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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - "Pro-adoption pledge needs cash backing"

Updating this ILB post from June 3rd, which includes a copy of the complaint, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette had a related editorial June 8th; here are some quotes:

Gov. Mike Pence used his most recent State of the State address to call for Indiana to become “the most pro-adoption state in America.”

It’s a tall task: Adoptions here declined by 35 percent between 2011 and 2013. The 1,033 adoptions last year were the fewest finalized since 2005.

Why the decline? Look to a class-action lawsuit filed last week alleging the Department of Child Services reneged on its contract to pay adoption subsidies to more than 1,400 families adopting from foster care. According to the lawsuit, the subsidies went unpaid even as DCS returned more than $238 million from its budget to the general fund and ballooning surplus.

Incredibly, the state’s failure to pay the subsidy has cost as much as $235,000 more per child because the foster care maintenance payments DCS is legally obligated to pay are higher than the modest adoption subsidy payments, according to the lawsuit.

“The state’s failure to pay adoption subsidy payment DCS promised to pay in a contract puts children and their caretakers at a considerable disadvantage,” said Lynn Toops of Cohen & Malad LLP, one of the law firms representing the class-action plaintiffs. “Our lawsuit aims to make DCS follow through with its promises to these children and families.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 10, 2014 09:16 AM
Posted to Indiana Government