Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Lawsuit: adoption-subsidy limits illegal, harmful

Child welfare advocates filed a class-action lawsuit in St. Louis, Missouri to try to stop a new law that would limit monthly support checks for certain families who adopt foster children.  The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, accuses Gov. Matt Blunt and Gary Sherman, director of the Missouri Department of Social Services, of failing to protect the interests of abused and neglected children. Currently, the state gives about $225 a month per child to families who have adopted some 11,000 children out of foster care - regardless of the family's income. But legislators, grappling with a tight state budget, created limits earlier this year that restrict the subsidies to families earning less than 250 percent of the poverty level, $48,375 annually for a family of four. The state has estimated that about 2,000 children will lose subsidies, with initial estimates of a $12 million savings next fiscal year. The state Department of Social Services reduced that estimate Tuesday to between $6 million and $8 million. Critics say Missouri will end up spending more to keep an adoptable child in foster care as families will have little incentive to adopt. By:  Associated Press,, last visited August 21, 2005.

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