Parents sue state for millions over adoption subsidies

INDIANAPOLIS - A major lawsuit involving children with special needs was filed against the state and hundreds of parents hope the state will have a change of heart.

The lawsuit claims that since 2009, the Department of Child Services has returned $238 million in so-called excess funds, when about $100 million was supposed to benefit children who never received the money.

"When people say that you should adopt for love, if it isn’t for love, I don’t know what it is, because it’s not for the money,” Deborah Moss said.

Moss adopted three special needs children with the understanding that the state would provide a payment to help cover health care costs in many cases. Moss is making due on her social security check.

The just-filed lawsuit claims 1,400 Hoosier families are impacted and are owed millions of dollars in subsidies.

"This is real money for real people who are trying to raise children coming out of the foster care system," said attorney Richard Shevitz.

The legal complaint criticizes the Department of Child Services of returning money to the treasury, claiming it was excess funds, but at the same time, no adoption payments were made.
"You are deadbeat parent and I think you ought to pay this money to these children. Quit taking it back in the surplus of the budget. You said you were adoption-friendly and you would be friendly to these children," Moss said when asked what she would say to Gov. Mike Pence.

The lawsuit claims that Indiana is the only state to not pay a state adoption subsidy.

The Department of Child Services declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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