Pence: State to pay special-needs adoption subsidies

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Nearly 1,400 families who adopted special-needs children out of foster care are in line to receive state subsidies under an order Gov. Mike Pence gave a state agency Tuesday.

The Department of Child Services will fund the $10 million in subsidies out of unspent money that would have otherwise reverted back to the state’s main checking account.

The move comes just two months after a LaPorte woman filed a lawsuit, saying the state owed her subsidies. Initially, the agency said in a court response that it didn’t have the cash for the payments because the General Assembly didn’t appropriate it. But Pence sent a letter to DCS on Tuesday saying the state would fund the subsidies for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2015.

“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 in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, the legislative Adoption Study Committee will investigate the issue for future funding, the governor said. That group met Tuesday.

Already, the state pays more than $92 million in adoption subsidies for more than 11,000 children through a Federal Adoption Assistance Program and the County Adoption Subsidy. Children who are not eligible for those programs may receive other forms of adoption assistance such as Medicaid and a one-time, non-recurring adoption expense and had been placed on the State Adoption Subsidy waitlist.

The new state subsidies will apply to those on the waiting lists and those who adopt during fiscal year 2015.

State Sen. John Broden, D-South Bend, applauded the governor’s decision on Tuesday but called it long overdue. He said a “society is ultimately judged by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens.”

“I am hard pressed to imagine a more vulnerable class of people than abused and neglected children,” he said.

In 2012, Broden introduced Senate Bill 348 urging state government to provide subsidies to parents who adopt children with special needs. He followed that up with similar legislation in 2013. But the bills died.

“As a state, we have an obligation to support these families who have stepped forward to adopt children who, through no fault of their own, have endured great pain and separation in their life,” Broden said in a statement.


  • Traditional Medicaid Delays for Special Needs Kids
    IS it true that the Indiana State Legislature voted to move Adopted Special Needs kids from MD Med Wise over to Traditional Medicaid to save money? Since my adopted on, who has CP, was moved from MD Wise - traditional has been delaying and coming up with every excuse in the book to deny him the services he was guaranteed. I have written Rep Randy Frye - he sent my email to others in the State insurance system only to have it bounced around to people that have no idea how to handle it or are not in power to handle it. Anyone have any success at moving these elected leaders to d the right thing?
  • Where?
    I am for the funding, however, I want to know where the 10 million was stashed, and how dare he make an executive decision of the magnitude without the ok from the other branch of the government. Quit crying about Obama, when you take the same actions. Also, I just read an article in the Star that said the house is buying chairs for themselves @ a cost of 750.per. Are you kidding me, which house member sold the chairs, or was is his or her brother or father that made the profit. Physical responsibility is Indiana's new motto.

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