Adoption of Severely Disabled Grandchildren Should Not Reduce Couple's Benefits

In October 2015, the ACLU of Indiana brought a lawsuit against the Indiana Department of Child Services on behalf of a Greene County couple, Julie and David Arthur, who have been providing care for their three special needs grandchildren.

The lawsuit challenges a DCS decision to cut the Arthurs' benefits by about two-thirds once they adopt the children. The Arthurs are licensed foster parents who provide intensive care to the young children. The children suffer from a wide range of medical and behavioral disorders and require constant supervision, and the couple has had to cut back on their own employment to provide care.

The suit claimed the state's actions violate Title IV-E of the Social Security Act for failing to approve adoption assistance payments that will allow the grandparents to continue to adequately care for the children once they are adopted.

"The federal government provides money to the State of Indiana to allow special needs adoptions to occur and to allow the adoptees' needs to be met," said Ken Falk, ACLU of Indiana legal director. "We believe that DCS is failing to comply with the law in this case."

Click here to download a copy of the lawsuit.

The ACLU defends basic freedoms, every day, for every American. Support us with your tax deductible gift today.