The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) and Cohen & Malad, LLP announced today that an agreement has been submitted to the LaPorte Superior Court for approval to provide $15.1 million to more than 1,800 children who were adopted from the state’s foster care system. The agreement calls for the funds to be provided for adoptive parents of children who were on the state adoption subsidy (SAS) waitlist between January 1, 2009 and June 30, 2014.
“As an adoptive parent, I know what it means to open your heart and provide a permanent home to a child in foster care,” said DCS Director Mary Beth Bonaventura. “Today’s announcement means financial resources will be available for parents who have faced challenges meeting the needs of their adopted children.”
The agreement, covering the period from the beginning of 2009 through mid-2014, resolves litigation brought by Indianapolis law firm Cohen & Malad, LLP on behalf of Debra Moss and similarly situated adoptive parents seeking adoption subsidies under a program for which the legislature never specifically appropriated any funding. Governor Mike Pence had separately directed that adoption subsidy payments would be made for the State’s 2015 fiscal year.
Cohen & Malad’s Irwin B. Levin said the Governor’s decision and the agreement announced today “Will help adoptive families provide for the physical and emotional needs of the children. We’re very happy the Governor and Director Bonaventura were cooperative and agreed to get the adoptive families the help they need.”
If the court approves the agreement, the $15.1 million fund for the period from June 1, 2009 through June 30, 2014 will be distributed by a third party administrator. Payments for the State fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014 are being separately administered. Parents of adopted children who have questions about SAS and fiscal year 2015 payments can contact [email protected] or call 877-265-0086. Adoptive parents with questions about the agreement covering prior periods can contact 1-866-339-7452.