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

  • Still waiting
    We have been on the waiting list since June 2009. And still have not received anything. Don't they have a time limit after the lawsuit is settled to get everyone off the wait list? Still waiting
  • 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
    ADVERTISEMENT
    Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
    1. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

    2. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

    3. We have a direct genuine provider for BG/SBLC specifically for lease, at leasing price of 4+2 of face value, Issuance by HSBC London/Hong Kong or any other AA rated Bank in Europe, Middle East or USA. Contact : Mr. Johnson Hatton Email:johnsonhatton@gmail.com Skype ID: johnson.hatton007 Intermediaries/Consultants/Brokers are welcome to bring their clients and are 100% protected. In complete confidence, we will work together for the benefits of all parties involved. All inquires to Mr. Johnson Hatton should include the following minimum information so I can quickly address your needs: Complete contact information: What exactly do you need? How long do you need it for? Are you a principal borrower or a broker? Contact me for more details. Johnson Hatton

    4. I've been denied I appeal court date took a year my court date was Nov 9,2016 and have not received a answer yet

    5. Warsaw indiana dcs lying on our case. We already proved that in our first and most recent court appearance i need people to contact me who have evidence of dcs malpractice please email or facebook nathaniel hollett thank you

    ADVERTISEMENT