Cohen & Malad, LLP and Friedman & Associates, P.C., have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of over 1,400 Hoosier families who have adopted special-needs children from the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) foster care system. The lawsuit alleges the DCS failed to pay an adoption subsidy payment, which it agreed to pay in a contract with the families.

Court documents indicate that the DCS has returned over $238 million to the State of Indiana in excess funds since 2009, yet the agency claimed there were no funds available to pay the adoption subsidy payments promised in the contract.

DCS is legally obligated to pay foster care maintenance payments that are actually higher than the promised adoption subsidy payments. Court documents indicate that by paying the promised adoption subsidy payment, Hoosier taxpayers could save as much as $190,000 to $235,000 per child adopted out of foster care.

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

“The state of Indiana has advised numerous adoptive families that they are eligible for the state adoption subsidy and that they are being placed on a waitlist for payments due to a lack of funding. At the same time, the DCS is returning hundreds of millions of dollars in excess funds back to the state. This is manifestly unfair to these families who are counting on the adoptive subsidy,” said Shaw Friedman of Friedman & Associates, P.C.