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Advocates Hail New Adoption Subsidy As A Major Success

Gov. Mike Pence announced late Tuesday that the state would resume a subsidy for parents who adopt special needs children from foster care.

newborn baby's feet

Photo: Sean Dreilinger (Flickr)

The adoption subsidy is a direct payment to parents who adopt children with special needs.

Indiana adoption advocates say there’s excitement in the community after the state announced it will resume funding the State Adoption Subsidy for parents who adopt special needs children from foster care.

The Department of Child Services stopped providing the subsidies in 2009, during the peak of the recession when agency budgets were being slashed.

As things improved the last couple of years the funding still didn’t resume and the department cited a lack of money appropriated by the legislature, despite the fact the agency returned more than $200 million the state’s General Fund in the last few years.

The Pence administration Tuesday announced it would provide the subsidies this fiscal year, about ten million dollars for 1,800 families.

Sharon Pierce, the CEO of the adoption agency, The Villages, says research shows the subsidies lead to more adoptions.

“They encourage families who aren’t sure about their stability economically, and I think that’s the reality of the times we’re living in to take that step, that this is a partnership between the state of Indiana and the adoptive families,” she says.

The funding is only scheduled for this fiscal year, which ends next July.

But Children’s Bureau Vice President of Adoption Brooke Clawson says she’s encouraged by what she’s seeing from Governor Pence.

“‘We want to be the most adoption-friendly state in the union.’ I’ve heard him say that several times and this is a step in that direction,” Clawson says.

The amount of the subsidy depends on a variety of factors.

Pence also signed into law this year a $1,000 per adoptive child tax credit that will begin next year.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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