ILNews

DCS to fund state subsidies for adoptions from foster care

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Department of Child Services will fund state subsidies for children adopted from foster care for the fiscal year that began July 1. The announcement comes after a lawsuit claimed the state reneged on promises to provide the assistance to about 1,400 eligible families since 2009.

In a news release, DCS said Gov. Mike Pence confirmed in a letter to DCS Director Mary Beth Bonaventura that the state would fund the program.

“Although the State Adoption Subsidy is only a small piece of the assistance the State of Indiana offers to adoptive parents, it is my belief that funding the program this fiscal year is the right thing to do,” Pence said. “At the same time, the Adoption Study Committee is now looking at this issue, and we appreciate their work to develop recommendations that address the needs of Hoosier families and effectively promote adoption,” added Pence.

In recent months, parents who adopted foster children initiated a class-action suit on behalf of an estimated 1,400 Indiana families.

Attorneys claim the state owes in excess of $50 million in unpaid adoption subsidies over the past five years. DCS had vowed to pay the subsidy if funding was available, yet the agency did not provide the payments while returning hundreds of millions of dollars to the state, according to the suit. Families had been placed on a waiting list to receive subsidies when funding became available.

“We’re very proud our lawsuit caused the state to finally do the right thing,” said Lynn Toops, a partner at Cohen & Malad LLP, which represents the foster families. Wednesday’s announcement, though, “provides no relief to families who went on the waiting list and received nothing from 2009 to July 1, 2014.

DCS said in its statement that the state pays more than $92 million in adoption subsidies for more than 11,000 children through the Federal Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) and the County Adoption Subsidy (CAS). The State Adoption Subsidy wait list is for children ineligible for AAP or CAS.

DCS spokesman James B. Wide said the subsidies are expected to cost the state about $10 million and will benefit about 1,500 children.

“Governor Pence has a heart for adoptive and foster families, and we are grateful we have been able to identify resources to fund this program for families that have adopted children from our system,” Bonaventura said in the statement.

Indiana had been the only state that placed parents on a waiting list for an adoption subsidy and returned funding to the state, according to the North American Council on Adoptable Children.

Indiana Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane of Anderson and Democratic member John Broden of South Bend, who advocated for restoration of the subsidy, applauded the decision.

“Senate Democrats have long pushed for Indiana to join every other state in making this incentive available to parents,” Lanane said. “As I’ve stated in the past concerning the administration’s policies – better late than never.”

“I truly believe in the maxim that a society is ultimately judged by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens,” Broden said. “I am hard pressed to imagine a more vulnerable class of people than abused and neglected children.”

Parents of adoptive children who have questions regarding the State Adoption Subsidy can contact centralized.eligibility@dcs.in.gov, or call 877-265-0086.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Class Action
    There is a class action suit. Moss vs Indiana DCS.
  • Unpaid Adoption Subsidies
    It has been of great interest for us following this case as we are one of those families who have been on a waiting list for three years that this affects. I am curious as to: 1) families can expect these payments that are retroactive to July 1, 2014 and 2) what progress is being made for the payments that were never honored before that time? Thank you!

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    2015 Distinguished Barrister &
    Up and Coming Lawyer Reception

    Tuesday, May 5, 2015 • 4:30 - 7:00 pm
    Learn More


    ADVERTISEMENT
    Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
    1. why is the State trying to play GOD? Automatic sealing of a record is immoral. People should have the right to decide how to handle a record. the state is playing GOD. I have searched for decades, then you want me to pay someone a huge price to contact my son. THIS is extortion and gestapo control. OPEN THE RECORDS NOW. OPEN THE RECORDS NOW. OPEN THE RECORDS NOW.

    2. I haven't made some of the best choices in the last two years I have been to marion county jail 1 and two on three different occasions each time of release dates I've spent 48 to 72 hours after date of release losing a job being denied my freedom after ordered please help

    3. Out here in Kansas, where I now work as a government attorney, we are nearing the end of a process that could have relevance in this matter: "Senate Bill 45 would allow any adult otherwise able to possess a handgun under state and federal laws to carry that gun concealed as a matter of course without a permit. This move, commonly called constitutional carry, would elevate the state to the same club that Vermont, Arizona, Alaska and Wyoming have joined in the past generation." More reading here: http://www.guns.com/2015/03/18/kansas-house-panel-goes-all-in-on-constitutional-carry-measure/ Time to man up, Hoosiers. (And I do not mean that in a sexist way.)

    4. This is why it is important to consider Long term care insurance. For you and for your loved ones

    5. I am terrified to see Fracking going on not only in Indiana but in Knox county. Water is the most important resource we have any where. It will be the new gold, and we can't live without it and we can live without gold. How ignorant are people?

    ADVERTISEMENT