Sunday, August 24, 2008

THE FINANCES BEHIND THE FEDERAL AND STATE FOSTER CARE PAYMENTS

Seriously has anyone thought about this? I asked an adoption professional friend of mine. Do adoption agencies have to repay the medicaid funds if a natural mother uses them? She told me no. I was stunned. Our tax dollars are subsidizing domestic infant adoption. Many adoptive parents are thinking that they paying for this. If a natural parent elects to use medicaid, the adoptive parents' money does NOT go to repay this amount of money. Its really bugged me. I wanted to get a grasp on the money somewhat. So I checked the Federal budget for the Department of Health and Human Services. The last three years are what I found. Beware because your eyes are going to start rolling when you see the amount of money going into the adoption mill. This is going to all of the states. Please note where the finances speak the loudest. The state of Texas meets 25% of their portion of the total federal funds. These funds also go to adoption agencies, crisis pregnancy centers, and other privatized foster care companies. I have to wonder if they take a bit off the top from those payments to foster care families. I have not included the medicaid payments into this what so ever.

In 2006:

Community based Abstinence Training $108,825,000.
Abstinence only training $50,000,000
Child Welfare Services 286,754,000
Training $7,335,000
Abandoned Infants Assistant $11,835,000
Adoption Opportunities $26,848,000
Total is $332,772,000

Adoption Incentives $5,000,000.
Adoption Awareness $9,728,000
Special Needs Adoption Awareness $2,946,000
Payments to the states' Foster Care system $4,773,000,000
Adoption assistance $1,942,000,000
Welfare Research $15,000,000
Child Welfare Study $6,000,000
Healthy Marriage and Responsible Marriage $150,000,000

The total of all of this is $7,014,254,000 for 2006.

For 2007:

Community based Abstinence Training $108,900,00.
Abstinence only training $50,000,000
Child Welfare Services 286,754,000
Training $7,335,000
Abandoned Infants Assistant $11,835,000
Adoption Opportunities $26,848,000
Total is $332,772,000

Adoption Incentives $17,808,000
Adoption Awareness $9,728,000
Special Needs Adoption Awareness $2,946,000
Payments to the states' Foster Care system $4,685,000,000
Adoption assistance $1,795,000,000
Welfare Research $15,000,000
Child Welfare Study $6,000,000
Healthy Marriage and Responsible Marriage $150,000,000

Total is for 2007 is $7,286,446,000

Community based Abstinence Training $108,899,695.
Abstinence only training $50,000,000
Child Welfare Services 281,744,408
Training $7,206,858
Abandoned Infants Assistant $11,628,243
Adoption Opportunities $26,378,965
Total is $326,958,474

Adoption Incentives $4,323,132
Adoption Awareness $9,558,052
Special Needs Adoption Awareness $2,894,533
Payments to the states' Foster Care system $4,581,000,000
Adoption assistance $2,156,000,000
Welfare Research $15,000,000
Child Welfare Study $6,000,000
Healthy Marriage and Responsible Marriage $150,000,000

Total for 2008 is $7,251,834,191.

For Texas and what they received and what they spent it on. Texas has privatized foster care. Adoption agencies, orphanages, group homes, and such now receive these funds. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services pays these folks the funds. You can estimate what the other 49 states pay. Add these numbers to 3 billion dollars with domestic infant adoption and the seven billion dollars in international adoption. You can see it is in fact a huge industry. The Department of Family and Protective Services pays $1500 per child in reimbursements. This is the non recurring adoption payment. According to the budget of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, 1,440,700,000 came from federal funds and 1,127,800,000 came from state funds. Texas is supposed to match 25% of federal funds. I am just including the foster care and adoption funds. I am not including the funds to pay for the departments around the state. Interesting that they only get a quarter of the funds. Texas Department of Health and Human Services has a huge budget though. Of course this office as four sub departments, but not all departments are created equal.

2007 - $27,894,746,580
2006 - $25,458,226,682

For 2006:

Foster care services and payments - $244,764,253
Adoption subsidy payments - $115,872,989
Special Needs Adoption funds - $112,630,987
Non re occurring Payments - $3,242,002
Daycare costs for working foster parents $5,483,782
Adoption services - $3,788,506
Post Adoption Services $3,562,685
TANF/Foster Care/Public Assistance $22,046,692

Total for adoption and foster care - $514,791,896


Foster care services and payments - $246,960,332
Adoption subsidy payments - $125,609,297
Special Needs Adoption funds - $122,043,095
Non re occurring Payments - $3,566,202
Daycare costs for working foster parents $5,353,354
Adoption services - $4,202,505
Post Adoption Services $3,735,005
TANF/Foster Care/Public Assistance $23,083,425

Total for adoption and foster care - $534,513,215

Foster care services and payments - $285,614,858
Adoption subsidy payments - $134,510,646
Special Needs Adoption funds - $130,620,516
Non re occurring Payments - $3,890,130
Daycare costs for working foster parents $5,418,569
Adoption services - $3,995,505
Post Adoption Services $3,648,845
TANF/Foster Care/Public Assistance $22,550,058

Total for adoption and foster care - $590,235,127

Multiply this by fifty states and just estimate it. I would put it at 20,000,000,000 plus the ten billion dollars with the two other forms of adoption. This does not include the tax credits, medicaid payments for natural mothers and foster to adopt children. This adds up big time. You can't tell me its not a business or an industry.

After watching adoptive parents, natural parents, and adoptees getting screwed, is it any wonder why they want all of us to shut up? Its a huge business. They owe us some accountability.




4 comments:

Elizabeth Jurenovich said...

Accountability is available in agency adoptions involving a pass-through expense system, because those agencies are required to provide adoptive parents a written estimate of maternity expenses (including medical bills not covered by Medicaid or insurance.)



This is not true of the flat fee agency programs; adoptive parents who dare to question why their flat fee includes coverage for medical bills when they know the mother has/had Medicaid are blithely told the overage helps subsidize the agency's costs in other, uninsured cases. (Yeah... right.)

The sad fact, though, is that adoptive parents would likely be amongst the first to cry foul if asked to reimburse the medical bills paid by Medicaid in the birth of the child they adopt. (And on occasion, even birthparents ask to be compensated for the amount of money saved by the usage of their Medicaid to cover medical bills.)

Yet what does all this say to (and about) the adoptee, the innocent subject of these government-subsidized transactions?

KITE KAMP GIRL said...

This is what I know of my situation. I know that it took a year for an adoption to finalize. The agency probably collected foster care payments for me and others while we were in foster care (even though we had already been placed with our adoptive parents). I feel icky when it comes to the money side of things. My adoptive mother was furious when she found out that my natural mother paid for her expenses when she thought that is what she thought she paid. My natural mother and her family paid for her time there. My adoptive parents paid to get custody of me. My mom and I calculated the time that they got me and when I was born, and when my natural mom left the home. I spent six weeks actually in foster care (either the maternity home or an actual foster home). The agency told me my natural mother didn't want to hold me. I have found out through other mothers at the home that was a lie. They were not encouraged to hold us. They tried to get away with not telling them the sex of their child as well. I don't like being lied to about this. Just another reason why I don't like Catholic Charities and their affliated adoption agencies.

Angela said...

Amy you are mixing apples and oranges together. Most infants coming out of adoption agencies go into private foster care. So that money is very different from public foster care.

And all the funds you mention were created to address a specific concern.

Personally... I wish the abstinence training would be changed to something more realistic. Sex education (which includes conversations about abstinence) has a bigger impact.

Some of the money you quoted goes towards keeping families together. 2/3 of foster children go back to their families (or extended family).

The "Abandoned Infants Assistant" money is interesting. This money pot was created in 1988 as a reaction against the "crack baby" issue. There was a huge increase in the number of newly born children who were just left at the hospital. You can read more about it here. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/im/1990/im9017a1.htm

If I am remembering correctly the money is used in different ways... including funding counseling and drug treatment for the parents. And the money is used for services for the medical fragile infants. In the past (don't know if it is now) this included infant massage. Massage isn't seen as a medical treatment, but it has a proven track record is improving infant's health. Human beings need touch.

KITE KAMP GIRL said...

In Texas, foster care is privatized. Adoption agencies send the payments to the foster parents. My point of this blog was that these adoption agencies make money this way. The monies for foster care must go through these private organizations before it goes to the families that need them. I concentrated on just the foster care payments, adoption subsidy payments, and adoption payments of other kinds.

The right to life groups, adoption agencies, and churches all complain about the money Planned Parenthood gets which is 332 million dollars. When its obvious that these organizations get so much more. I most definitely agree with you about sex education. I have already started with my girls. I agree that foster care is different but with adoption agencies here in Texas being in the business of foster care.