Adoption Bonuses: The Money Behind ...

Adoption Bonuses: The Money Behind the Madness

Posted in the Valley City Forum


Aurora, CO

#1 Feb 25, 2010
DSS and affiliates rewarded for breaking up families By Nev Moore
> Massachusetts News Child "protection" is one of the biggest
> businesses in the country. We spend $12 billion a year on it.
> The money goes to tens of thousands of a) state employees, b)
> collateral professionals, such as lawyers, court personnel, court
> investigators, evaluators and guardians, judges, and c) DSS
> contracted vendors such as counselors, therapists, more
> "evaluators", junk psychologists, residential facilities, foster
> parents, adoptive parents, MSPCC, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, YMCA,
> etc. This newspaper is not big enough to list all of the people in
> this state who have a job, draw a paycheck, or make their profits
> off the kids in DSS custody. In this article I explain the
> financial infrastructure that provides the motivation for DSS to
> take peopleís children Ė and not give them back. In 1974 Walter
> Mondale promoted the Child Abuse and Prevention Act which began
> feeding massive amounts of federal funding to states to set up
> programs to combat child abuse and
> neglect. From that came Child "Protective" Services, as we know
> it today. After the bill passed, Mondale himself expressed concerns
> that it could be misused. He worried that it could lead states to
> create a "business" in dealing with children. Then in 1997
> President Clinton passed the "Adoption and Safe Families Act." The
> public relations campaign promoted it as a way to help abused and
> neglected children who languished in foster care for years, often
> being shuffled among dozens of foster homes, never having a real
> home and family. In a press release from the U.S. Department of
> Health & Human Services dated November 24, 1999, it refers to
> "President Clintonís initiative to double by 2002 the number of
> children in foster care who are adopted or otherwise permanently
> placed." It all sounded so heartwarming. We, the American
> public, are so easily led. We love to buy stereotypes; we just eat
> them up, no questions asked. But, my mother, bless her heart,
> taught me from the
> time I
> was young to "consider the source." In the stereotype that weíve
> been sold about kids in foster care, we picture a forlorn,
> hollow-eyed child, thin and pale, looking up at us beseechingly
> through a dirt streaked face. Unconsciously, we pull up old
> pictures from Life magazine of children in Appalachia in the 1930s.
> We think of orphans and children abandoned by parents who look like
> Manson family members. We play a nostalgic movie in our heads of
> the little fellow shyly walking across an emerald green, manicured
> lawn to meet Ward and June Cleaver, his new adoptive parents, who
> lead him into their lovely suburban home. We imagine the little
> tykeís eyes growing as big as saucers as the Cleavers show him his
> very own room, full of toys and sports gear. And we just feel so
> gosh darn good about ourselves. Now itís time to wake up to the
> reality of the adoption business. Very few children who are
> being used to supply the adoption market are hollow-eyed tykes from
> Appalachia.
> Very few
> are crack babies from the projects.[OhÖ you thought those were
> the children they were saving? Think again]. When you are marketing
> a product you have to provide a desirable product that sells. In
> the adoption business that would be nice kids with reasonably good
> genetics who clean up good. An interesting point is that the Cape
> Cod & Islands office leads the state in terms of processing kids
> into the system and having them adopted out. More than the inner

Aurora, CO

#2 Feb 25, 2010
city areas, the projects, Mission Hill, Brockton, Lynn, etc.
> InterestingÖ With the implementation of the Adoption and Safe
> Families Act, President Clinton tried to make himself look like a
> humanitarian who is responsible for saving the abused and neglected
> children. The drive of this initiative is to offer cash "bonuses"
> to states for every child they have adopted out of foster care,
> with the goal of doubling their adoptions by 2002, and sustaining
> that for each subsequent year. They actually call them "adoption
> incentive
> bonuses," to promote the adoption of children. Where to Find
> the Children A whole new industry was put into motion. A sweet
> marketing scheme that even Bill Gates could envy. Now, if you have
> a basket of apples, and people start giving you $100 per apple,
> what are you going to do? Make sure that you have an unlimited
> supply of apples, right? The United States Department of Health
> & Human Services administers Child Protective Services. To
> accompany the ASF Act, the President requested, by executive
> memorandum, an initiative entitled Adoption 2002, to be implemented
> and managed by Health & Human Services. The initiative not only
> gives the cash adoption bonuses to the states, it also provides
> cash adoption subsidies to adoptive parents until the children turn
> eighteen. Everybody makes money. If anyone really believes that
> these people are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts,
> then Iíve got some bad news for you. The fact that this program is
> run by HHS,
> ordered from
> the very top, explains why the citizens who are victims of DSS
> get no response from their legislators. It explains why no one in
> the Administration cares about the abuse and fatalities of children
> in the "care" of DSS, and no one wants to hear about the broken
> arms, verbal abuse, or rapes. They are just business casualties. It
> explains why the legislators Iíve talked to for the past three
> years look at me with pity. Because Iím preaching to the already
> damned. The legislators have forgotten who funds their paychecks
> and who they need to account to, as has the Governor. Because it
> isnít the President. Itís us. How DSS Is Helped The way that
> the adoption bonuses work is that each state is given a baseline
> number of expected adoptions based on population. For every
> child that DSS can get adopted, there is a bonus of $4,000 to
> $6,000. But that is just the starting figure in a complex
> mathematical formula in which each bonus is multiplied by the
> percentage that the
> state
> has managed to exceed its baseline adoption number. The states
> must maintain this increase in each successive year.[Like compound
> interest.] The bill reads: "$4,000 to $6,000 will be multiplied by
> the amount (if any) by which the number of foster child adoptions
> in the State exceeds the base number of foster child adoptions for
> the State for the fiscal year." In the "technical assistance"
> section of the bill it states that, "the Secretary [of HHS] may,
> directly or through grants or contracts, provide technical
> assistance to assist states and local communities to reach their
> targets for increased numbers of adoptions for children in foster
> care." The technical assistance is to support "the goal of
> encouraging more adoptions out of the foster care system; the
> development of best practice guidelines for expediting the
> termination of parental rights; the development of special units
> and expertise in moving children toward adoption as a permanent
> goal; models to encourage the
> fast

Aurora, CO

#3 Feb 25, 2010
tracking of children who have not attained 1 year of age into
> pre-adoptive placements; and the development of programs that place
> children into pre-adoptive placements without waiting for
> termination of parental rights." In the November press release
> from HHS it continues, " HHS awarded the first ever adoption
> bonuses to States for increases in the adoption of children from
> the public foster care system." Some of the other incentives
> offered are "innovative grants" to reduce barriers to adoption
> [i.e., parents], more State support for adoptive families, making
> adoption affordable for families by providing cash subsides and tax
> credits. A report from a private think tank, the National Center
> for Policy Analysis, reads: "The way the federal government
> reimburses States rewards a growth in the size of the program
> instead of the effective care of children." Another incentive being
> promoted is the use of the Internet to make adoption easier.
> Clinton directed HHS to develop
> an
> Internet site to "link children in foster care with adoptive
> families." So we will be able to window shop for children on a
> government web site. If you donít find anything you like there, you
> can surf on over to the "Adopt Shoppe." If you prefer to
> actually be able to kick tires instead of just looking at pictures
> you could attend one of DSSís quaint "Adoption Fairs," where live
> children are put on display and you can walk around and browse.
> Like a flea market to sell kids. If one of them begs you to take
> him home you can always say, "Sorry. Just looking." The incentives
> for government child snatching are so good that Iím surprised we
> donít have government agents breaking down peopleís doors and just
> shooting the parents in the heads and grabbing the kids. But then,
> if you need more apples you donít chop down your apple trees.
> Benefits for Foster Parents That covers the goodies the State
> gets. Now letís have a look at how the Cleavers make out
> financially after the
> adoption
> is finalized. After the adoption is finalized, the State and
> federal subsidies continue. The adoptive parents may collect cash
> subsidies until the child is 18. If the child stays in school,
> subsidies continue to the age of 22. There are State funded
> subsidies as well as federal funds through the Title IV-E section
> of the Social Security Act. The daily rate for State funds is the
> same as the foster care payments, which range from $410-$486 per
> month per child. Unless the child can be designated "special
> needs," which of course, they all can. According to the NAATRIN
> State Subsidy profile from DSS, "special needs" may be defined as:
> "Physical disability, mental disability, emotional disturbance; a
> significant emotional tie with the foster parents where the child
> has resided with the foster parents for one or more years and
> separation would adversely affect the childís development if not
> adopted by them." [But their significant emotional ties with their
> parents, since
> birth,
> never enter the equation.] Additional "special needs"
> designations are: a child twelve years of age or older; racial or
> ethnic factors; child having siblings or half-siblings. In their
> report on the State of the Children, Bostonís Institute for
> Children says: "In part because the States can garner extra federal
> funds for special needs children the designation has been broadened
> so far as to become meaningless." "Special needs" children may also
> get an additional Social Security check. The adoptive parents
> also receive Medicaid for the child, a clothing allowance and
> reimbursement for adoption costs such as adoption fees, court and
> attorney fees, cost of adoption home study, and "reasonable costs
> of food and lodging for the child and adoptive parents when
> necessary to complete the adoption process." Under Title XX of

Aurora, CO

#4 Mar 2, 2010
> Social Security Act adoptive parents are also entitled to post
> adoption services "that may be helpful in keeping the family
> intact," including "daycare
> ,
> specialized daycare, respite care, in-house support services such
> as housekeeping, and personal care, counseling, and other child
> welfare services".[Wow! Everything short of being knighted by the
> Queen!] The subsidy profile actually states that it does not
> include money to remodel the home to accommodate the child. But, as
> subsidies can be negotiated, remodeling could possibly be
> accomplished under the "innovative incentives to remove barriers to
> adoption" section. The subsidy regulations read that "adoption
> assistance is based solely on the needs of the child without regard
> to the income of the family." What an interesting government policy
> when compared to the welfare program that the same childís mother
> may have been on before losing her children, and in which she may
> not own anything, must prove that she has no money in the bank; no
> boats, real estate, stocks or bonds; and cannot even own a car that
> is safe to drive worth over $1000. This is all so she can collect $5
> 39 per
> month for herself and two children. The foster parent who gets
> her children gets $820 plus. We spit on the mother on welfare as a
> parasite who is bleeding the taxpayers, yet we hold the foster and
> adoptive parents [who are bleeding ten times as much from the
> taxpayers] up as saints. The adoptive and foster parents arenít
> subjected to psychological evaluations, ink blot tests, MMPIís,
> drug & alcohol evaluations, or urine screens as the parents are.
> Adoption subsidies may be negotiated on a case by case basis.
> [Anyone ever tried to "negotiate" with the Welfare Department?]
> There are many e-mail lists and books published to teach adoptive
> parents how to negotiate to maximize their subsidies. As one pro
> writes on an e-mail list: "We receive a subsidy for our kids of
> $1,900 per month plus another $500 from the State of Florida. We
> are trying to adopt three more teens and we will get subsidies for
> them, too. It sure helps out with the bills." I canít help but
> wonder why we d
> onít
> give this same level of support to the childrenís parents in the
> first place? According to Cornell University, about 68% of all
> child protective cases "do not involve child maltreatment." The
> largest percentage of CPS/DSS cases are for "deprivation of
> necessities" due to poverty. So, if the natural parents were given
> the incredible incentives and services listed above that are
> provided to the adoptive parents, wouldnít it stand to reason that
> the causes for removing children in the first place would be
> eliminated? How many less children would enter foster care in the
> first place? The child protective budget would be reduced from $12
> billion to around $4 billion. Granted, tens of thousands of social
> workers, administrators, lawyers, juvenile court personnel,
> therapists, and foster parents would be out of business, but we
> would have safe, healthy, intact families, which are the foundation
> of any society. Thatís just a fantasy, of course. The reality is
> that maybe we will se
> e
> Kathleen Crowleyís children on the government
> home-shopping-for-children web site and some one out there can buy
> them. May is national adoption month. To support "Adoption 2002,"
> the U.S. Postal Service is issuing special adoption stamps. Let us
> hope they donít feature pictures of kids who are for sale. I urge
> everyone to boycott these stamps and register complaints with the
> post office. I know that Iím feeling pretty smug and superior
> about being part of such a socially advanced and compassionate
> society. How about you?

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