© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Group sues Blunt over adoption cuts


St. Louis, MO – A coalition of lawyers, SLU law professors, and adoption advocates is suing Governor Matt Blunt over legislation that cuts adoption subsidies.

Lawyer Tom Kennedy says that the law about to take effect Aug. 28 breaks federal law by breaching contracts that adoptive parents have already signed with the state.

"What Missouri is doing is saying retroactively, for all the children that have been adopted, if the child wasn't poor coming into the system, then we are not going to continue adoption subsides," Kennedy said Monday.

He also notes the legislation cuts subsides for parents adopting special needs children above a certain income level, and that the new law will let the government pay a subsidy to foster parents but cut it for adoptive parents. "If the foster parent wanted to adopt, many of those foster parents would not be eligible for that same subsidy, so that there is a financial disincentive to adoption for many of those kids," he said.

"And that will certainly impair the adoption process for Missouri and many of those kids would remain in foster care much longer than they should."

A Blunt spokesman says the adoption program is already generous, noting that taxpayers spent tens of millions of dollars last year on healthcare and childcare for adopted children in Missouri.


Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.