Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Federal Court Declares Unconstitutional Missouri Law Cutting Adoption Subsidies

For Andrea Euer, a federal court ruling issued Monday means she'll no longer lose sleep wondering if her adoptive mother would be forced to return her to foster care to make ends meet.  Andrea, 14, of O'Fallon, is among about 2,000 children adopted from foster care in Missouri whose parents stood to lose support checks of at least $225 a month under budget cuts proposed last year by Gov. Matt Blunt. But those cuts, and the law that authorized them, were ruled unconstitutional Monday by U.S. District Court Judge Scott O. Wright of Kansas City, who said the subsidy cuts wrongly severed contracts signed between the state and parents at the time of adoption, while purporting to save the state money that probably would never materialize.... John Amman, a law professor at St. Louis University who helped argue the case, described the ruling as an unqualified victory. He said other states should be warned that cutting subsidies poses severe legal perils.
"We do hope that this sends a message to the rest of the country," he said.

Read the St. Louis Post Dispatch article by Matt Frank (last visited May 2, 2006)
The case is E.C., J.L., J.C., T.G., B.G., & A.G. v. Sherman, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27506 (May 9, 2006)

To read a copy of the order itself, Download permanent_injunction.pdf (bgf)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2006/05/missouri_adopti.html

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