Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

July 14, 2014

BRIAN HOWEY: Indiana: Pro-adoption or just a 'deadbeat parent'

Back up the rhetoric, governor, and pay adoptive families

This past week we’ve learned the state of Indiana has essentially stiffed 1,400 families who have adopted special needs children. The subsidies they were promised to raise kids in the state’s foster child program have been denied, prompting one LaPorte mother to call Indiana a “deadbeat parent.”

What sends this story into the outrageous category is that over the past five years, the Department of Child Services has reverted $240 million back to the state general fund, and this has become a point of boasting for some of our politicians who see a $2 billion budget surplus as a political attribute.

The other stunning aspect to this scenario is that when I broached the topic with several of the state’s leading family organizations, they were oblivious to the entire matter. It is clear to me these “family” organizations simply concentrate on abortion, the constitutional marriage amendment and the fundraising that goes with it.

Howard County Republican Party Chairman Craig Dunn, in his Howey Politics Indiana column earlier this year, observed of pro-life organizations: “They seem to labor under a thought process that says, ‘If you have an unwanted pregnancy, have the baby. If you have been told that you will have a baby with congenital birth defects, have the baby. If you’ve been raped and are pregnant, have the baby.’ Then, when the baby arrives, their attitude transforms to, ‘It’s your problem, deal with it!’”

Dunn continued, “We simply can no longer demand that a woman give birth to a baby and then feel no sense of responsibility for the well-being of the child.”

Here is what has transpired over the past week or so. The Indianapolis Star and WTHR-TV reported that Debra Moss of LaPorte is the adoptive parent who is suing the Indiana Department of Child Services over unpaid adoption subsidies. In calling the state a “deadbeat parent,” Moss claimed the state is no better than the birth parents from whom it removes children. Moss’ lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, claims DCS promised in a contract to pay adoption subsidies to those families “if funding becomes available.”

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