdiction; and

(B) Children who are relinquished by their parents to the Mayor or whose relinquishment is transferred to the Mayor by a licensed child-placing agency under § 4-1406;

(3) Make such provisions for the care and maintenance of such children in private homes, under contract, including adoption subsidy pursuant to § 4-301, or in public or private institutions, as the welfare of such children may require; and

(4) Provide care and maintenance for children with substantial intellectual disabilities who may be received upon application or upon court commitment, in institutions or homes or other facilities equipped to receive them, within or without the District of Columbia.

(b) The Mayor shall cause the wards of the District of Columbia placed out under temporary care to be visited as often as may be required to safeguard their welfare.

(c) The Mayor may, where appropriate, secure an assignment of rights from a parent whose child is in the custody of a person or agency receiving foster care maintenance payments under Part E in Subchapter IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 670 et seq.).


(Mar. 16, 1926, 44 Stat. 210, ch. 58, § 11; Jan. 2, 1974, 87 Stat. 1057, Pub. L. 93-241, § 1(a)(1); Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-166, § 33(e), 33 DCR 6710; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 8, 59 DCR 5567.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 3-114.

1973 Ed., § 3-114.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 4-115.

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “children with substantial intellectual disabilities” for “substantially retarded children” in (a)(4).

Cross References

Children, age of majority, see § 46-101.

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority pursuant to Law 6-166, see Mayor’s Order 87-273, December 10, 1987.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Government Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.